Matt Dillon (born February 18, 1964) is an American
actor. He began acting in the late 1970s, gained fame as a teen idol
during the 1980s, and developed a successful career as an adult actor in
the decades following, culminating in an Oscar nomination for his
performance in the film Crash.
Matt Dillon was born in New Rochelle, New York to second-generation Irish American Catholic parents Paul Dillon (a painter and sales manager for Union Camp, a packing material manufacturer) and Mary Ellen (a homemaker). He has one sister and four brothers, one of whom, Kevin, is also an actor. Dillon grew up in Mamaroneck, New York and attended Hommocks School in Larchmont, New York.
Dillon dated actress Cameron Diaz from 1996 to 1998; the two met in 1995 while both were filming movies in Minnesota.
Matt Dillon in My Bodyguard, 1980In 1979, casting director Vic Ramos spotted Dillon while he was cutting class, and cast him in the teenage-themed film, Over the Edge. The film received a regional, limited theatrical release in May 1979, and grossed only slightly over $200,000. Dillon's performance was well-received, which led to his casting in two films released the following year; the teenage s-- comedy, Little Darlings, in which Kristy McNichol's character loses her virginity to a camp counselor played by Dillon, and the more serious teen drama, My Bodyguard, where he played a high-school bully opposite Chris Makepeace. The films, released in March and July of 1980, respectively, were box office successes and raised Dillon's profile among teenage audiences.
Dillon's next role was in the 1982 film, Tex. In the mid-1980s, Dillon had prominent roles in the Francis Ford Coppola's S.E Hinton adaptions The Outsiders (1983) and Rumble Fish (1983). In 1987, Dillon appeared briefly as a policeman in the music video for the song Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, a major hit in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In 1989, Dillon won critical acclaim for his performance as Bob in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy.
Matt Dillon has had a steady film career after making a successful transition from teenage movies of the 1980s. He continued to work in early 90s with roles in movies like Singles (1992). He had somewhat of a career resurge as the role of Nicole Kidman's husband in To Die For (1995), as well as large roles in Wild Things (1998) and There's Something About Mary (1998), for which he received an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain.
In 2002, he also wrote and directed the film City of Ghosts, starring himself, James Caan and Gérard Depardieu.
He most recently appeared Crash (cowritten and directed by Paul Haggis); Dillon received much praise for his performance, including Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. He also co-starred in Disney's Herbie: Fully Loaded, playing the villain, a bad boy racer.
Matt Dillon also hosted Saturday Night Live on March 11, 2006, with musical guest British indie group Arctic Monkeys.
Matt Dillon made his directorial debut with the 2003 movie City of Ghosts.
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