Matthew Broderick was born in New York City, the son of the
late Irish American Catholic actor James Broderick and his
Jewish wife, the late Patricia Biow, a playwright. Broderick
attended the Walden School, a private school in Manhattan with a
strong drama program.
Broderick's first major acting role came in a role in an HB Studio workshop production of playwright Horton Foote's On Valentine's Day, playing opposite his father James, who was a friend of Foote's. This was followed by a lead role in the off-Broadway production of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy; a good review by New York Times theater critic Mel Gussow brought him to the attention of Broadway. Broderick commented on the effects of that review in a 2004 60 Minutes II interview:
"Before I knew it, I was like this guy in a hot play. And suddenly all these doors opened. And itís only because Mel Gussow happened to come by right before it closed and happened to like it. Itís just amazing. All these things have to line up that are out of your control."
Matthew Broderick followed that with the role of Eugene Morris Jerome in two Neil Simon plays: Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues, both plays are part of what is known as the "Eugene Trilogy" . In between those plays he starred in WarGames, a summer hit in 1983. Broderick auditioned for the role of Alex P. Keaton on the NBC sitcom Family Ties and was offered the role, but he had to turn it down because of his movie schedule. Broderick then got the role that he will always be remembered for as the charming, clever slacker in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Broderick, who in real life was in his mid 20's, played a high school student who, with his girlfriend and best friend, explores Chicago while avoiding the clutches of the dean of students, who is eager to catch Bueller in the act. The movie remains an 80's comedy favorite today. In 1989's Glory Broderick received good notices for his portrayal of -- and uncanny resemblance to -- the Civil War hero Robert Gould Shaw.
Matthew Broderick in the 1990's took two dark comedy roles. The first was that of a bachelor who attracts the friendship of a lonely cable guy played by Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy. The second was that of a Midwest teacher determined to stop the school overachiever from becoming class president in Alexander Payne's Election. Some comment on the irony of Broderick playing the role of teacher to a clever student (played by Reese Witherspoon), in that it's a role reversal from Ferris Bueller.
Broderick returned to Broadway as a musical star in the 1990s, most notably in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Mel Brooks' stage version of The Producers in 2001. Matthew also continues to make feature films, including the 2005 adaptation of The Producers.
Broderick reunited with his co-star from The Lion King and The Producers, Nathan Lane, in The Odd Couple, which opened on Broadway in October 2005.
Matthew has won two Tony Awards, one in 1983 for his featured role in the play Brighton Beach Memoirs, and one in 1995 for his leading role in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He was also nominated for The Producers, but lost to co-star Nathan Lane.
Matthew Broderick met actress Jennifer Grey on the set of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. On August 5, 1987, she was with him as he drove on a rain-slicked road on the outskirts of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. Broderick drove his rented BMW 316 head-on into another car carrying 63-year-old Margaret Doherty and her 30-year-old daughter Anna Gallagher; both women were killed. Broderick had to be cut out of the car; he suffered facial lacerations and a broken thigh. Grey escaped with minor injuries. Broderick had no memory of the event and Grey was distracted at the moment of the accident, changing audio tapes and seeing nothing. The lack of witnesses, skid marks, or other evidence led Broderick to plead guilty in absentia on February 15, 1988 to the lesser charge of careless driving. He was fined £100.
Back in the United States, when asked about his trip to Northern Ireland, Broderick noted that he wanted to put the experience behind him. "My leg was broken", he says, "I was badly messed up. I have no desire to be more badly hurt. I don't feel that I need to have more misfortune or that anything bad has to happen to me to pay for this. I can say it's over, and I'm really glad it's over. I want to go on."
Matthew Broderick met actress Sarah Jessica Parker in 1992 and has been married to her since 1997. The couple has one child, James Wilke Broderick (born October 28, 2002), named after Broderick's father. They live in New York.
This Matthew Broderick Biography Page is Copyright Biography World © 2004 - 2010