Matt Dillon

Matt Dillon Biography

Matthew Raymond "Matt" Dillon (born February 18, 1964) is an American actor and film director. He began acting in the late 1970s, and gained fame as a teenage idol during the 1980s. He has appeared in films such as Little Darlings (1980), My Bodyguard (1980), Tex (1982), Rumble Fish (1983), The Outsiders (1983), Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Singles (1992), Beautiful Girls (1996), There's Something About Mary (1998), Wild Things (1998), Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), Crash (2005),You, Me and Dupree (2006), and Armored (2009). In 2013, he will appear in the comedy film The Art of the Steal as an art thief alongside Kurt Russell.

In 1990, he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for Drugstore Cowboy and in 2006 won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for Crash and the San Sebastián International Film Festival Donostia Lifetime Archievement Award. "Crash" won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2005. In 2011 he received the special "Tomislav Pinter Award" at Avvantura Festival Zadar (Croatia) upon his presence at the filmfestival.

Early life

Matthew Raymond Dillon was born in New Rochelle, New York, to second-generation Irish American parents Mary Ellen, a homemaker, and Paul Dillon, a portrait painter and sales manager for Union Camp, a packing material manufacturer. He was raised in a close-knit Roman Catholic family, as the second of six children. Dillon's paternal grandmother was the sister of comic strip artist Alex Raymond, the creator of Flash Gordon. Dillon has one sister and four brothers, one of whom, Kevin Dillon, is also an actor and appeared on the hit TV series Entourage, which earned him several Emmy nominations in the supporting actor comedy category. Dillon grew up in Mamaroneck, New York, and before dropping out in junior year, he attended Mamaroneck High School.


In 1978, Jane Bernstein and a friend were helping director Jonathan Kaplan cast the violent teen drama Over the Edge when they found Dillon cutting class at Hommocks Middle School in Larchmont. Dillon auditioned for a role and made his debut in the film. 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 sex comedy Little Darlings, in which Kristy McNichol's character loses her virginity to a boy from the camp across the lake, played by Dillon, and the more serious teen dramedy My Bodyguard, where he played a high-school bully opposite Chris Makepeace. The films, released in March and July 1980, respectively, were box office successes and raised Dillon's profile among teenage audiences.

Another of Dillon's early roles was in the Jean Shepherd PBS special The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters. The only available copies of this film are stored at UCLA, where a legal dispute makes it unavailable to the public.

One of his next roles was in Liar's Moon, where he played Jack Duncan, a poor Texas boy madly in love with a rich banker's daughter. In the early 1980s, Dillon also had prominent roles in three adaptations of S. E. Hinton novels: Tex (1982), The Outsiders (1983) and Rumble Fish (1983). All three films were shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Hinton's hometown. The Outsiders and Rumble Fish had Dillon working with Francis Ford Coppola and Diane Lane. He followed those up with The Flamingo Kid in 1984. He made his Broadway debut with the play The Boys of Winter in 1985.

Dillon did voiceover work in the 1987 documentary film Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. In 1989, Dillon won critical acclaim for his performance as a drug addict in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy.

Also in 1987 Dillon appeared as a policeman in the video to The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl video Fairytale of New York.

Dillon continued to work in the early 1990s with roles in movies like Singles (1992). He had somewhat of a career resurgence when he played Nicole Kidman's husband in To Die For (1995), as well as starring 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 wrote and directed the film City of Ghosts, starring himself, James Caan and Gérard Depardieu. In 2005, he starred in Factotum, a film adaptation of an autobiographical work by Charles Bukowski. Two years later he received critical praise and earned a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe along with Oscar nominations for his role in Crash, a film co-written and directed by Paul Haggis. In 2005 Dillon co-starred in Disney's Herbie: Fully Loaded and on March 11, 2006 hosted Saturday Night Live, in which he impersonated Greg Anderson and Rod Serling in sketches.

Dillon starred in the comedy You, Me and Dupree, opposite Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson. The film opened on July 14, 2006. On September 29, 2006, Dillon was honored with the Premio Donostia prize in the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

Dillon contributed his voice as the narrator, Sal Paradise, in an audiobook version of Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road. In 2006, he narrated Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos.

Dillon appeared in several music videos during his career. He made a cameo appearance as a detective in Madonna's Bad Girl music video which also stars Christopher Walken. Dillon appeared in 1987 in the music video for "Fairytale of New York" by the Irish folk-punk band The Pogues playing a cop who escorts lead singer Shane MacGowan into the "drunk tank". In 2007, the band Dinosaur Jr. hired Dillon to direct the video for their single "Been There All The Time" from the album Beyond. That year, he starred in The Simpsons episode "Midnight Towboy".

Personal life

Dillon had a three-year relationship with actress Cameron Diaz in the late 1990s.

On December 30, 2008, he was arrested by the Vermont State Police after he was clocked traveling at 106 miles per hour northbound on Interstate 91 near Newbury, Vermont. He was charged with negligent operation of a vehicle. His attorney, Mark Kaplan, entered a plea of not guilty on Dillon's behalf in a January appearance in Orange County Court in Chelsea, and also appeared in court on February 25, 2009. He faced a maximum of one year in jail, and a fine of $1,000. He pled guilty to speeding and paid a $828 fine on March 30, 2009; in return, the negligence charge was dismissed by prosecutors.

Cultural influence

Dillon is mentioned on Jeff Buckley's Live at Sin-é: Legacy Edition CD. On the fifth track Buckley mentions that he cut his hair because people thought he looked like Matt Dillon. Dillon's name is dropped in the lyrics of "After the Fire", a song that Pete Townshend wrote for Roger Daltrey's solo album Under a Raging Moon:

I saw Matt Dillon in black and white/There ain't no colour in memories/He rode his brother's Harley across the TV/ While I was laughing at Dom DeLuise
Dillon has been mentioned as the source inspiration behind the creation of "Hanma Yuujiro" the father of the main character of the fighting manga series "Grappler Baki" which is denoted to be "The strongest creature in the world"

Dillon is also mentioned in Pencey Prep's "Don Quixote" from the album Heartbreak in Stereo.

I dance the same dance every night / It's only you you're killing / Super glue the queen of hearts and the information she's spilling / Matt Dillon.


Year Film Role Notes
1979 Over the Edge Richie White
1980 My Bodyguard Melvin Moody
1980 Little Darlings Randy Adams
1982 Tex Tex McCormick
1982 Liar's Moon Jack Duncan
1982 The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters Ralph TV movie
1983 Rumble Fish Rusty James
1983 Amazed Ewan Willson
1983 The Outsiders Dallas 'Dally' Winston
1984 The Flamingo Kid Jeffrey Willis
1985 Target Chris Lloyd/Derek Potter
1986 Native Son Jan
1986 Rebel] Rebel
1987 The Big Town J. C. Cullen
1988 Kansas Doyle Kennedy
1989 Drugstore Cowboy Bob
1989 Bloodhounds of Broadway Regret
1991 A Kiss Before Dying Jonathan Corliss
1991 Fishing with John
1991 Women & Men 2 Eddie Megeffin TV movie
1992 Singles Cliff Poncier
1993 The Saint of Fort Washington Matthew
1993 Mr. Wonderful Gus
1994 Golden Gate Kevin Walker
1995 To Die For Larry Maretto
1995 Frankie Starlight Terry Klout
1996 Grace of My Heart Jay Phillips
1996 Albino Alligator Dova
1996 Beautiful Girls Tommy 'Birdman' Rowland
1997 In & Out Cameron Drake
1998 There's Something About Mary Patrick (Pat) Healy
1998 Wild Things Sam Lombardo
2001 One Night at McCool's Randy
2002 Deuces Wild Fritzy
2002 City of Ghosts Jimmy Also director and writer
2003 Abby Singer Himself
2004 Employee of the Month David Walsh
2005 Herbie: Fully Loaded Trip Murphy
2005 Crash Sgt. John Ryan
2006 Factotum Henry Chinaski
2006 You, Me and Dupree Carl Peterson
2006 Loverboy Mark
2007 The Simpsons Louie (voice) TV series (1 episode: Midnight Towboy)
2008 Nothing But the Truth Patton Dubois
2009 Old Dogs Barry
2009 Armored Mike Cochrane
2010 Takers Det. Jack Welles
2011 Modern Family Robbie Sullivan TV series (1 episode: Princess Party)
2012 Girl Most Likely
2013 The Art of the Steal Nicky Calhoun post-production
2013 Whiskey Bay Jesse Weiland post-production
2013 Sunlight Jr.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Nominated work Result
1981 Young Artist Award Best Young Actor in a Major Motion Picture My Bodyguard
1983 Young Artist Award Best Young Motion Picture Actor Tex
1990 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead Drugstore Cowboy
1999 MTV Movie Award for Best Villain (tied with Stephen Dorff There's Something About Mary
1999 MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Denise Richards & Neve Campbell) Wild Things
1999 Teen Choice Award Funniest Scene There's Something About Mary
1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actor " Comedy There's Something About Mary
2005 Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Crash
2005 Gotham Tribute Award
2005 Gotham Award Best Ensemble Cast Crash
2005 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards Best Supporting Actor Crash
2005 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Crash
2005 Hollywood Film Festival Ensemble of the Year Crash
2005 Satellite Award for Best Cast " Motion Picture Crash
2005 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Cast Crash
2005 Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Cast Crash
2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Crash
2006 BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Crash
2006 Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble Crash
2006 Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Crash
2006 Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble Crash
2006 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Best Supporting Actor Crash
2006 Empire Award for Best Actor Crash
2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor " Motion Picture Crash
2006 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male Crash
2006 Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor Crash
2006 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Crash
2006 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Crash
2006 San Sebastián International Film Festival Donostia Lifetime Archievement Award
2007 Cairo International Film Festival Special Award
|- | 2011 || Special "Tomislav Pinter Award" at Avvantura Festival Zadar, Special Award || ||

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