Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Matthew Raymond Dillon Biography

Matthew Raymond Dillon (born February 18, 1964) is an Academy Award-, Golden Globe Award-, and BAFTA Award-nominated American actor. He began acting in the late 1970s, gained fame as a teenage idol during the 1980s, and developed a successful career as a mature actor in the decades following, culminating in an Oscar nomination for his performance in the movie Crash.

Early life
Matthew Raymond Dillon was born in New Rochelle, New York, to second-generation Irish American Catholic parents Mary Ellen, a homemaker, and Paul Dillon, a portrait painter and sales manager for Union Camp, a packing material manufacturer. Through his father, Dillon is related to comic strip artist Alex Raymond. Dillon has one sister and four brothers, one of whom, Kevin Dillon, is also an actor. Dillon grew up in Mamaroneck, New York and before dropping out in junior year he attended Mamaroneck High School.

In 1979, casting director Vic Ramos went to Mamaroneck High School and spotted Dillon cutting class. He asked Dillon to audition for a role, and Dillon made his film debut in the violent teen drama 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 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 drama, 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 Shephard PBS special The Great American Fourth of July. The only available copies of this film are stored at UCLA, where a legal dispute makes it unavailable to the public.

His next role was in the 1982 film, Tex, followed two months later by Liar's Moon, where he played Jack Duncan, a poor Texas boy madly in love with a rich banker's daughter. In the mid-1980s, Dillon 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 it up with The Flamingo Kid

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 a drug addict in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy.

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 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 wrote and directed the film City of Ghosts, starring himself, James Caan and Gérard Depardieu. That same year 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 the actor hosted Saturday Night Live, where he impersonated Greg Anderson in a "SportsCenter" sketch, Rod Serling in Bill Hader's "Vincent Price St. Patrick's Day Special" sketch and played a redneck conman named Perdy Spotley in the recurring sketch "Appalachian Emergency Room".

Dillon's most recent role is 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 price Premio Donostia in the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Other work
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 also made voice acting in 1987 documentary film Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. He made his Broadway debut with the play The Boys of Winter in 1985.

Dillon also contributed his voice as Sal Paradise in Jack Kerouac's famous novel On the Road. In 2006, he narrated Once in a Lifetime.

Matt Dillon also made cameo appearance as detective in Madonna's Bad Girl music video which also stars Christopher Walken. Dillon also appeared in the music video of "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.

As of 2007, the band Dinosaur Jr. hired Dillon to direct their new video and single "Been There All The Time", off of their upcoming album Beyond. He guest stars in The Simpsons episode "Midnight Towboy" and also appeared on an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Personal life
Matt has dated several prominent women of Hollywood, including actress Cameron Diaz and Diane Lane. Matt is the older brother of actor Kevin Dillon.

Legal trouble
On December 30, 2008, Dillon 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 pleaded guilty to speeding and paid a $828 fine on March 30, 2009; in return, the negligence charge was dismissed by prosecutors.


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