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Real Name: Matthew David McConaughey
Birthday: 11/04/1969
Place of Birth: Uvalde, Texas
Education: University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, film, 1993

 

Biography and Filmography:

Matthew McConaughey moved swiftly from small bit parts to starring leading roles. His early break came after meeting casting agent Don Phillips that led to a role in "Dazed and Confused" (1993), and three other films  including "My Boyfriend's Back" (1993), "Angels in the Outfield" 1994, and "Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1995) starring Renee Zellweger, before his smash hit performance as Drew Barrymore's policeman boyfriend in "Boys on the Side" (1995) about a girl who is a night club singer, and out of work. 

McConaughey then landed a role in John Sayles' film "Lone Star" (1996), appearing in flashbacks as the father of a sheriff (Chris Cooper) investigating a death.

Hired and cast for a role in "A Time to Kill" (1996), Joel Schumacher's film based on John Grisham's top-seller, the Hollywood public relations machine went into overdrive as soon as the film began shooting, reaching a breaking point in the summer of 1996 when he was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair, in a massive media campaign plastering him across print and televisions everywhere. 

Matthew had already finished a supporting role as a truck driver in "Larger Than Life" (1996), starring Bill Murray, before the release of "A Time to Kill". Based on the media buildup, he soon became the "next big Hollywood thing", with studio executives making huge offers for his talent. 

Warner Bros. had signed the actor to a three-picture deal in 1995 and announced he would act opposite Jodie Foster in Robert Zemeckis' sci-fi production "Contact" (1997), about Dr. Ellie Arroway, who after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine. 

His bad makeup and poor script in the role as an 18th-century New England lawyer in "Amistad" (1997) hurt his "golden boy" persona. Held back by bad hair and gigantic glasses that down-played one of his assets—his looks, the actor failed to turn the role into anything spectacular. A more up to date, period movie, "The Newton Boys" (1998), teamed him with Ethan Hawke, and showed off his talents, allowing his unusual speech dialect into the role of Willis Newton, the brains behind the Texas bank robbers.

Having co-produced and co-starred in Sandra Bullock's film "Making Sandwiches" (1997), he next produced his own movie, "The Rebel" (1998), before starring in Ron Howard's "EDtv" (1999), about video store clerk Ed, who agrees to have his life filmed by a camera crew for a television  show. The film allowed him to draw on his own experience with instant celebrity that followed the release of "A Time to Kill.” He then joined in the brave rescue of a top-secret decoding device from a German U-boat in the World War II suspense spy story "U-571" (2000), and in 2002 was cast as the love interest of Jennifer Lopez in "The Wedding Planner" (2002) and received good reviews from fantasy fans as a dragon fighter in "Reign of Fire" (2002).

In 2003, he was the targeted subject of Kate Hudson's character in the romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." (2003), the funny story of Benjamin Barry, an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big contract, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. The actor then took the role of master adventurer Dirk Pitt in "Sahara" (2005), the Paramount Pictures version of Clive Cussler's best-selling book, and interest in the film was intensified by the real life romance between McConaughey and his leading lady, Penelope Cruz. 

In “Two For the Money” (2005) with Rene Russo, he played Brandon Lane, a former college basketball star with a talent for predicting the outcomes of sporting events. Taken under his wing by sports mentor Walter Abraham, played by Al Pacino, after an injury, Brandon starts on a free-wheeling life in sports betting until he looses his touch and engages his mentor in a high-stakes game of con versus con. In 2005 People magazine named the actor its 20th annual "Sexiest Man Alive".

His next feature, “We Are Marshall” (2006), saw the actor play Marshall University football coach Jack Lengyel, a young plant brought in to rebuild the school’s team after a disastrous plane crash in 1970 left the entire squad, coaching staff and a large group of supporters dead. After taking a couple of years off from film and movie making, he resurfaced in 2008 with the romantic comedy "Fool's Gold" (2008) with Kate Hudson, about when a new clue to the whereabouts of a lost treasure rekindles a married couple's sense of adventure, and their romance problems. Next was the war based action film "Tropic Thunder" (2008) with Jack Black and Ben Stiller, about how through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying.

He ended the year with another comedy titled "Surfer Dude" (2008), a wave twisting tale of a soul searching surfer experiencing an existential crisis. Another romantic comedy followed with "The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" (2009) with Jennifer Garner, about a bachelor who is haunted by the ghosts of his past girlfriends at his younger brother's wedding. He ended the year with the auto racing action crime drama "Hammer Down" (2009) where in an attempt to get back into the racing world, a former NASCAR driver takes the shifty responsibility as wheel man on a major heist.

 

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