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By Steve McGarry
Jan 26, 2014
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Steve McGarry

Matt Damon

Born on October 8, 1970, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Matt Damon was a student at Harvard University when he first began to pursue and acting career.  After landing a substantial role opposite Gene Hackman and Jason Patric in 1993's "Geronimo: an American Legend," he dropped out of Harvard, assuming that the movie would launch his career, but the film fared badly at the box office.  By the time Matt realized he had made the wrong decision, it was too late and he was living in Hollywood and struggling to get his career off the ground.

He lost 40 pounds in 100 days for his minor role in the 1996 war movie "Courage Under Fire."  His major breakthrough came the following year.  He teamed up with Ben Affleck, a childhood friend, to write the screenplay "Good Will Hunting."  They appeared together in the movie, with Matt taking the lead role.  The film was a box-office smash, earning nine Academy Award nominations, including best actor for Damon, and the tow friends received and Oscar for the screenplay.

The likes of "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley," as well as the mega-hit franchises spawned by "Ocean's Eleven" and "The Bourne Identity," established Matt as one of the hottest young stars in Hollywood.  He has gone on to rack up an impressive range of credits that run the gamut from a corrupt cop in the crime thriller "The Departed" to voicing the role of Bill the Krill in "Happy Feet Two."  He earned a second Oscar nomination for his role in 2009's "Invictus."

Away from movies, the married father of four is a noted philanthropist.
Feb 9, 2014
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