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Matthew Broderick.png

Matthew Broderick (born March 21, 1962) is an American film, stage and voice actor who, among other roles, played the title character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, voiced Simba in The Lion King, and portrayed Leo Bloom in the Hollywood and Broadway productions of The Producers.

He 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 musicalHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He was also nominated for the Tony Award, Best Actor in a Musical, for The Producers but lost to his co-star Nathan Lane. As of 2013, Broderick is the youngest winner of the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Early life and education

Broderick was born in Manhattan, the son of Patricia (née Biow), a playwrightactress, and painter, and James Joseph Broderick III, an actor[1] andWorld War II veteran.[2] His mother was Jewish, a descendant of immigrants from Germany and Poland.[3][4] His father was a Catholic of Irish andEnglish descent.[5][6][7] Broderick attended grade school at City and Country School (a progressive K–8 school in Manhattan) and high school atWalden School (a defunct private school in Manhattan with a strong drama program).


Broderick's first major acting role came in an HB Studio workshop production of playwright Horton Foote's On Valentine's Day, playing opposite his father, who was a friend of Foote's. This was followed by a supporting role as Harvey Fierstein's adopted son in the Off-Broadway production of Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy; then, a good review by The 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 it’s only because Mel Gussow happened to come by right before it closed and happened to like it. It’s just amazing. All these things have to line up that are out of your control.

He followed that with the role of Eugene Morris Jerome in the Neil Simon Eugene Trilogy including the plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues. His first film role was also written by Neil Simon. Broderick debuted in Max Dugan Returns (1983). His first big hit film was WarGames, a summer hit in 1983, in which he played the main role of David Lightman, a Seattle teen hacker. This was followed by the role of Philippe Gaston in Ladyhawke, in 1985.

Broderick then got the role as the charming, clever slacker in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. At age 23, Broderick played a high-school student who, with his girlfriend and best friend, plays hooky and explores Chicago. The film remains a 1980s comedy favorite today and is one of Broderick's best-known roles (particularly with teenage audiences). Also in 1987, he played an air force troop pilot Jimmy Garrett in Project X. In 1988 Broderick played Harvey Fierstein's gay lover, Alan, in the screen adaptation of Torch Song Trilogy. In the 1989 film Glory, he received good reviews for his portrayal of the American Civil War officerRobert Gould Shaw, whom Broderick incidentally physically resembled at the time.

In the 1990s, Broderick voiced the adult lion, Simba, in the successful animated film The Lion King, and also voiced Tack the Cobbler in Miramax's controversial version of The Thief and the Cobbler, which had originally been intended as a silent role. He won recognition for two dark-comedy roles. The first was that of a bachelor in The Cable Guy with Jim Carrey. The second was that of a high-school teacher in Alexander Payne's Election with Reese Witherspoon.

Broderick returned to Broadway as a musical star in the 1990s, most notably with his Tony Award–winning performance in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and his Tony Award–nominated performance in the Mel Brooks' stage version of The Producers in 2001. He continued to make feature films, including the 2005 adaptation of The Producers. Broderick played the role of Leopold “Leo” Bloom, an accountant who co-produces a musical designed to fail, but which turns out to be successful.

Broderick reunited with his co-star from The Lion King and The ProducersNathan Lane, in The Odd Couple, which opened on Broadway in October 2005. He appeared on Broadway as a college professor in The Philanthropist, running April 10 through June 28, 2009.[8]

He returned to the Broadway stage in Spring 2012 to star in the musical Nice Work If You Can Get It, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall.[9]


He 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 Tony Award, Best Actor in a Musical, for The Producers but lost to Lane. To date, Matthew Broderick is the youngest winner of the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Personal life

On August 5, 1987, Broderick was in a car accident in EnniskillenNorthern Ireland, while vacationing withJennifer Grey, whom he had begun dating in semi-secrecy during the filming of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The accident, which was the event through which their relationship became public, occurred when the rented BMW Broderick was driving crossed into the wrong lane and collided head-on with a Volvo driven by a local mother and daughter, Anna Gallagher 28, and Margaret Doherty 63, who were killed instantly in the accident. Broderick suffered a fractured leg, fractured ribs, a concussion, and a collapsed lung. Grey received minor injuries, including severe whiplash. Broderick told authorities he had no recollection of the crash and did not know why he was in the wrong lane. "I don't remember the day. I don't remember even getting up in the morning. I don't remember making my bed. What I first remember is waking up in the hospital, with a very strange feeling going on in my leg," he said at the time. Broderick was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and faced up to five years behind bars, but was later convicted of the lesser charge of careless driving and fined $175,[10][11][12][13] which the victims' family called "a travesty of justice." Martin Doherty, whose sister and mother were killed in the crash, later stated that he forgave Broderick, amid plans to meet with Broderick in 2003, in order to gain a sense of closure. As of 2012, the meeting has not taken place.[14]


Broderick met actress Sarah Jessica Parker through her brother. The couple married on May 19, 1997 in a civil ceremony in a historic deconsecrated synagogue on the Lower East Side. Although Broderick considers himself culturally Jewish,[15][16] the ceremony was performed by his sister, Janet Broderick Kraft, an Episcopal priest.[17]

Parker and Broderick have a son, James Wilkie Broderick, born in 2002. In April 2009, it was confirmed that Broderick and Parker were expecting twin girls through surrogacy.[18] Broderick and Parker's surrogate delivered their twin daughters, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge, in 2009.[19][20]

Although they live in Manhattan, they spend a considerable amount of time at their holiday home near Kilcar, a village in County DonegalIreland (incidentally the country of origin of both his maternal and paternal ancestors) where Broderick spent his summers as a child. They also have a house in The Hamptons.[21]

Family history

In March 2010, Broderick was featured in the US version of the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are?. By his own admission, his participation in the ancestry research programme, emotionally reconnected Broderick with the role he played in Glory twenty-two years earlier, as he discovered a paternal great-great-grandfather, Robert Martindale (incidentally sharing the same prenom as his Glory character), who actually was a Union soldier. A veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg, Martindale, belonging to the 20th Connecticut, was killed in the aftermath of the Battle of Atlanta, and was eventually interred in an unnamed grave at the Marietta National Cemetery. Having identified the grave with the help of historian Brad Quinlin, Broderick's research enabled him to give his ancestor his name back.[22] In the same programme Broderick discovered that his paternal grandfather, James Joseph Broderick II, whom he had never known, had been a highly decorated combat medic in World War I, he having earned his distinctions during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.[2]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Max Dugan Returns Michael McPhee
WarGames David Lightman Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
1985 1918 Brother
Faerie Tale Theatre Prince Henry TV Series: 1 Episode
Master Harold...and the Boys Harold "Hally" Nominated — CableACE Award for Actor in a Theatrical or Dramatic Special
Ladyhawke Philippe Gaston
1986 Ferris Bueller's Day Off Ferris Bueller Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
On Valentine's Day Brother
1987 Project X James "Jimmy" Garrett
1988 Biloxi Blues Eugene Morris Jerome
Torch Song Trilogy Alan Simon
1989 Family Business Adam McMullen
Glory Colonel Robert Gould Shaw
1990 The Freshman Clark Kellogg / The Narrator
1992 Out on a Limb William "Bill" Campbell
1993 The Night We Never Met Samuel "Sam" Lester
A Life in the Theatre John Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1994 The Lion King Adult Simba Voice Only
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Charles MacArthur
The Road to Wellville William "Will" Lightbody
1995 Arabian Knight Tack the Cobbler Voice Only
1996 The Cable Guy Steven M. Kovacs Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Fight(against Jim Carrey)
Infinity Richard Feynman Also Producer/Director
1997 Addicted to Love Sam
1998 Godzilla Dr. Niko "Nick" Tatopoulos
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride King Simba Voice Only


Walking to the Waterline Michael Woods
1999 Election James "Jim" McAllister Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
Inspector Gadget Inspector Gadget /John Brown/ Robo-Gadget
2000 You Can Count on Me Brian Everett
2003 The Music Man Professor Harold Hill TV
Good Boy! Hubble Voice Only
2004 The Lion King 1½ Simba (teenager and adult) Voice Only


Marie and Bruce Bruce
The Stepford Wives Walter Kresby
The Last Shot Steven Schats
2005 The Producers Leopold "Leo" Bloom
Strangers with Candy Roger Beekman
2006 Deck the Halls Steven "Steve" Finch
2007 Then She Found Me Benjamin "Ben" Green
Bee Movie Adam Flayman Voice Only
2008 Diminished Capacity Cooper Kennedy
Finding Amanda Taylor Peters Mendon Nominated — Prism Award for Performance in a Feature Film
The Tale of Despereaux Despereaux Voice Only
2010 Wonderful World Benjamin "Ben" Singer
Beach Lane Mike Brennan TV
2011 Margaret John Van Tassel
Tower Heist Mr. Fitzhugh
New Year's Eve Mr. Buellerton Uncredited
2013 Skum Rocks!
2014 Pompeii Nimtorus


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Torch Song Trilogy David
1983 Brighton Beach Memoirs Eugene Jerome
1985 Biloxi Blues
1995 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying J. Pierrepont Finch
1999 Night Must Fall Dan
2000 Taller Than a Dwarf 'Howard Miller
2001–2002, 2003 The Producers Leopold "Leo" Bloom
2002 Short Talks on the Universe
2004 The Foreigner Charlie Baker
2005 The Odd Couple Felix Unger
2009 The Philanthropist Phillip
The Starry Messenger Mark
2012 Nice Work If You Can Get It Jimmy Winter


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Lou Grant Episode: "Generations"
1985 Faerie Tale Theatre Episode: "Cinderella"
Master Harold...and the Boys
1993 A Life in the Theater (1993)
1995 Frasier Episode: "She's the Boss"
1997 Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
2002 Yu-Gi-Oh! Michael Newton Episode: "Steppin Out"
2003 The Music Man (2003)
2008 30 Rock Cooter Burger Episode: "Cooter"
2009 Cyberchase Episode: "Father's Day"
2010 Who Do You Think You Are?
Louie Himself Episode: "Heckler/Cop Movie"
Beach Lane TV Pilot
2012 Adventure Time The Dream Warrior Episode: "Who would Win?"
30 Rock Cooter Burger Episode: "Governor Dunston"
Modern Family Dave Episode: "Mistery Date"