“How you doin’?” With these three little words, the fictional Joey Tribbiani enamoured many, many women. Matt LeBlanc worked hard to secure his role in the phenomenal hit ‘Friends’ and his struggling actor role wasn’t too much of a stretch for the jobbing thespian. But like his other co-stars, he has found it hard to replicate the world-wide success or find a new role. But then again, considering he’s already made a million an episode, the question to his critics is, ‘how you doing?’
Matt, like his famous creation, comes from an Italian American mother though he can also claim an Irish, English, Dutch and French background as well. He was born on 25 July 1967, raised, and schooled in Massachusetts. He went onto college there but dropped out before completion opting to pursue a modelling job in Florida. One of his jobs involved posing for a gay travel guide.
He then went on to appear in several television commercials for a variety of high profile brands including the classic Cannes award-winning Heinz tomato ketchup in 1987. After this, he appeared in several music videos including Jon Bon Jovi's 'Miracle' in 1990 and Alanis Morrisette's 'Walk Away' in 1991. He then appeared in the last few seconds of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers music video for 'Into The Great Wide Open'.
He had secured his first regular acting by the age of 21 appearing as a regular character in both 'TV 101' and the cult hit and essential late night UK viewing, 'Married with Children'. Despite occasional roles over the next few years, his tenacity would not be properly rewarded until 1994 with the ten season, syndicated, smash-hit sitcom, 'Friends'.
His portrayal of 'The One who is Big-hearted, Simple-minded, Womanising, An In and Out of Work Actor who has an Eating Disorder' endeared him to viewers. His brotherly protection of Chandler was rewarded with him being given his own room when Monica and Chandler settled down. His lack of understanding of any given situation, and of virtually any sentence (that didn't involve sex) gave him the majority of punch-lines in every show. But the double pizza eating poster boy for VD, and ex soap-star Dr Drake Ramoray fared less well when he tried to strike out on his own without his ensemble of friends.
His spin-off series 'Joey' aired from 2004-2006 and gone were LeBlanc's days of earning a million dollars an episode. Ironically, as the series slipped in popularity, the character of Joey secures more and more successful roles.
Matt LeBlanc has starred in a number of reasonably received feature films including 'Lookin' Italian' (1994), 'Lost in Space' (1998), and 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' (2003).
He has since found a successful TV show that has almost seen him return to the fame that he experienced playing Joey - 'Episodes'. This comedy show started in 2011 and saw LeBlanc play himself. It is about a British TV show being remade into a US one starring LeBlanc in the lead.
The show is written by 'Friends' co-creator David Crane. LeBlanc won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy TV Series for his performance in 2012. It returned for a second series in May 2012. He also returned to film in 2014 playing the lead in comedy 'Lovesick'.
LeBlanc at one point held the fastest time for 'Star In a Reasonably Priced Car' on the show 'Top Gear' beating previous holder Rowan Atkinson.
From 2003 to 2006, Matt LeBlanc was married to Melissa McKnight with whom he had one daughter, Marina. She suffers from a rare brain disorder and despite the couple's divorce, the pair continue to jointly care for her. Matt LeBlanc has since been seeing one of his 'Joey' co-stars Andrea Anders.