Matthew Broderick
424px-Matthew Broderick portrait 2009.png
Biographical information

March 21, 1962


New York City, New York, U.S.

Career information


Matthew was able to humanize the hero character for us with his performance and give Simba a lot of depth. Sometimes heroes end up becoming 2-dimensional because they are very difficult roles to approach. Matthew brought a great deal of sensitivity and thoughtfulness to the role along with sincerity and a sense of humor.
Rob Minkoff on Broderick's performance[1]

Matthew Broderick (born March 21, 1962) is an American film and stage actor, best known for playing the title character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. He also voiced Simba in The Lion King film series.


Born in New York City, Matthew Broderick was born to artist Patricia Broderick and the late actor James Broderick. After suffering from a knee injury from his athletic pursuits (football and soccer)[2], Matthew made his professional stage debut at the age of 17 in the off-off Broadway production of Horton Foote's On Valentine's Day, co-starring with his father. Two years later, he won the Outer Critics Circle Award as Best Supporting Actor and a Villager Award for his performance in Harvey Fierstein's drama, Torch Song Trilogy, appearing as the child who is adopted by the play's hero.[1]

Broderick's career continued to gain momentum when he simultaneously landed parts in two installments of Neil Simon's "Eugene Trilogy" with the Broadway production of Brighton Beach Memoirs and the feature film, Max Dugan Returns. Broderick continued his relationship with Simon when he reprised the role of Eugene Jerome in Biloxi Blues, the second installment of the Simon trilogy, for both the Broadway production and the film adaptation directed by Mike Nichols.[1][2] However, for the third and final installment of the trilogy on Broadway, he was replaced by Jonathan Silverman whom he portrayed the role in the film adaptation of Brighton Beach Memoirs. In 1983, the same year as Max Dugan Returns, Broderick had his first big-screen success in the Cold War comedy WarGame. This was followed by the role of Philippe Gaston in Ladyhawke, in 1985.

In 1986, Broderick landed one of his best-known roles as Ferris Bueller in the 1986 comedy, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Director John Hughes said that he had Broderick in mind when he wrote the screenplay, saying Broderick was the only actor he could think of who could pull the role off, calling him clever, smart, and charming.[3] "Certain guys would have played Ferris and you would have thought, 'Where's my wallet?'" Hughes said. "I had to have that look; that charm had to come through. Jimmy Stewart could have played Ferris at 15...I needed Matthew."[3] Further theatrical success followed with Project X, the film adaptation of Torch Song Trilogy, and a mixed received performance as Colonel Robert Gould Shaw in the acclaimed Civil War drama, Glory. In the 1990s, Broderick was first hired to voice Simba in The Lion King, at first believing that he was in fact working on a remake of Kimba the White Lion since he was familiar with the Japanese anime show as a child.[4] He later reprised his role as Simba in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1½, and quickly became friends with co-stars Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella. In the mid-1990s, he starred in two dark-comedy roles when he portrayed bachelor Steven M. Kovacs in The Cable Guy with Jim Carrey (and both were nominated for an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Fight), and a high-school teacher in Election with Reese Witherspoon.

Around that same time, Broderick returned to his Broadway roots with his second Tony Award–winning performance in the 1995-1996 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In another award-nominated performance, he also co-starred with Nathan Lane in Mel Brooks' The Producers stage musical as Leopold "Leo" Bloom from 2001 to 2002. Later, in 2005, they starred again in the movie adaptation of the musical, and reunited with Ernie Sabella in a deleted scene. That same year, Broderick collaborated with Lane as Felix Ungar in Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, which opened on Broadway in October. His most recent Broadway performances were as a college professor in The Philanthropist,[5] and in the musical Nice Work If You Can Get It, which opened in 2012.[6]

His on-screen performances continued with success in Margaret and Tower Heist, co-starring with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.

Personal life

In August 1987, Broderick was involved in a deadly car crash on vacation in Ireland with former girlfriend Jennifer Grey in which he was hurt and two passengers in the other car were killed.[2] Broderick was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and faced up to five years in prison, but was later convicted of the lesser charge of careless driving and fined $175.

Broderick met actress Sarah Jessica Parker through her brother. The couple married on May 19, 1997 in a civil ceremony in a historic desecrated synagogue on the Lower East Side. Parker and Broderick have a son, James Wilkie Broderick, born in 2002. In 2009, the couple gave birth to twins, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge.[7]

Other roles

  • Biloxi Blues - Eugene Morris Jerome
  • Glory - Colonel Robert Gould Shaw
  • Inspector Gadget - John Brown / Inspector Gadget / RoboGadget
  • The Producers - Leopold "Leo" Bloom
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Ferris Bueller
  • The Thief and the Cobbler - Tack the cobbler
  • The Tale of Despereaux - Despereaux (voice)
  • Finding Amanda - Taylor Mendon
  • Diminished Capacity - Cooper Kennedy
  • Deck the Halls - Steve Finch
  • Tower Heist - Fitzhugh
  • Bee Movie - Adam Flayman (voice)
  • Good Boy! - Hubble (voice)
  • The Music Man - Professor Harold Hill
  • Election - Jim McAllister
  • The Cable Guy - Steve Kovacs
  • Godzilla - Dr. Niko Tatopoluos
  • The Freshman - Clark Kellogg
  • Family Business - Adam McMullen
  • Project X - Jimmy Garrett
  • War Games - David Lightman
  • Ladyhayke - Phillippe Gaston


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Lion King: Film Notes.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Matthew Broderick - Biography. Internet Movie Database. Amazon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specifiedBarrett, Sharon (1986-06-13). . Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on February 6, 2010.
  4. Schweizer, Peter and Rochelle Schweizer. Disney: The Mouse Betrayed: Greed, corruption, and children at risk, Regnery, Washington, D.C., 1998. Chapter 11 "The Lyin' King", pp. 167–168.
  5. Jones, Kenneth (February 20, 2009).Broadway's Philanthropist, Starring Broderick, Goes On Sale". Playbill.
  6. Jones, Kenneth."Kathleen Marshall To Make Matthew Broderick Tap-Happy in Broadway's 'Nice Work' Musical in 2012", June 16, 2011
  7. Fleeman, Mike. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick Reveal Twins' Names – Babies, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker. People.

External links

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