Award-winning American film and stage actor Matthew Broderick (b. New York City, March 21, 1962) is best known for his roles as the title character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Nick in Godzilla and David Lightman in WarGames. He also played Leo Bloom in the Broadway and film productions of The Producers, and Colonel Robert Shaw in the Civil War drama Glory.
Broderick’s parents were actor James Broderick (Irish Catholic) and playwright, actress, and painter Patricia Broderick (Polish Jewish). He attended a progressive K–8 school in Manhattan and the Walden School, and made his stage debut at age seventeen acting with his father in an HB Studio workshop production of Horton Foote’s On Valentine’s Day. A lead role followed, in the off-Broadway production of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy (1981); theater critic Mel Gussow of The New York Times gave him a glowing review and helped him to snag the role of Eugene Morris Jerome in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), for which Broderick won a Tony Award, and Biloxi Blues (1985).
Matthew Broderick’s film debut was Max Dugan Returns (1983); his first big hit was WarGames, filmed the same year. He made three more films before Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), the vehicle that shot him to fame and remains a comedy classic today. In 1988 he reprised Biloxi Blues on film, and the next year in Glory assumed the role of the Colonel – who is said to be a distant relative of Broderick’s. Later films have included Project X (1987) with Helen Hunt (whom he dated for a time), The Night We Never Met (1993), The Road to Wellville (1994), The Cable Guy (1996) with Jim Carrey, Infinity (1996) with screenplay by his mother Patricia Broderick, Addicted to Love (1997), Godzilla (1998), and Inspector Gadget (1999). He also did voice parts for animated films The Lion King and two sequels (as Simba 1994, 1998, 2004), Arabian Knight (as Tack the Cobbler 1995), and Bee Movie (as Adam 2007).
Broderick married actress Sarah Jessica Parker in a civil ceremony performed by his sister, an Episcopal minister, in May 1997. The couple has one child, James Wilke Broderick, born on October 28, 2002. They live in Manhattan and have a holiday retreat in County Donegal, Ireland, where Broderick spent his childhood summers.
Although he continues to make feature films, Matthew Broderick returns to the Broadway stage occasionally. He won a Tony Award® for his performance in the 1995 revival of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, and led the bill with Nathan Lane in Mel Brooks’s musical comedy The Producers in 2001. He was again nominated for the Tony Award®, but lost out to his friend and co-star Nathan Lane. The friends reunited for a revival of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple in 2005.