Some actors are best known for a single role. That was the case with Matt LeBlanc, who rose to fame as Joey Tribbiani in Friends and captivated us with his seductive personality, humor, and the famous line, “How you doin’?”
Yet, away from the spotlight of the cameras, the actor faced some difficulties, from not having any money to his daughter being diagnosed with an illness when she was eight months old.
Matt LeBlanc’s narrative motivates us to overcome life’s terrible moments, to rise in challenging circumstances, and to persevere till the sun shines again.
He had little interest in acting as a child.
Unlike many superstars who know they want to be actors, young Matt LeBlanc didn’t even consider it. His passion was motorcycles, and he also studied carpentry.
He dropped out of college in his second semester and went to New York to try his luck as a model but was warned that his height was not a suitable fit for that job. He was not discouraged, though, and he was able to sign with an agency at an audition. After appearing in ads for well-known brands such as Levi’s, Coca-Cola, Heinz, and Doritos, he transitioned to television.
Matt was able to work on TV shows such as TV 101. He also appeared in Married… with Children. But none of these jobs provided him with the financial stability he required, let alone the rise to fame he desired. Before Friends, the actor had just $11 left and frequently scraped by, such as mending his teeth because he couldn’t afford a dentist.
The Friends: The Reunion producers were torn between Matt LeBlanc and Louis Mandylor when casting him. In the end, the latter did appear in the series, albeit in a different role. Joey referred to him as his “twin brother.” Friends’ character, played by Matt LeBlanc, will be known for his charisma, lack of common sense, large and kind heart, and “talent” to speak French.
On May 6, 2004, Friends came to an end. Matt had married Melissa McKnight, an American actress, a year before, and they had a child the following year. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned for the happy couple, as their daughter began to have seizures at the age of 8 months.
Matt continued to play his character in the spin-off Joey after the comedy ended. As the show was canceled, he chose to leave television to spend more time with his daughter Marina. Cortical dysplasia, a brain condition that affects neurological functions, was diagnosed in her.
Matt knew his daughter had an issue when she always fell on her left side when crawling. When she was diagnosed, they were informed that the condition could impair her vocal cords, rendering her unable to speak.
Matt divorced Melissa McKnight in October 2006. From that year until 2011, he avoided all contact with the media. “I didn’t feel like being funny because I was dealing with a lot in my personal life…. I’m not sure if my marriage was doomed to fail; we used to have a terrific relationship. Perhaps it was the illness of my daughter. “Maybe I lost myself because I was too focused on my work,” he admitted in an interview.
“I rarely ever left the house for years and years.” I was exhausted. I didn’t want to make any plans or go anywhere. I was in a position to do so. Most performers contact their agencies to see what they have available for them. I got mine and instructed him to forget about my phone number for a few years. It was a dark period. “I nearly had a nervous breakdown,” he admitted to The Mirror.
After divorcing his wife and leaving television, LeBlanc moved to a ranch in California with his daughter, even though they share joint custody. “My daughter has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder.” “It was a pretty dark era, but we got through it – don’t they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” he explained to The Mirror.
“I recall the day she was born. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her, and I had never felt that way. I couldn’t believe it. Nothing could stop me from loving her at that moment, even if she destroyed my Ferrari.”
Marina recovered from her sickness and now enjoys watching Friends with her father. When they’re flipping through the channels, and the series comes on, they leave it to watch the episode, according to the actor. “She is fond of asking me things like, ‘Was that real?’” Did you consume that? Did you eat it off the ground? That’s revolting! Dad, you’re hilarious!”
What are your thoughts on this personal aspect of the actor’s life?