Matthew Broderick was born on 21 March 1962 in New York City, the son of celebrated parents. His father was James Broderick an actor (he starred as Denny Doyle in The taking of Pelham 1-2-3 amongst other films and many TV performances), and his mother Patricia, was a playwright.
Matthew grew up in the bohemian atmosphere of New York's Greenwich Village, and began appearing in theatre workshops at the age of 17, coached by his father, and on graduating high school, he became an actor full time.
He received glowing reviews as David ( a young gay boy, adopted by a gay couple) in the early 1980's off-Broadway production of Torch Song Trilogy , Harvey Fierstein's semi-autobiographical play. Later, he was to play Alan, one of the couple, on film. This brought him to the attention of Neil Simon who cast him as Eugene Jerome in Brighton Beach Memoirs on Broadway, a role for which he won a Tony award in 1983 at the age of 21.
Impressed with his stage work, Simon cast Matthew in the film Max Dugan Returns in 1983, and he also had a huge hit in the same year, starring as a teenage hacker in the movie WarGames with Ally Sheedy.
In 1984, he played on Broadway in Neil Simon's play Biloxi Blues, another role that he would later play on film.
His next major role was Phillipe Gaston "The Mouse" in 1985's dark fantasy, Ladyhawke, which also starred Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer and Leo McKern. Although not a huge success, the film later gained cult status amongst fantasy fans, and Broderick gave an excellent performance as an engaging thief, inadvertently caught up in the romance of two cursed lovers, providing the lightness to leaven Hauer's brooding lead.
It was in Ferris Bueller's Day Off in 1986, however, playing a fast talking, adventurous teenager, that he achieved real, popular appeal, and major box-office success.
For the next two years, he worked more in less commercial, more artistic movies, including the screen adaptations of Biloxi Blues and Torch Song Trilogy (both in 1988) He was outstanding in both roles, but the films lacked mainstream appeal -- they are well worth watching however.
Then, while holidaying in Northern Ireland at the end of 1988, Broderick was involved in a head-on collision in his car. He spent two months in hospital, and both occupants of the other vehicle were killed.
In 1989, Broderick starred opposite Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman as Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the first all black civil war company in the superb drama Glory .
A variety of roles followed this, including The Freshman , a 1990 gangster comedy, the quirky Road to Wellville and providing the voice for the adult Simba in the Disney animated blockbuster The Lion King , and its sequel, Simba's Pride.
In 1994, Broderick returned to Broadway, and won his second Tony award in the hugely successful stage revival of the musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.
In 1995, he tried to shed his "engaging, boyish image" with Addicted to Love, a movie in which Meg Ryan also tried to shake off the "cute" tag -- neither was wholly successful. A pity, as his youthful appearance has tended to bar him from many meaty, serious roles, which are well within his capability, confining him to lighter, comedic roles.
In 1996, Broderick made his debut as a director with Infinity, a romantic drama, written by his mother Patricia, and based on the life of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Richard Feynman. And the following year, he married Sarah Jessica Parker, his longstanding girlfriend and the star of Sex and the City .
Recently, Broderick has starred in several mainstream films including the disastrous Godzilla the appalling The Cable Guy , and the less than successful Inspector Gadget as well as giving fine performances as a teacher in the satire Election and the family drama You Can Count On Me .
This year, Matthew returned to Broadway, receiving rave reviews in the stage version of Mel Brooks' film The Producers.