Matt Dillon (Actor/Director) - The Outsiders
Matt Dillon 1
Updated: 11/03/21

Name: Matt Dillon

Birth Name: Matthew Raymond Dillon

Born: February 18, 1964 in New Rochelle, New York, USA

Claim To Fame: Matt Dillon is an American actor and film director best known for his roles in The Outsiders (1983), The Flamingo Kid (1984), and Drugstore Cowboy (1989).

Family Life: Born to Mary Ellen and Paul Dillon. Brother of fellow actors Kevin Dillon and Paul Dillon.

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Info: He is of mostly Irish descent, with some Scottish and German ancestry.

He is the second child of six. His brothers and sisters are: Paul (born 1962), Kevin (born 1965), Katy (born 1966), Timothy (born 1969) and Brian (born 1972).

His grandmother, Bea Dillon, is the sister of two famous artists: Alex Raymond and Jim Raymond. Alex Raymond was the creator of the cartoon strip, Flash Gordon; and also Jungle Jim and Rip Kirby. Jim Raymond drew Blondie for Chic Young for about 40 years.

"Matt Dillon" is also the fictional name of the hero of Gunsmoke (1955), television's longest-running ever western series (20 years from 1955 to 1975). The hero, a U.S. Marshal for Dodge City, was played by James Arness.

Dillon is an aficionado and collector of Latin music, with a large collection of vinyl, including a notable library of Cuban 78s.

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Trivia: In 1978, Jane Bernstein and a friend were helping director Jonathan Kaplan cast the violent teen drama Over the Edge (1979) and found Dillon cutting class at Hommocks Middle School in Larchmont. Dillon was cast and made his feature film debut which established him as a teen idol.

Another of Dillon's early roles was in the Jean Shepherd PBS special The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters.

Won the role of Michael Richard "Dicky" Reynolds as an adolescent in The Blue Lagoon (1980) after hundreds of boys were auditioned but turned the role down because of the nudity.

Played a lead role in three of author S.E. Hinton's books made into movies consecutively: Tex (1982), The Outsiders (1983) and Rumble Fish (1983).

In 1985, He made his Broadway debut with the play The Boys of Winter.

In 1985, Dillon was namechecked in the lyrics of the Roger Daltrey song 'After The Fire' (written by Pete Townshend).

In 1989, Dillon won critical acclaim for his performance as a drug addict in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy.

In a 1991 article, famed movie critic Roger Ebert referred to him as the best actor within his age group, along with Sean Penn.

Dillon contributed his voice as the narrator, Sal Paradise, in an audiobook version of Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road. and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

Dillon appeared in several music videos during his career. He made a cameo appearance as a detective in Madonna's Bad Girl music video which also stars Christopher Walken.

Dillon appeared in 1987 in the music video for "Fairytale of New York" by the Irish folk-punk band The Pogues, playing a cop who escorts lead singer Shane MacGowan into the "drunk tank".

In 2002, he made his directing debut with the film City of Ghosts, starring himself, James Caan and Gérard Depardieu.

In 2004, he he won an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Crash, a film co-written and directed by Paul Haggis.

In 2006, he narrated Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos.

On September 29, 2006, Dillon was honored with the Premio Donostia prize in the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

In 2007, the band Dinosaur Jr. hired Dillon to direct the video for their single "Been There All The Time" from the album Beyond.

In 2015, he starred in the first season of the FOX television series Wayward Pines, for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award.

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Where Are They Now: Dillon has been consistently working since the '80s. Currently, he has four projects in the works. Two of which are in pre-production: the film An Ocean Apart and the TV Series High Desert. And 2 in post-production: the comedy American Dreamer and and the romantic comedy Asteroid City.


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