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Matthew Broderick was born on March 21, 1962 in Manhattan, New York. He is a two-time Tony Award-winning actor, known for his beloved roles as Leo Bloom in The Producers (both on Broadway and in the 2005 film adaptation), as the titular character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and as the voice of adult Simba in Disney’s animated classic The Lion King.
Broderick attended City and Country School and later the Walden School, both in Manhattan, and trained as an actor at HB Studio. He made his Off-Broadway debut at the Actors’ Playhouse in January 1982, starring opposite Harvey Fierstein in Torch Song Trilogy and earning his first Drama Desk Award nomination. He followed this with his Broadway debut as Eugene Morris Jerome in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983-86) and Biloxi Blues (1985-86), winning his first Tony Award for the former in the category of Best Featured Actor in a Play, along with a Theatre World Award and a second Drama Desk nomination.
What would follow is a hugely celebrated career on the New York stage, leading to an induction into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2017. He won his second Tony Award and first Drama Desk Award, this time for Best Actor in a Musical, for originating the central role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In 2001, he originated the role of Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks’ smash hit musical comedy The Producers (opposite Nathan Lane), earning another Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk nomination. His other Broadway credits include Night Must Fall (1999), Taller Than a Dwarf (2000), The Odd Couple (2005-6), The Philanthropist (2009), Nice Work If You Can Get It (2012-13), for which he earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album in 2013, It’s Only a Play (2014-15), and Sylvia (2015-16). He made his West End debut opposite Elizabeth McGovern in The Starry Messenger in May 2019.
Broderick’s Off-Broadway résumé includes Horton Foote’s The Widow Claire (1986-87), Signature Theatre’s The Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was a Man (1998), Roundabout Theatre Company’s The Foreigner (2004-5), The Starry Messenger (2009) and an Obie Award-winning performance in Evening at the Talk House (2017), both for The New Group, and the Irish Repertory Theatre productions of Shining City (2016) and The Seafarer (2018).
On screen, Broderick became a household name following his Golden Globe-nominated turn in the titular role of 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Other notable film credits over the course of his career include WarGames (1983), Torch Song Trilogy (1988), Glory (1989), The Freshman (1990), The Cable Guy (1996), Infinity (1996), Godzilla (1998), Election (1999), Inspector Gadget (1999), You Can Count on Me (2000), The Stepford Wives (2004), The Producers (2005), Tower Heist (2011), and Manchester by the Sea (2016).
Select television roles include Michael Burr on the Netflix comedy series Daybreak, Peter on The Conners, Cooter Burger on 30 Rock, and John on A Life in the Theatre, a performance that earned him a 1994 Emmy nomination. He also starred as the Narrator in Fox’s 2017 televised musical A Christmas Story Live!
In animation, Broderick famously voiced the role of adult Simba in Disney’s 1994 classic The Lion King, reprising the role in two animated sequels. Other notable voice work includes Good Boy! (2003), Bee Movie (2007), The Tale of Despereaux (2008), and Wonder Park (2019).