Matthew Modine
Birth Date:
March 22, 1959
Birth Place:
Loma Linda, California, USA
6' 4" (1.93 m)
Famous for:
His role as Private Joker in 'Full Metal Jacket' (1987)
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Full Metal Jacket


Making his feature film acting debut in director John Sayles' first film for a major Hollywood studio, "Baby, It's You" (1983; starring Rosanna Arquette and Vincent Spano), Golden Globe-winning actor Matthew Modine starred in the films "Streamers" (1983) and "Birdy" (1984) before gaining recognition for his role as the protagonist-narrator Private/Sergeant James T. "Joker" Davis in Stanley Kubrick's Academy Award-nominated film "Full Metal Jacket" (1987).

Since then, he has played lead roles in such films as "Married to the Mob" (1988), "Short Cuts" (1993), "And the Band Played On" (1993; TV), "Cutthroat Island" (1995), "What the Deaf Man Heard" (1997; TV), "Flowers for Algernon" (2000; TV), "Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story" (2001; TV) and "Transporter 2 " (2005). He could also be seen as Sullivan Groff (2007) in the Showtime's dark comedy television series "Weeds."

On the other side of the camera, Modine has directed the short films "When I Was a Boy" (1993), "Smoking" (1994), "Ece Pirate" (1997) and "I Think I Thought" (2008), as well as the independent crime/drama/thriller If... Dog... Rabbit... (1999).

Next, Modine will star in the upcoming films "The Garden of Eden," "The Neighbor," and "Little Fish, Strange Pond."

The 6' 4" actor-director has been married to Caridad Rivera since 1981 and has two kids with her.

Matthew Avery

Childhood and Family:

Born in Loma Linda, California, on March 22, 1959, Matthew Avery Modine grew up in Utah. The youngest of seven children to Mark Alexander Modine (died on July 3, 1995 of cancer) and Dolores Modine, Matthew was raised in a Mormon family. He later said in 2006 that he was only baptized a Mormon, but the family wasn't very orthodox or “tight-knit” and only practiced seriously during his very early years.

Matthew has four older brothers, Mark, Maury, Michael, and Russell, and two older sisters, Elizabeth and Marcia. Since their father worked as a drive-in theater operator, all the children also worked at the drive-in. He is nephew of former Broadway star Nola Modine Fairbanks (born Nola Jo Modine on December 10, 1924).

After dropping out of Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, Matthew moved to New York at age 18 to study acting with Stella Adler.

On October 31, 1981, Matthew married his present wife, Caridad Rivera, whom he met while working as a chef at Au Natural in Manhattan. They have two children, son Bowman Modine (born on November 8, 1985) and daughter Ruby Modine (born on July 31, 1990).

Matthew and his family now reside at Arbolay, a 100-acre farm in Upstate Millbrook, New York. He loves the New York Knicks and painting and is good friends with actor Eric Stoltz.

Matthew, who does not own a TV, is learning to fly-fish and his teacher is Liam Neeson. Matthew is also a horticulturist and a carpenter.

Short Cuts


Matthew Modine grew up watching movies and after seeing a documentary about director Carol Reed's film adaptation of Lionel Bart's British musical “Oliver!” (1968), Modine decided to become an actor.

After high school, he dropped out of college and moved to New York in 1979. He began acting lessons with Stella Adler and supported himself by doing odd jobs, including working as a chef in Manhattan where he met his future wife. After getting married in 1981, Modine began landing roles in film and on T.V.

The aspiring actor made his TV debut in 1982 with "Amy and the Angel," an "ABC Afterschool Special" starring Helen Slater, Albert Macklin, and James Earl Jones. The following year, he made his feature film acting debut in director John Sayles' first film for a major Hollywood studio, "Baby, It's You" (1983), starring Rosanna Arquette and Vincent Spano.

That same year, in 1983, Modine won a Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival for his solid portrayal of Billy in Robert Altman's critically acclaimed big screen version of David Rabe's play, "Streamers."

Modine subsequently co-starred with Nicolas Cage, playing two friends at school who serve in Vietnam together, in Alan Parker's "Birdy" (1984). Based on the novel of the same name by William Wharton, the film received the Grand Prize of the Jury at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.

Modine portrayed Nobel-prize winning playwright Eugene O'Neill in the PBS special "Journey Into Genius" (1988) before making his professional stage debut in "Breaking Up" (1990). Three years later, he co-wrote and co-directed (with Todd Field) the 13-minute independent short film "Smoking" (1993), which premiered at the Hamptons Film Festival.

Also in 1993, Modine opened the New Mercury Theater on Rodeo Drive and Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California, and played Dr. Ralph Wyman, a neurosurgeon and Julianne Moore's husband, in Robert Altman's drama film "Short Cuts," which is inspired by nine short stories and one poem by the late Raymond Carver. Alongside the film's cast members that include Andie MacDowell, Bruce Davison, and Jack Lemmon, Modine won a Best Ensemble Cast Award at the Golden Globes and Venice Film Festival.

Still in 1993, Modine starred in writer/director Alan Rudolph's "Equinox." Playing twin brothers Henry Petosa and Freddy Ace who were separated as babies, Modine received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead.

He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special and a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for his outstanding performance as Dr. Don Francis, an epidemiologist who worked on the Ebola outbreak in Africa in the late 1970s. He played the character in the acclaimed HBO docudrama "And the Band Played On" (1993), which is based on the best-selling 1987 non-fiction book "And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic" by Randy Shilts.

The following year, Modine received the role of "Jacob" (1994) in the TNT biblical miniseries of the same name based on the book by Francesco Maria Nappi, and became a member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival. In the mid 1990s, he appeared opposite Geena Davis in Renny Harlin's ill-fated pirate-themed action film "Cutthroat Island." He also directed and wrote a short film about a young boy who is kidnapped and taken on board a pirate ship, "Ece Pirate," starring Christopher Masterson.

Modine spent the rest of the 1990s headlining "What the Deaf Man Heard," a 1997 Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie that aired on CBS television. Portraying Sammy Ayers, who pretends to be deaf and mute as a self-protective device, Modine was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV.

After making his feature directorial debut with the independent crime/drama/thriller "If... Dog... Rabbit..." (1999), which he also starred as an ex-con, Modine starred in the CBS production of Daniel Keyes' science fiction short story and subsequent novel, "Flowers for Algernon" (2000). Modine's portrayal of Charlie Gordon earned him a Golden Satellite Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television.

Modine next portrayed a wealthy businessman in the CBS miniseries based on the English fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk" (2001; with Vanessa Redgrave, Mia Sara, Daryl Hannah, and Jon Voight). He also co-starred with Kirstin Davis in the TNT baseball movie based on Dan Gutman's book, "The Winning Season" (2004), portraying baseball legend Honus Wagner.

Returning to stage, Modine performed in Arthur Miller's play "Finishing The Picture" (November 2004) at Chicago's Goodman Theater alongside cast members Stacy Keach, Linda Lavin, Scott Glenn, Frances Fisher, Harris Yulin, Stephen Lang, and Heather Prete. He also appeared as Skip L. Cheeseboro in the "Resurrection Blues" play by Arthur Miller at The Old Vic, in London, England, in March 2006.

Modine was cast alongside Jason Statham in Luc Besson-scripted/produced action film "Transporter 2" (2005) and in 2007, he joined the cast of Showtime's dark comedy television series "Weeds," as Sullivan Groff, the crooked developer of Majestic who has romantic intentions toward Celia (played by Elizabeth Perkins) and Nancy (played by Mary-Louise Parker).

Most recently, in 2008, Modine wrote, directed and starred in the 7-minute short comedy film "I Think I Thought." He has completed John Irvin's film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel, "The Garden of Eden," in which he portrays the father of writer David Bourne (played by Jack Huston) and will soon wrap up the upcoming films "The Neighbor," a romantic comedy by Eddie O'Flaherty in which he will star as a businessman whose ex-wife is going to marry his best friend, and "Little Fish, Strange Pond," a crime/comedy by Gregory Dark in which he will star opposite Adam Baldwin.


  • Golden Globe: Best Ensemble Cast, "Short Cuts," 1994

  • Venice Film Festival: Best Ensemble Cast, "Short Cuts," 1993

  • Venice Film Festival: Best Actor, "Streamers," 1983

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