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Matt LeBlanc Young: 9 Rare Photos of the ‘Friends’ Star Through the Years

One thing is for sure, whether at the beginning of his career or now, he's always been dreamy!


Best known for his hilarious, memorable and lovable portrayal of Joey Tribainni on Friends, Matt LeBlanc has definitely stolen hearts during his time in Hollywood. Proof of that is the fact that he has eight Emmy nominations and 33 well-known credits to his name, ranging from the time he was young Matt LeBlanc to today. So keep reading to learn all there is to know about the actor who “doesn’t share food.” 

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Matt LeBlanc Young

LeBlanc was born in New Massachusetts on July 25, 1967. He grew up alongside actor and comedian Louis C.K., the two of them graduaing high school at the same time. 

After high school, the future actor attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, but dropped out during his second semester at age 17 to pursue modeling. That didn’t work out either, though, because he was told by multiple people that he didn’t have the requisite height. 

Matt LeBlanc young in 1996
Matt LeBlanc in 1996 Frank Trapper / Contributor/Getty

From there, LeBlanc had a few small roles, like a one-season stint on TV 101 (1988-1989), seven episodes on Vinnie and Bobby (1992) and three episodes on Married…with Children (1991). 

During this time, he could also be seen in music videos for Jon Bon Jovi’s “Miracle” (1990), Alanis Morissette’s “Walk Away” (1991) and a Heinz Ketchup commercial (1992). 

Matt LeBlanc in 1999
Matt LeBlanc in 1999 Sam Levi / Contributor/Getty

Despite all this success, though, LeBlanc only had eleven dollars to his name when he booked Friends in 1994. 

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Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribianni

Similar to his co-stars, LeBlanc was really unknown when he was cast as actor, food lover and playboy Joesph “Joey” Tribianni. He almost didn’t get the part, though, because he showed up to his audition with a huge cut on his forehead. 

Matt LeBlanc young and Matthew Perry ‘Friends’
Matt Leblanc and Matthew Perry in Friends (1996)

“I was practicing lines with an actor friend of mine, and he said, ‘This show [Friends] is all about a group of friends, so we should go out tonight and get drunk as if we were friends,'” Leblanc recalled in the 2021 Friends reunion. “So we went out, and I fell down and skinned my nose really badly. I went to the audition with a huge scab on my face.” It turns out it didn’t matter, though, because the producers decided he was the perfect choice for Joey. 

LeBlanc went on to star as Joey Tribianni for 10 seasons and coined the popular phrases “How you doin’?” and “Joey doesn’t share food!” 

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The Friends cast in 1998
The Friends cast in 1998 Getty Images / Handout/Getty

He also had a huge part in Joey’s character development and who his character was and became over the show’s run. “There was a conversation I had early on when the show was just starting to take shape, and I remember standing back and being as objective as I could about Joey and thinking, ‘This thing could go a long time.’ Does my character fit if it goes a long time? Because in the beginning, I was hitting on the girls all the time.” LeBlanc recalled in 2021. 

“Strictly out of self-preservation, I went to Marta and David and said, ‘Can I ask you guys something? I have an idea.’ They said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I said, ‘What if Joey hits on every girl in New York, but these three [Monica, Rachel and Phoebe]? What if I’m like a big brother to these three?’ Of course, I didn’t say, ‘Because I’m afraid that you’re going to run out of stories for me. I’m going to have to move out from across the hall.’ We went in that direction, and then my guy fit in more. He became this sort of big brother to the group.” 

Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow in ‘Friends’ (2004)
Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow in Friends (2004)

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LeBlanc was nominated for three Emmys for his time on this show, in 2002, 2003, and 2004, respectively, in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. 

LeBlanc’s Life After Friends 

Post Friends, LeBlanc starred in the spin-off series Joey for two seasons from 2004 to 2006. He was the only character to get a spin-off.  He also could be seen in five episodes of Web Therapy and the movie Lovestruck, both in 2013. 

With John Pankow in ‘Episodes’ (2011)
Matt LeBlanc and John Pankow in Episodes (2011)

LeBlanc’s next big role came in 2011 when he played a version of himself in the show Episodes, which earned him four more Emmy nominations as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.   

Episodes ended in 2017, but LeBlanc’s career kept on going as he booked his next sitcom, Man with a Plan, in 2016. It ran for four seasons and a total of 69 episodes. 

Man with a Plan cast (2016)
Man with a Plan cast (2016)

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Matt LeBlanc’s personal life 

On the personal front, Matt LeBlanc was married to Melissa McKnight from 2003 to 2006, the two of them sharing one child together. He was also with Andrea Anders from 2006 to 2014. 

The actor with Andrea Anders in 2011
Matt LeBlanc and Andrea Anders in 2011 ROBYN BECK / Staff/Getty

LeBlanc is currently 56 years old and resides in Los Angeles, California. 

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