Some actors are best known for a particular part they played. This is the situation that Matt LeBlanc found himself in: he became renowned owing to his role as Joey Tribbiani in the tv series Friends, and he won our hearts with his charming personality, hilarious antics, and the now-iconic statement “How you doin’?” However, while he was not in front of the cameras, the actor struggled through some tough periods. From not having any money to his daughter being diagnosed with an illness when she was 8 months old.
Matt LeBlanc’s story gives us hope that we can get through life’s hard times, step up when things are hard, and deal with problems until the sun comes out again.
He never showed any interest in performing when he was a kid.
When he was a kid, Matt LeBlanc never ever fantasized about being an actor, in contrast to the majority of famous people who already know they want to work in the industry. He loved motorcycles and also learned how to be a carpenter.
He left college in the middle of his second semester and planned to try his luck as a model in New York, but he was advised that his height was not a suitable fit for that career. However, this did not discourage him, and he was successful in signing a contract with an agent when he was attending an audition. After being in commercials for well-known brands like Levi’s, Coca-Cola, Heinz, and Doritos, he moved on to TV.
Matt got to work in various TV shows including TV 101. In addition, he appeared in several episodes of Married… with Children. But none of these jobs gave him the steady income he needed or the big break he was looking for. Before Friends became successful, the actor had just $11 left in his bank account and was always doing anything he could to get by. For instance, he would fix his teeth himself since he couldn’t afford to go to the dentist.
The creators of the program admitted to Friends: The Reunion that they had to decide between Matt LeBlanc and Louis Mandylor. In the end, the latter did show up in the show, but in a different role. He was Joey’s “twin brother.” Friends fans will always remember LeBlanc’s character for his charm, his lack of common sense, his big, kind heart, and his “ability” to speak French.
Friends ended on May 6, 2004. A year earlier, Matt married the American actress Melissa McKnight, and that same year, he became a dad. But, unfortunately, things did not proceed as the happy couple had imagined they would, as their daughter began to suffer from seizures at the age of 8 months old.
After the show ended, Matt kept playing his character, Joey, in a new show with the same name. After the series was eventually canceled, he made the decision to leave the world of television in order to spend more time with his daughter Marina. She was found to have cortical dysplasia, a brain condition that interferes with the normal functioning of the neurological system.
When Matt’s daughter was crawling, she would constantly fall on her left side, and this is when Matt discovered that his daughter had a problem. At the time of her diagnosis, they were given the warning that the condition might potentially impair her vocal cords, making it hard for her to communicate verbally.
Matt and Melissa McKnight got divorced in October 2006. He absolutely avoided the media from that year till 2011. “There was a lot going on in my personal life, so I didn’t feel like being funny. We used to get along well, so I didn’t know if my marriage was destined to fail. Perhaps it was due to the condition of my daughter. Perhaps I became too consumed with my job and lost myself,” he said in an interview.
“I barely ever left the home for years. I was burned out. I wanted to have no plans and not be anywhere. And I was in a position to do that. The majority of performers phone their agents to see what they have in store for them. I contacted him and requested that he block my number for a while. It was a depressing period.” He said to The Mirror, “I almost had a nervous breakdown.”
LeBlanc moved to a ranch in California with his kid after divorcing his wife and leaving television, even though they had shared custody. “My daughter has been diagnosed with a brain problem. We managed to go through a really dark time because, as they say, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’” he said in an interview with The Mirror.
“I recall the day she was born. I had never experienced love as I did when I first laid eyes on her. I found it hard to believe. In that time, I realized that even if she crashed my Ferrari, nothing could stop me from loving her.”
After overcoming her sickness, Marina now takes pleasure in watching Friends with her father. When the series is on while they are switching channels, the actor said that they stop what they are doing to watch the episode. “She always asks me things like, ‘Was that real? Did you really eat that? You ate it off the ground, right? That is disgusting! Dad, you’re hilarious.’”
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