Born in 1982 and raised on the East Coast, child actress Heather Matarazzo took the role of Helen Keller in a local production of The Miracle Worker, and began taking roles in television with appearances in Nickelodeon's The Adventures of Pete and Pete, before her breakthrough role in the 1995 indie hit Welcome to the Dollhouse. Appearing in numerous critically praised independent films, and often displaying an impressive range of abilities and characterizations, Matarazzo seems at her best while taking on roles of bravely defiant but awkward characters who often find themselves in adverse situations.
Though Matarazzo stuck to the small screen for the sci-fi series Now and Again (1999), her film roles began to become more regular and substantial over the years, taking roles in mainstream films and playing the keeper of a key piece of evidence in the final episode of the Scream trilogy. Having cemented herself in the movie scene, Matarazzo would appear in everything from broad comedies like The Princess Diaries and Sorority Boys to acclaimed favorites like Saved! and Magnus!. Matarazzo would also appear on shows like The L Word and Exes & Ohs.