Propelled to stardom in 1994 as a result of his role on the long-running, hit television series Friends, handsome Matt LeBlanc has been singled out for his finely tuned deadpan skills on the popular television mainstay, and it may come as no surprise that the actor who was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people alive by People magazine broke into show business as a model.
Born July 25, 1967, in Newton, MA, LeBlanc dreamed of a career as a professional racer after receiving a motorbike at the age of eight. His mother's vocal objections voiced concern over the youngster's safety on the track, and the aspiring king-of-the-course and momma's boy soon began training to become a professional carpenter. Later graduating from high school and finding money in short supply, LeBlanc took his friends' suggestion of becoming a model to heart and, after selling his truck to pay the way, he headed for New York and began appearing in print and later, commercials. A role in a Heinz ketchup commercial which won the prestigious Gold Lion Award at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival brought the aspiring star more recognition, and it wasn't long before he began proper thespian training.
Scoring a role on the television series TV 101 found the fresh-faced actor relocating to sunny Los Angeles, and although the show was quickly canceled, LeBlanc continued with appearances in television's Married With Children and in such short-lived series as Top of the Heap and Vinny and Bobby in the early '90s. Following his breakthrough in Friends in 1994, Leblanc gained a reputation as somewhat of a party guy with a penchant for womanizing, though he would later deflect the image as he settled down in his marriage to Meliss McKnight. LeBlanc attempted to solidify a cinematic career with roles in such features as Ed (1996), Lost in Space (1998), and Charlie's Angels (2000), but his greater success would remain on the small screen. After Friends wrapped in 2004, Leblanc appeared on a spin-off called Joey for two seasons, and later joined the cast of the comedy series Episodes.