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Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey (/məˈkɒnəheɪ/; Born November 4, 1969) is an American actor and producer. He first gained notice for his supporting performance in the coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993), which is considered by many to be the actor's breakout role.[1][2][3] After a number of supporting roles in films including Angels in the Outfield and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), McConaughey's breakthrough performance as a leading man came in the legal drama A Time to Kill (1996). He followed this with leading performances in the science fiction film Contact (1997) and the historical drama Amistad (1997), the comedy-drama The Newton Boys (1998), the satire EDtv (1999), the war drama U-571 (2000) and the psychological thriller Frailty

In the 2000s, McConaughey became best known for starring in romantic comedies,[4] including The Wedding Planner (2001), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), Failure to Launch (2006), Fool's Gold (2008), and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009), establishing McConaughey as a sex symbol. After a two-year hiatus from film acting, McConaughey began to appear in more dramatic roles beginning with the legal drama The Lincoln Lawyer (2011). He was acclaimed for his supporting performances in Bernie (2011) and Magic Mike (2012) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and for his leading roles in Killer Joe (2011) and Mud

In 2013, McConaughey's portrayal of Ron Woodroof, a cowboy diagnosed with AIDS, in the biographical film Dallas Buyers Club earned him widespread praise and numerous accolades, including the Academy Award, Critics' Choice Movie Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award, all for Best Actor, among other awards and nominations. In 2014, he starred as Rust Cohle in the first season of HBO's crime drama anthology series True Detective, for which he won the Critics' Choice Television Award and TCA Award, and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. His film roles since have included Interstellar (2014), The Sea of Trees (2015), Free State of Jones and Gold (2016) and The Dark Tower (2017), earning varying degrees of commercial and critical success, as well as voiceover work in Kubo and the Two Strings and Sing (2016). McConaughey's shift towards more dramatic roles since the 2000s and renewed critical appreciation has been labeled "the McConaissance".[5]

BornNovember 4, 1969
ResidenceAustin, Texas, U.S.
Years active1991–present

Early life

Matthew David McConaughey was born on November 4, 1969, in Uvalde, Texas.[6] His mother, Mary Kathleen "Kay"/"KMac" (née McCabe), is a former kindergarten teacher and published author who taught McConaughey.[7] She was originally from Trenton, New Jersey.[8] His father, James Donald "Jim" McConaughey,[9] was born in Mississippi in 1929 and raised in Louisiana,[10] where he ran an oil pipe supply business; he played for the Kentucky Wildcats and the Houston Cougars college football teams.[11] In 1953, Jim was drafted in the 27th round by the NFL's Green Bay Packers. He was released before the season began and never played an official league game in the NFL.[12]

McConaughey's parents married each other three times, having divorced each other twice.[13] He has two older brothers, Michael and Patrick (who was adopted).[14] Michael, nicknamed "Rooster", is a self-made millionaire who stars in the CNBC docu-series West Texas Investors Club,[15] and as of 2018 stars in the A&E reality show Rooster & Butch with Wayne (Butch) Gilliam. McConaughey's ancestry includes English, German, Irish, Scottish, and Swedish, with some of his Irish roots being from the Cavan/Monaghan area.[6] He is a relative of Confederate brigadier general Dandridge McRae.[16] He had a Methodist upbringing.[17]

McConaughey moved to Longview, Texas, in 1980,[8] where he attended Longview High School. He lived in Australia for a year, in Warnervale, New South Wales, as a Rotary exchange student in 1988.[18] He attended the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin), where he joined Delta Tau Delta fraternity.[19] He began in the fall of 1989 and graduated in the spring of 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film.[20] His original plan had changed as he wanted to attend Southern Methodist University until one of his brothers told him that private school tuition would have been a burden on the family's finances. He also had planned to attend law school after graduation from college,[21] but he realized he was not interested in becoming a lawyer.[8]



McConaughey began working in television commercials, including one for the Austin, Texas daily newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, which is credited as his first speaking role. The line, "How else am I gonna keep up with my 'Horns?" – a reference to his beloved Texas Longhorns sports teams – gave the local community a look at the young actor before he was cast in Richard Linklater's film Dazed and Confused.[22] In 1992, he was cast as "Joe" in Trisha Yearwood's music video "Walkaway Joe".[23]

After some smaller roles in Angels in the Outfield, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Boys on the Side, and the television series Unsolved Mysteries, McConaughey's big break came as the lawyer Jake Brigance in the film A Time to Kill (1996), based on the John Grisham novel of the same name.[24] In the late 1990s, McConaughey was cast in leading roles in more movies, including Contact, Amistad, The Newton Boys, EDtv and U-571.[25]


McConaughey in 2008, participating in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon

McConaughey in 2008, participating in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon

By the early 2000s, he was frequently cast in romantic comedies, including The Wedding Planner and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, both of which were successful at the box office.[26] During this period, he appeared as a firefighter in the low-budget film Tiptoes, with Kate Beckinsale, in Two for the Money as a protégé to Al Pacino's gambling mogul, and in Frailty with Bill Paxton, who also directed.[25][27]

McConaughey starred in the 2005 feature film Sahara, along with Steve Zahn and Penélope Cruz.[28] Prior to the release of the film, he promoted it by sailing down the Amazon River and trekking to Mali.[29] That same year, McConaughey was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" for 2005.[30] In 2006, he co-starred with Sarah Jessica Parker in the romantic comedy Failure to Launch and as Marshall head football coach Jack Lengyel in We Are Marshall. McConaughey also provided voice work in an ad campaign for the Peace Corps in late 2006.[31] He replaced Owen Wilson in Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder after Wilson's suicide attempt.[32] On January 21, 2008, McConaughey became the new spokesman for the national radio campaign, "Beef: It's What's for Dinner", replacing Sam Elliott.[33][34]


McConaughey at the premiere of Dallas Buyers Club at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

McConaughey at the premiere of Dallas Buyers Club at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

McConaughey at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

McConaughey at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

McConaughey recognized that his "lifestyle, living on the beach, running with my shirt off, doing romantic comedies" had caused him to be typecast for certain roles, and he sought dramatic work with other themes.[35] He said:

In 2012, McConaughey starred alongside Channing Tatum in Magic Mike, based on Tatum's early life, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh.[36] He returned to his East Texas roots, working again with director Richard Linklater on Bernie, playing district attorney Danny Buck Davidson.[37] In June 2012, McConaughey was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[38]

In 2013, he portrayed Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club. The role of a rodeo rider who discovers he has AIDS and struggles to get treatment required him to lose nearly 50 lb (22 kg).[39] The film earned McConaughey many acting awards, including the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama, and the Academy Award for Best Actor.[40][41] His co-star Jared Leto won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, making Dallas Buyers Club the first film since Mystic River (2003) to win both awards.[42][43] He also featured in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street as Mark Hanna, an early boss of Jordan Belfort.[44]

During this time, McConaughey recorded a public service announcement in Austin, Texas for the LBJ Presidential Library.[45] In April 2014, Time magazine included McConaughey in its annual Time 100 as one of the "Most Influential People in the World".[46] In August 2014, the Lincoln Motor Company signed a multi-year collaboration with McConaughey for an ad campaign. The commercials, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), featured McConaughey as a storyteller driving around in Lincoln's MKC crossover.[47] Shortly after the commercials debuted in September 2014, they were parodied by Ellen DeGeneres, Conan O'Brien, Jim Carrey, South Park, and Saturday Night Live. Overall sales for Lincoln increased by 25 percent one month after the ads debuted.[48] The series of commercials starring McConaughey continued for several more years; during this period he also endorsed the MKZ sedan and MKX crossover.

In 2014, he shared star billing with Woody Harrelson in HBO's crime drama anthology series True Detective.[49] For his role as Rust Cohle, he won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series.[50] He was also nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, which he lost to Bryan Cranston and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film.[51][52][51] With his first Oscar win and the critical acclaim received for True Detective, "McConaughey seems to be tapping into something essential, remaining himself while stretching, getting older while staying the same age." Critic Rachel Syme dubbed his recognition and performances while taking on more complex, dramatic roles as "The McConaissance".[53]

McConaughey also played Cooper, a widowed father and astronaut, alongside Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Mackenzie Foy, and Casey Affleck in Christopher Nolan's science fiction film Interstellar (2014).[54] After finishing Gus Van Sant's 2015 film The Sea of Trees with Ken Watanabe,[55] in 2016, McConaughey starred in two films, Free State of Jones and Gold, and voiced leading characters in two animated films, Kubo and the Two Strings and Sing

In 2016, McConaughey was hired as creative director and celebrity spokesman for Wild Turkey's latest campaign, to bring in more women and more international customers.[56]

McConaughey starred as Walter Padick in the 2017 Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower, which received negative reactions from the critics.[57][58][59][60] In 2018, he starred in the true life gangster drama White Boy Rick,[61] which gained mixed reviews. In 2019, he headlined the erotic thriller Serenity, that also starred Diane Lane and Anne Hathaway. The film was panned by both critics and audiences after its release on January 25.[62] McConaughey next had the starring role in Harmony Korine's The Beach Bum, a comedy also featuring Zac Efron and Jonah Hill. The film was released on March 29, 2019.[63][64]

Personal life

McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves, in 2010

McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves, in 2010

McConaughey met Camila Alves in 2006. He and Alves became engaged on December 25, 2011, and were married in a private Catholic ceremony[65] on June 9, 2012, in Austin, Texas, where they reside.[66][67] Together, they have three children: a first son born in July 2008,[68] a daughter born in January 2010,[69] and a second son born in December 2012.[70]

McConaughey is a Christian and attends a non-denominational church.[71]

On November 17, 2014, McConaughey received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on 6931 Boulevard [72]

McConaughey started the just keep livin foundation, which is "dedicated to helping teenage kids lead active lives and make healthy choices to become great men and women".[73] On February 25, 2016, McConaughey received the Creative Conscience award from unite4:humanity for his work with his foundation.[74]

McConaughey rescued various pets stranded after the flooding of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina.[75]

In 2019, McConaughey officially became a professor of practice for the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the Moody College of Communication in his alma mater, UT-Austin; he had served as a visiting instructor since 2015.[76][77] The first two sessions were about the filming of the movie Free State of Jones.[78]

McConaughey is a lifelong Redskins fan, having begun following the team because of Chris Hanburger and his support of the Indians in Cowboy and Indian Western Movies. He even claims to have attended the last Redskins game at RFK Stadium and first game at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium as well as the first one at the renamed FedEx Field.[79] He is also a lifelong fan of the Texas Longhorns, the team of his alma mater.[80] In 2019, he became a minority owner of Austin FC, a team in Major League Soccer scheduled to begin play in 2021.[81]

To show solidarity and love to fire fighters, Matthew McConaughey organized volunteers and dinner was prepared to neighbourhoods affected by fire outbreak, and also meal was given to fire fighters.[180]

Filmography and awards


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Citation Linktime.com"Treat Yourself to Matthew McConaughey's Dazed and Confused Audition Tape". TIME. January 13, 2015.
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Citation Linkwww.avclub.com"Matthew McConaughey deconstructs his signature phrase in this exclusive clip". The AV Club. June 29, 2017.
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Citation Linkwww.theguardian.com"Matthew McConaughey: from himbo to highbrow". The Guardian. June 28, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
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Citation Linkwww.newyorker.com"The McConaissance". The New Yorker. January 16, 2014.
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Citation Linkwww.irishcentral.com"Matthew McConaughey hopes to send his kids to the Gaeltacht". IrishCentral. June 21, 2017.
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Citation Linkwww.youtube.com"Don't Call Matthew McConaughey 'Matt'". January 25, 2017. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
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Citation Linkwww.texasmonthly.comCohen, Jason (August 1996). "His Time to Kill". Texas Monthly. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
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Citation Linkwww.geni.com"James Donald McConaughey". geni.com.
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Citation Linkwww.rollingstone.com"Hot Actor: Matthew McConaughey". Rolling Stone. August 22, 1996. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
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Citation Linkwww.kentucky.comStory, Mark (February 24, 2014). "Mark Story: Matthew McConaughey's dad played college football for ... Kentucky?". kentucky.com. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
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Citation Linkwww.databasefootball.com"1953 Green Bay Packers". databasefootball.com. Archived from the original on April 8, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
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Citation Linkabclocal.go.com"Barbara Walters' Oscar Special". ABC7news.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2007. Retrieved April 15, 2006.
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Citation Linkjustfunfacts.com"Interesting facts about Matthew McConaughey". Retrieved July 5, 2019.
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Citation Linkwww.inc.comWinfrey, Graham (August 11, 2015). "Meet the Self-Made Millionaires of 'West Texas Investors Club'". Inc.com. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
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Citation Linkwww.metro.co.uk"60 Second interview: Matthew McConaughey". Metro. Retrieved May 7, 2006.
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Citation Linkwww.nzherald.co.nz"No use putting out the welcome Matt". The New Zealand Herald. May 12, 2001. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
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Citation Linktvnz.co.nz"ONE news". McConaughey credits Australian town. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
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Citation Linkwww.studenthousingplanet.com"The Castilian Dorm Serving the University of Texas Receives Upgrades (PR.com)". Student Housing Planet. March 26, 2009. Archived from the original on September 12, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
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Citation Linkutdirect.utexas.eduDegrees and Dates of Attendance: McConaughey, Matthew D.. University of Texas at Austin
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