American actor and director Matthew Modine is most known for playing USMC Private Joker in the Vietnam War epic “Full Metal Jacket” by famed director Stanley Kubrick. He is also well-known for his previous performances, including those of Birdy, the titular character in Alan Parker’s “Birdy,” Louden Swain, the high school wrestler in “Vision Quest,” Drake Goodman in “Pacific Heights,” and Dr. Ralph Wyman in “Short Cuts.” Sullivan Groff on “Weeds,” Dr. Don Francis in “And the Band Performed On,” Ivan Turing in “Proof,” and most recently Dr. Martin Brenner in the popular Netflix Original series “Stranger Things” are just a few of the notable roles Modine has played on television. Throughout his career, Modine has been nominated for many awards for his varied film, television, and stage appearances. Most notably, for his roles in “And the Band Played On” and “What the Deaf Man Heard,” he has won two Golden Globe nominations for “Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television.” In order to reduce air pollution, Modine is an environmentalist who supports the usage of bicycles.
Early Childhood & Life
Matthew Avery Modine was born on March 22, 1959, in Loma Linda, California, to bookkeeper Dolores Modine and drive-in theater manager Mark Alexander Modine.
He is the youngest of his parents seven children. Mark Modine, Maury Modine, Michael Modine, and Russell Modine are his four brothers, while Elizabeth Modine and Marica Modine are his two sisters. He is also the great-grandson of pioneer and prospector Ralph Jacobus Fairbanks and the nephew of theater actress Nola Modine Fairbanks.
He spent a long time in Utah, relocating within the state every couple of years until the Modine family eventually moved back to Imperial Beach, California, where Matthew attended Mar Vista High School and received his diploma in 1977. After graduating, Matthew relocated to New York City to pursue his passions for theater and the arts. Brigham Young University awarded him a degree.
Career of Matthew Modine
Matthew Modine made his film debut in John Sayles’ 1983 movie “Baby It’s You.” In the same year, he co-starred with Phoebe Cates and Betsy Russell in the sex comedy “Private School.” Modine’s role in Robert Altman’s film adaptation of David Rabe’s play “Streamers” is credited for catapulting him to international fame.
He portrayed Mel Gibson’s brother in the 1984 film Mrs. Soffel, and he co-starred with Nicolas Cage in Alan Parker’s “Birdy.” A “Gran Prix” was given to the film at the Cannes Film Festival.
Director Harold Becker was so struck by his outstanding performance in “Baby It’s You” that he decided to cast him in “Vision Quest” in 1985. Soon after, he appeared in Alan Pakula’s film adaptation of Lyle Kessler’s stage play “Orphans,” as the nefarious juvenile crook named Treat.
In Jonathan Demme’s screwball comedy “Married to the Mob,” he costarred with Michelle Pfeiffer as the bumbling, sincere FBI agent Mike Downey in 1988.
He played in the dramatized tale of the renowned “B-17 Flying Fortress” in the 1990 movie “Memphis Belle.”
He co-starred with Geena Davis in the 1995 romantic action-adventure movie “Cutthroat Island.”
With “If… Dog… Rabbit…”, he made his feature film directing debut in 1999. This was preceded by the triumph of three of his short films, “When I Was a Boy,” “Smoking,” and “Ecce Pirate,” at the Sundance Film Festival.
In a 2003 episode of “The West Wing,” he appeared as a guest star as Marco, a character who attended high school with Allison Janney’s character “C.J. Cregg.” He also had an appearance as “Fritz Gerlich” in the CBS miniseries “Hitler: The Rise of Evil” that same year.
He performed in Arthur Miller’s play “Finishing the Picture” in October 2004 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. In the 2004 movie “Funky Monkey,” he played Alec McCall, an ex-football player turned spy. Despite the negative reviews, the movie has become a cult favorite in American cinema.
In Abel Ferrara’s “Mary,” which received the “Special Jury Prize” at the Venice Film Festival that year, Modine played a director telling the tale of Mary Magdalene.
He made a guest appearance as a serial killer in the 2006 episode “Rage” of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
He had an appearance in the third season of “Weeds” in 2007 as Sullivan Groff, a dishonest Majestic City developer. I Think I Thought, a dark comedy starring Modine, made its debut at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. In the film, Modine plays a “Thinker” who joins “Thinkers Anonymous.”
In 2010, he made an appearance in the film “The Trial.” The program received the Parents Television Council’s “Seal of Approval” for combining the most effective elements of character story, murder mystery, and courtroom drama.
In 2010’s HBO production “Too Big to Fail,” he also portrayed John Thain, the former chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch. The Wall Street financial crisis of 2007–2008 is the basis for the movie.
He co-starred with Abigail Breslin in the Broadway revival of “The Miracle Worker” celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010 at the “Circle in the Square” theater.
He produced the avant-garde film “Jesus Was a Commie” in 2011, which focused on important challenges facing contemporary society. Terrence Ziegler co-directed the movie. Alongside Eva Mendes, he also finished two independent movies in 2011 called “Family Weekend” and “Girl in Progress.”
In 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” directed by Christopher Nolan, he acted as Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley.
He received a role in Ralph Bakshi’s animated film “Last Days of Coney Island” in February 2013.
Alongside Olivia Williams, Richard Dillane, and Steve Oram, he starred in the horror mystery movie “Alter” in 2014.
He was selected to play Dr. Martin Brenner in the Netflix original series “Stranger Things” in 2016.
He appeared in hip-hop musician Logic’s 2017 music video for the song “1-800-273-8255.”
Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas, a self-parodying comedy starring Modine, premiered in the fall of 2013 at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles.
Bigger Works of Matthew Modine
Matthew Modine is most known for playing a Vietnam War soldier in Stanley Kubrick’s film “Full Metal Jacket” (1987). The actor who played Private Joker, Modine, received significant appreciation for his work.
He has received two Emmy nominations. The first nomination was for his work in the early HIV/AIDS epidemic drama “And the Band Played On,” and the second was for his part in the dark comedy “What the Deaf Man Heard.”
His performance as Atticus Finch in the Hartford Stage production of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” in Connecticut. was much respected. The 45-year history of the theater’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” production saw its greatest level of success.
Personal Legacy & Life
Matthew Modine wed Caridad Rivera in 1980. There are two kids, Boman Ruby Modine and Mark Rivera Modine.
Matthew Modine’s Net Worth
An American actor and director by the name of Matthew Modine is worth $10 million. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Matthew Modine had breakthrough performances in films like “Vision Quest” (1985), “Full Metal Jacket” (1987), and “Short Cuts” (1993). Matthew has as Sullivan Groff on the Showtime television series “Weeds” (2007) and Dr. Martin Brenner on the Netflix television series “Stranger Things” (2016–2017; 2022), in addition to his Broadway performance as Captain Keller in “The Miracle Worker” in 2010. Among his more than 110 acting credits are the motion pictures “Married to the Mob” (1988), “Equinox” (1992), “Bye Bye Love” (1995), “Any Given Sunday” (1999), “Transporter 2” (2005), “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012), “Jobs” (2013), and “Breaking News in Yuba County” (2021), as well as the TV movies “And the Band Played On” (1993) and “What the (2019). As well as the short films “When I Was a Boy” (1993), “Ecce Pirate” (1997), “I Think I Thought” (2008), “To Kill an American” (2008), “Jesus Was a Commie” (2011), “Somebody” (2012), “Plastic Jesus” (2012), and “Super Sex” (2016), Matthew also wrote, directed, and produced the feature-length documentary “The Brainwashing of My Dad” (2015) and the 1999 film “If… Dog… Rabbit.” In 2005, Modine created the book “Full Metal Jacket Diary,” and he later made an interactive iPad app out of it.
He notably declined the role of LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in “Top Gun” because he believed the movie’s support for the military conflicted with his political beliefs. Tom Cruise eventually won the part, which aided in his entry into Hollywood.
Modine has used bicycles as his primary source of transportation since relocating to New York City from Utah in 1980.