Actor Matt LeBlanc Or 'Joey' From 'Friends' Stepped Away From Acting To Pursue Being A Full-Time Father

Aug 14, 2022 by apost team

"How you doin?" is the line that most people associate with actor Matt LeBlanc. The actor was one of the main characters in the iconic tv series "Friends," for the ten seasons it aired. Before gaining major recognition as "Joey" on the show, Matt was born in Newton, Massachusetts. Born in July of 1967, LeBlanc eventually graduated high school and attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. However, he dropped out shortly after beginning his second trimester. At the young age of 17, he decided to pack his bags and head to New York City to pursue a modeling and acting career. 

In 1987, LeBlanc got his first small break starring in a Heinz Tomato Ketchup commercial. Soon after, in 1988, he starred in one season of "TV 101," and eventually landed a series on Fox called "Married….with Children." With his career on the up and up, LeBlanc landed the role of a lifetime in 1994 when he landed "Joey Tribbiani" on "Friends." 

He would go on to star in the iconic series for 12 years alongside famous actors such as Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer. Throughout his time on the show, he was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe nominations, and one Screen Actors Guild Nominations. 

Having a successful career, the star took a break in 2004 after he welcomed his daughter into the world the same year. Shortly after she was born, LeBlanc and his then-wife, Melissa McKnight, were told that their baby had cortical dysplasia, a condition that impacts someone's brain, bones, and motor skills and causes seizures. It was then that the star decided to focus on his family rather than his fame.

Matt LeBlanc (2003), (Vera Anderson/WireImage/Getty Images)

In an interview with The Telegraph in 2014, LeBlanc shared that 2004 was a hard year for him. "I didn't feel like being funny. I had a lot going on in my personal life," he shared. Thankfully, his daughter, Mariana, was much better within a couple of years after her diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, a former nanny sold the sick daughter's story to the tabloids, which made it an even harder time for the family. "I really had to restrain myself and think about my next move," LeBlanc said. "If someone messes with your infant child, that instinct is very hard to suppress. I chose wisely. Nobody got hurt," he added. 

In an interview with The Mirror in 2016, LeBlanc said, "It was a very dark period. But I got through it. Don't they say what doesn't kill us makes us stronger?"

Just two years later, in 2006, the actor decided to retreat from the celebrity world altogether. "I knew I wasn't missing out on anything. I had dabbled with the celebrity world. I'd partied a bit. But there wasn't anything there that could fulfill me. I mean, I have beers in the fridge at home," LeBlanc said. The actor and his daughter spent their time at his 1,200-acre ranch in Santa Barbara, where he was a full-time father. He spent his time horseback riding with his daughter, cooking for her, and watching her grow up. 

"She's a daddy's girl. She can wrap me around her little finger. I'm powerless," the proud father said. Speaking with The Mirror, he shared the time he spent with his daughter was once-in-a-lifetime. "Spending time with her is the best thing I've ever done. We have a great bond and it's the best thing in my life," he said

Matt LeBlanc (2017), (Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

The star has cared deeply for his daughter since the day she was born. "The second I laid eyes on her, I was in love, and I had never felt that way before. I couldn't believe it. I knew from that moment there was nothing that would ever stop me from loving her — even if she crashed my Ferrari," he once told The Mirror.

However, now that LeBlanc's daughter, Marina, is much older- the star shared that they often watch "Friends," together. He told Express in 2018, "It's still on all the time, so we'll stop and watch it if we're channel surfing and it pops up." The star said that Marina thinks the show is hilarious. "She loves to ask me questions about it. She'll say: 'Was that real? Did you really eat that? What did that taste like? Ooh, you ate that off the floor? That's gross! You're so funny, Dad,'" he shared

While on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in 2020, the dad shared, "My daughter's 16 now and it's the same kind of thing," he said. "Like, 'Where's the rest of your shirt?'" The proud dad has also shared that his daughter is a very talented singer. ​​"She has a beautiful voice," LeBlanc shared with People in 2014. He also shared that his daughter has grown up in a very different time than he did. "There is so much social media now and so much more that she's exposed to that I wasn't exposed to," he said. However, the star actor has said you have to have faith in your children. "You just try and teach them right and wrong, keep an eye on them and be there with them. You can only do so much," LeBlanc said

What do you think of Matt LeBlanc taking time away from his career to be a full-time dad?! Would you or a family member do the same thing? If you find this article inspirational— make sure to send this on to other family or friends too!

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