Matt Dillon

Photo by Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo by Damian Dovarganes/AP

On this date in 1964, actor Matthew Raymond Dillon was born into an Irish Catholic family in New Rochelle, N.Y. Still a teenager, he began acting in 1979, and quickly elevated into teen heartthrob status. In his first 10 years in show business, Dillon had roles in such popular films as "The Outsiders" (1983), "Rumble Fish" (1983), "The Flamingo Kid" (1984), "Rebel" (1985), "Native Son" (1986) and "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989). The teen idol transformed into a serious and often comedic actor, with successful parts in "A Kiss Before Dying" (1991), "Mr. Wonderful" (1993), "To Die For" (1995), "Beautiful Girls" (1996), "In and Out" (2001), "Wild Things" (1998), the popular Ben Stiller movie "There's Something About Mary" (1998), "One Night at McCool's" (2001), "Loverboy" (2005) and "You, Me and Dupree" (2006), among others. Dillon co-starred in the 2005 Oscar-winning film, "Crash," and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this performance. Dillon directed, wrote the screenplay, and starred in "City of Ghosts" (2002), a film infused with Buddhist ideas. "I'm not a Buddhist, or a card-carrying member of any religion," Dillon told Beliefnet.com in an interview about "City of Ghosts" ("Buddhism and 'The Bells of St. Mary's,' " by Paul O'Donnell, June 2003). O'Donnell describes the actor as a "lapsed Catholic," and Dillon said in the interview, "I have trouble believing [miracles]—I'm skeptical."

"Obviously, all religions get corrupted by man. The initial ideas are interesting, but once they get organized, they seem to become about politics and other things and they get misinterpreted. . . . Have faith, but do the work. Live your life right. Don't expect things to happen. That's why I'm put off by magical realism."

—Matt Dillon, "Buddhism and 'The Bells of St. Mary's' " interview with Paul O'Donnell on Beliefnet.com, June 2003

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

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