Matthew Broderick is an American film and stage actor who played the title character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Nick Tatopoulos in Godzilla, Inspector Gadget in Inspector Gadget,
Jimmy Garrett in Project X and David Lightman in WarGames. He voiced the characters of the adult Simba in The Lion King and The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, Tack the Cobbler in The Thief and the Cobbler, Adam Flaymen in Bee Movie, alongside Jerry Seinfeld, and Despereaux in The Tale of Despereaux. He played Leo Bloom in the film and Broadway productions of The Producers, and Colonel Robert Gould Shaw in the Civil War drama Glory.
Broderick was born in New York City, the son of Patricia, a playwright, actress, and painter; and James Joseph Broderick, an actor. Broderick’s mother was Jewish, and his father a Catholic of Irish descent. Broderick attended grade school at the City & Country School and attended high school at Walden School. After the death of his mother, her paintings were exhibited at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York.
Broderick’s first major acting role came in an HB Studio workshop production of playwright Horton Foote’s On Valentine’s Day, playing opposite his father, who was a friend of Foote’s. This was followed by a lead role in the off-Broadway production of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy; then, a good review by New York Times theater critic Mel Gussow brought him to the attention of Broadway. Broderick commented on the effects of that review in a 2004 60 Minutes II interview: