Matt LeBlanc rose to fame in the 1990s through his successful portrayal of Joey Tribbiani in Friends, which became one of the most iconic characters in TV history.
However, his career never reached such heights again, and he faced numerous struggles after the show’s end.
Despite his success, LeBlanc did not initially aspire to become an actor, as he trained in carpentry and had a passion for motorcycles.
After dropping out of college, he became a model in New York, but his diminutive stature hindered his success in the industry.
LeBlanc eventually secured an agent and moved to television, featuring in series such as TV 101 and Married … with Children, but these roles did not offer him financial stability.
At one point, he had just $11 to his name, and he could not afford to go to the dentist.
However, Friends changed everything for LeBlanc, and he, along with his co-stars, became incredibly famous. His role as Joey was iconic, and he embodied the character so well that audiences sometimes forgot that he was an actor.
LeBlanc married Melissa McKnight, an American actress, and became a father to a little girl, Marina, a few months later. But just eight months after her birth, Marina began to suffer from seizures, and she was later diagnosed with cortical dysplasia, a brain disorder that affects neurological functions.
Following the cancellation of Joey, a follow-up series to Friends, LeBlanc decided to step away from the limelight altogether and help his daughter instead. He distanced himself from the media and hardly left the house for years. He experienced a dark period in his life and almost had a nervous breakdown.
LeBlanc and his wife divorced in 2006, and he later revealed that his daughter’s illness had a significant impact on his marriage.
However, Marina overcame her illness, and LeBlanc is now able to spend time with her, watching reruns of Friends and answering her questions about his time on the show.