Life of Heather Matarazzo – Bio, Age, Career, Family

Heather Matarazzo is a famous American actress who began acting at 12 with her debut film, Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995).

Her portrayal of Dawn Wiener, a socially ostracized seventh grader, earned her an Independent Spirit Award. This breakthrough performance launched her acting career.

In case you did not know, she is unrelated to Gaten Matarazzo.

Profile Summary

Full NameHeather Christina Marie Matarazzo
Date of Birth10 November 1982
Age41 years old
Place of BirthLong Island, New York
Nationality American
ParentsCamille and Ray Matarazzo (adoptive parents)
SiblingMark Matarazzo
SpouseHeather Turman (comedian and producer)
EducationNorthport High School (Northport, New York); briefly attended Fordham University
Years Active1992 – present
InterestsMusic (guitar and piano), LGBTQ+ rights advocacy, social justice causes


Heather Matarazzo was born on November 10, 1982, in Long Island, New York. She was adopted by an Italian-American couple named Camille and Ray Matarazzo. Her biological father was from Ireland, and she has Irish roots.

She spent her childhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she attended St. Clements Catholic School and Pine Crest Private School. It was at Pine Crest that she discovered her passion for acting.

Heather Christina Marie Matarazzo
Heather Christina Marie Matarazzo (Instagram)

She made her film debut at 12 with Welcome to the Dollhouse, earning her an Independent Spirit Award. Heather briefly studied at Fordham University but pursued her acting career instead.

Heather has starred in numerous films and TV shows, including The Princess Diaries, The Devil’s Advocate, Scream 3, and The L Word.

She is also an active advocate for mental health and LGBTQ+ rights. In 2018, she married comedian Heather Turman. Although a public figure, Heather prefers to keep certain aspects of her life private.

Heather Matarazzo’s diverse background has shaped her into a versatile and talented actress who uses her platform to inspire others. Her Irish heritage, education in Florida, and support from her family have all played a role in her success and critical acclaim.


Heather Matarazzo is an actress who has captivated audiences with her quirky and endearing characters for over two decades.

One of her first major roles was in the 1995 movie “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” where she played the role of a shy and awkward 7th grader named Dawn Wiener.

Despite being only 12, Heather gave an outstanding performance that earned her an Independent Spirit Award and marked the start of promising things.

Over the next few years, Heather showcased her impressive range in films like “The Devil’s Advocate,” where she held her own against heavyweights Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves.

Her natural comedic timing also shone through in the lighthearted coming-of-age story “All I Wanna Do.”

Heather later earned acclaim for her ability to fully transform into very different roles, embodying the larger-than-life disco queen Anita Hoffman in “54.”. Her humor emerged again when she played a film buff college student in the “Scream” franchise.

However, Heather is most beloved for playing the loyal best friend Lilly Moscovitz in “The Princess Diaries” movies. These films cemented her reputation as an incredibly endearing and relatable presence on screen.

Heather has continued to take on exciting roles in independent films and advocate for social causes close to her heart in recent years. She remains a uniquely talented performer, able to connect with audiences through idiosyncratic characters.

Over her impressive career, Heather Matarazzo has proven herself a gifted storyteller capable of bringing quirkiness, vulnerability, and complexity to life on screen. Her performances linger in the memories of movie lovers everywhere.


Heather Matarazzo was adopted and raised by Camille and Ray Matarazzo, an Italian-American couple who supported her creative talents from a young age. Her biological father was from Ireland, and she is of Irish descent.

Heather’s adoptive mother, Camille, helped her pursue her acting dreams while avoiding media attention. Her adoptive father, Ray, was a musician who inspired Heather’s love for music before he passed away in 2004.

In 2018, Heather Matarazzo married Heather Turman, a comedian and producer, after being introduced by mutual friends. The couple is passionate about comedy, activism, and each other’s careers. As of late 2023, they have not had any children but have expressed their wish to start a family.

Heather Matarazzo has a younger brother named Mark Matarazzo, who works in the entertainment industry as a production assistant and has a grip on film and TV sets.

Heather has shared some details about her family’s life but respects her privacy and keeps some aspects of her personal life out of the public eye.

Heather Matarazzo’s family, from her loving parents to her supportive wife, has given her a solid foundation to develop her talents.

Their encouragement enabled Heather to build a successful acting career while maintaining a sense of normalcy away from the spotlight.

Are Heather Matarazzo and Gaten Matarazzo Related?

Heather Matarazzo and Gaten Matarazzo share an uncommon last name but are not related. Gaten’s mother is also named Heather Matarazzo, but she is not the same as the actress.

The confusion stems from their similar surnames, but Heather and Gaten have clarified publicly that they are not family.

In 2016, Heather tweeted that Gaten was “not my son.” Gaten also confirmed that his mother shares the name Heather Matarazzo, which led to the assumption.

Despite their name connection and shared acting talents, the two are separate individuals with distinct backgrounds who coincidentally wound up in the same business. Heather and Gaten Matarazzo have confirmed that they are unrelated.

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