Gaten Matarazzo

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Gaten Matarazzo
Matarazzo at the 2022 Tony Awards
Gaetano John Matarazzo III

(2002-09-08) September 8, 2002 (age 21)
Years active2011–present

Gaetano John Matarazzo III[2] (/ˈɡtən ˌmætəˈræz/; Italian: [ɡaeˈtaːno mataˈrattso]; born September 8, 2002)[3] is an American actor. He began his career on the Broadway stage as Benjamin in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (2011–12) and as Gavroche in Les Misérables (2014–15).[4] Matarazzo gained recognition for playing Dustin Henderson in the Netflix science-fiction-horror drama series Stranger Things (2016–present). He also hosted the Netflix show Prank Encounters (2019–2021). In 2022, he co-starred in the coming-of-age comedy film Honor Society and voiced Boris the Dragon on the animated fantasy comedy film My Father's Dragon.

Early life

Gaetano John Matarazzo III was born on September 8, 2002, in New London, Connecticut, to Gaetano Jr. and Heather Matarazzo (no relation to the actress of the same name),[5] but raised in Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and is of Italian descent. He was born with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD).[6] He has an older sister and a younger brother.[7]


He pursued vocal training at Starlight Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. In 2011, he competed and won third place with his vocal solo titled “Ben” at the Starpower Talent Competition Nationals in Uncasville, Connecticut.[8] His first professional credit was in the Broadway musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, for which he was cast as a replacement in 2011. Following the production, he took part in a special "Cast of 2032" professional youth performance of Godspell at Circle in the Square Theatre in 2012.[9] In 2013, he joined the Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Tour in the United States in the role of Gavroche; the following year, he played the same role in the Tony-nominated 2014 Broadway revival of the musical.

Matarazzo made his screen acting debut in a 2015 episode of The Blacklist. After he was cast as Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things, the character's background was modified to have CCD as well.[10] The show's first season premiered in July 2016 to critical acclaim. Over the next several years, Matarazzo also appeared in music videos and various reality and competition shows. On May 11, 2018, it was announced that he was cast in the animated film, Hump.[11]

He began hosting the Netflix hidden camera series Prank Encounters in 2019; he also served as an executive producer. That year, he also appeared in the Hollywood Bowl production of Into the Woods. He provided the voice of Buba in The Angry Birds Movie 2.[12]

In May 2022, it was announced that Matarazzo would return to Broadway, joining the final cast of the musical Dear Evan Hansen as Jared Kleinman.[13] He starred in the Paramount+ film Honor Society with Angourie Rice, which was released on July 29, 2022.[14] He voiced as the dragon in Cartoon Saloon's film adaptation of Ruth Stiles Gannett's My Father's Dragon novel series.[15] It was announced in December 2022 that Matarazzo would be returning to Broadway as Toby in Thomas Kail's revival of Sondheim and Wheeler's Sweeney Todd, alongside Josh Groban, Annaleigh Ashford and Jordan Fisher.[16]

Personal life

Since 2018, Matarazzo has been in a relationship with actress Elizabeth Yu.[17]


He uses his platform to raise awareness of CCD and fundraise for CCD Smiles, an organization that helps cover costs of oral surgeries for people with CCD.[18]

In February 2020, he was as part of Andrew Barth Feldman and Adrian Dickson's Star Wars musical parody fundraiser SW: A New(sical) Hope to help raise funding for NEXT for AUTISM.[19] Matarazzo joined the cast of Elf for a virtual table reading on December 13, 2020, in support of the Democratic Party of Georgia's campaign in the 2021 Georgia runoff elections.[20]

On April 6, 2021, Matarazzo participated in an hour-long charity Among Us stream on The Tonight Show's Twitch account with Jimmy Fallon, Questlove, Tariq Trotter, Captain Kirk Douglas, Sykkuno, Valkyrae, Corpse Husband, and his Stranger Things co-star Noah Schnapp, with proceeds going towards Feeding America.[21] In December 2021, he played Dungeons and Dragons with Jack Black and other stars in the Lost Odyssey: Promised Gold livestream event that benefited Extra Life and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.[22]

During the first week of November 2022, he performed in the musical Parade to ensure that the performing arts can be enjoyed at an affordable rate for fans at the New York City Center.[23]



Year Title Role Notes
2019 The Angry Birds Movie 2 Bubba Voice role
2022 Honor Society Michael Dipnicky
My Father's Dragon Boris the Dragon Voice role
2023 Please Don't Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain Himself


Year Title Role Notes
2015 The Blacklist Finn Episode: "The Kenyon Family (No. 71)"
2016–present Stranger Things Dustin Henderson Main role
2017 Ridiculousness Himself Episode: "Scarediculousness"
Lip Sync Battle Episode: "The Cast of Stranger Things"
2018 Drop the Mic Episode: "Darren Criss vs. Gaten Matarazzo / Chandler Riggs vs. Chad Coleman"
2019–2021 Prank Encounters Host and executive producer
2021 Nickelodeon's Unfiltered Episode: "Be My Valentine"
Waffles and Mochi Casey the Electrician Episode: "Mushroom"
2024 Lego Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy Sig Main voice role; upcoming[24]

Music videos

Year Title Artist Ref.
2017 "Swish Swish" Katy Perry (feat. Nicki Minaj) [25]
"Lost Boys Life" Computer Games (Darren & Chuck Criss) [26]
2020 "Meet Me on the Roof" Green Day [27]


Year Title Role Venue Notes Ref.
2011–2012 Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Benjamin Palace Theatre Broadway replacement
2012 Godspell Jesus Circle in the Square Theatre Special performance
Radio City Christmas Spectacular Ben US tour Rockettes' 85th Anniversary Celebration [28]
2013 Les Misérables Gavroche North American tour 25th Anniversary [29]
2014–2015 Gavroche / Petit Gervais Imperial Theatre Broadway
2019 Into the Woods Jack Hollywood Bowl Special performance [30]
2022 Dear Evan Hansen Jared Kleinman Music Box Theatre Broadway replacement
Parade Frankie Epps New York City Center Encores!
2023 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Tobias Ragg Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Broadway
Gutenberg! The Musical! The Producer James Earl Jones Theatre Broadway
(One night only)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2017 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Digital TV Series or Film – Teen Actor Stranger Things Nominated [31]
2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won [32]
2017 Shorty Awards Best Actor Won [33]
2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated [34]
2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best On-Screen Team (with Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and Sadie Sink) Nominated [35]
2019 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Actor Nominated [36]
2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated [37]
2022 Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor (Streaming) Nominated [38]
2023 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Star (Family) Nominated [39]


  1. ^ "9 Things You Didn't Know About Gaten Matarazzo III (Stranger Things)". October 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Matarzzo at Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo III Goes Undercover on Reddit, YouTube and Twitter. GQ ( July 1, 2019. Event occurs at 00:46. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2019. It's actually Gaetano John Matarazzo the third.
  3. ^ "UPI Almanac for Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019". United Press International. September 8, 2019. Archived from the original on September 9, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2020. …actor Gaten Matarazzo III in 2002 (age 17)
  4. ^ "Les Misérables". Playbill. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  5. ^ Forde, Kisha (July 27, 2022). "Is Gaten Matarazzo Related to The Princess Diaries' Heather Matarazzo? See Her Hilarious Response". E! Online.
  6. ^ Ro, Crystal (August 5, 2016). "Dustin from "Stranger Things" loves showing off his fake teeth in real life, and obviously it's adorable". Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  7. ^ Santilli, Morgana (June 28, 2019). "The untold truth of Gaten Matarazzo". Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  8. ^ "2011 Uncasville Results". Archived from the original on December 29, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  9. ^ Blank, Matthew (May 7, 2012). "PHOTO CALL: Meet "The Godspell Cast of 2032"". Playbill. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  10. ^ "Stranger Things: What Happened to Gaten Matarazzo's Teeth?". Inverse. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  11. ^ "Simon Pegg, Gaten Matarazzo of Stranger Things to Face Off in Hump". Variety. May 12, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  12. ^ @gatenm123 (July 16, 2019). "So excited to announce that I'm in #AngryBirdsMovie2!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "'Stranger Things' Star Gaten Matarazzo Sets Broadway Return in 'Dear Evan Hansen'". May 25, 2022.
  14. ^ Cordero, Rosy (January 18, 2022). "Awesomeness Films Greenlights 'Honor Society' Starring Angourie Rice, Gaten Matarazzo And Christopher Mintz-Plasse". Deadline. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  15. ^ "Kilkenny animation company Cartoon Saloon goes global again with new Netflix adventure". RTÉ. September 28, 2022. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  16. ^ "'Stranger Things' Star Gaten Matarazzo and Jordan Fisher Join Josh Groban in Broadway Revival of 'Sweeney Todd'". TheWrap. December 14, 2022. Retrieved December 14, 2022.
  17. ^ "Gaten Matarazzo and Girlfriend Lizzy Yu Are Couple Goals! See Their Cutest Photos Together". J-14. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  18. ^ "Press & Videos". CCD Smiles. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  19. ^ "Gaten Matarazzo, Will Roland and More Join Andrew Barth Feldman's SW: A NEW(SICAL) HOPE". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
  20. ^ "Elf Reunion: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel and More Stars Unite for a Virtual Table Read for Charity". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  21. ^ Peters, Jay (April 6, 2021). "Jimmy Fallon played Among Us with streamers and the cast of Stranger Things in Twitch debut". The Verge.
  22. ^ "IGN & D&D Present Lost Odyssey: Promised Gold - How to Watch and What to Expect". IGN. December 20, 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  23. ^ "2022 Annual Gala Presentation: Parade". New York City Centre. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  24. ^ "New 'Star Wars' Special Will Finally Take On Long-Running Fan Theories". UPROXX. May 6, 2024. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  25. ^ Bell, Sadie. "Here Are All the Cameos From Katy Perry's 'Swish Swish' Music Video". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  26. ^ "Darren Criss Taps 'Stranger Things' Star For Computer Games' 'Lost Boys Life' Video". Fuse.
  27. ^ "Gaten Matarazzo Stars in Green Day's Adorable New Video". Exclaim.
  28. ^ Bretz, Mark. "Radio City Christmas Spectacular: Musical Review". Ladue News. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  29. ^ "Les Misérables Tour: 25th Anniversary". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
  30. ^ "Patina Miller, Gaten Matarazzo, Shanice Williams Will Star in Hollywood Bowl's Into the Woods". Playbill. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  31. ^ "38th Annual Awards". Young Artist Association. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  32. ^ Nolfi, Joely (December 14, 2016). "SAG Awards nominations 2017: See the full list". Entertainment Weekly.
  33. ^ "9th Annual Shorty Awards". Shorty Awards. April 25, 2017.
  34. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (January 17, 2018). "The full list of the 2018 SAG Awards nominees". CNN. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  35. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (May 3, 2018). "MTV Movie & TV Awards: 'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Top Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  36. ^ Swift, Andy (July 8, 2019). "Teen Choice Awards: Stranger Things Leads Final Wave of 2019 Nominations". TVLine. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  37. ^ "SAG Award Nominations: The Complete List". Variety. December 11, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  38. ^ "Saturn Awards Nominations: 'The Batman', 'Nightmare Alley', 'Spider-Man', 'Better Call Saul' Top List". Deadline Hollywood. August 12, 2022. Retrieved August 12, 2022.
  39. ^ Petski, Denise (January 31, 2023). "Nate Burleson & Charli D'Amelio To Host Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards; Stranger Things Leads 2023 Nominations — Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 7, 2023.

External links