Heather Matarazzo Biography

Heather Matarazzo is an American actress known for her breakthrough role as the painfully awkward Dawn Wiener in the film ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’. She has also appeared in popular movies such as ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘Scream 3’, as well as television shows like ‘Now and Again’ and ‘The L Word’. After a brief hiatus, she made a comeback with a cameo role in the hit comedy ‘Sisters’ and has continued to make guest appearances on shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. In addition to her acting career, Matarazzo has been involved in political activism, campaigning for Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Heather Christina Marie Matarazzo
  • Age: 41 Years, 41 Year Old Females
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Heather Turman (m. 2018)
    • Father: Ray Matarazzo
    • Mother: Camille Matarazzo
    • Siblings: Mark Matarazzo
    • Partner: Caroline Murphy (2004–2012)
  • Born Country: United States
  • Actresses
  • American Women
  • Height: 5’4″ (163 cm), 5’4″ Females
  • Ancestry: Irish American
  • U.S. State: New Yorkers

Rise to Stardom

At the age of six, Heather Matarazzo had commandeered the microphone for an AIDS benefit for children, and was subsequently given the card of a talent manager, with whom she remained signed to for the next ten years. Her first television role was in ‘The Adventures of Pete and Pete’ in 1993. In 1995, at the age of 12, she made her film debut starring in the lead role of the shy, unattractive, and unpopular 7th grader Dawn Wiener in the Todd Solondz directed coming-of-age black comedy ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’. For her performance in the film, she won the ‘Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance’ in 1997.

Following the successful debut, she gained further exposure in the 1997 supernatural horror film ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, the 1998 drama film ’54’, and the 2000 slasher film ‘Scream 3’. Side-by-side her film career, she appeared in recurring roles on television shows like ‘Townies’ and ‘Roseanne’, and made guest appearances on ‘ER’ and ‘Law & Order’. She had a main role as Heather Wiseman on the first and only season of the drama series ‘Now and Again’ in 1999-2000, for which she was nominated for a ‘Saturn Award’ and a ‘Young Artist Award’.

In 2001, she appeared as Lilly Moscovitz, the eccentric best friend of Anne Hathaway’s character, in the Disney teen comedy ‘The Princess Diaries’. She later reprised the role in the 2004 sequel ‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement’. From 2007 to 2011, she appeared on several episodes of the television series ‘Exes and Ohs’, which she describes as “a lesbian ‘Sex and the City'”.

Family & Personal Life

Heather Christina Marie Matarazzo was born on November 10, 1982, in Oyster Bay, New York, United States. She is of Irish descent, and her biological father was Pat Corley from Knock, Ireland. She was adopted and raised by Camille and Ray Matarazzo, in a Catholic Italian American family. Her father worked as a data processing manager for a bakery chain, while her mother was a homemaker.

She attended Oyster Bay High School, and later the Long Island High School for the Arts. During her junior and senior years of school, she went to the BOCES Cultural Arts Center for half-days to study musical theater. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from online education enabler InterActive in 2017. She was scheduled to be on the 15th floor of the World Trade Center moments after the attack happened on 9/11 2001.


Heather Matarazzo told in a later interview that while shooting the scene for ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’, in which her schoolmates are taunting her with chants of “Lesbo! Lesbo!”, she did not even know what it meant. However, she learnt what it meant, and realized that it answered the questions she had about her own sexual orientation. She was “more excited than distressed”, and while she revealed it to people on the set she was close to, she came out publicly much later in 2004 when she casually used “she” while referring to her love interest during an interview with the ‘New York Daily News’.

Her first affair was at 15-16 years of age. Her publicist announced on July 31, 2008 that she was engaged to musician Caroline Murphy. Later in 2012, it was reported in the media that the couple had split amicably. She proposed to her girlfriend, comedian and writer Heather Turman, on January 11, 2018. The two got married months later on November 11, 2018. Matarazzo, who was raised in a strict Roman Catholic family, had turned away from religion when she first came to terms with her sexuality, but later found solace in born-again Christianity.

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