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Gaten Matarazzo

Actor, Star of Netflix’s Stranger Things

Gaten Matarazzo is not your average teenager. At just 19 years old, Matarazzo’s resume includes more iconic stage and screen roles than many performers manage over an entire career. While most will recognize him from his standout performance as Dustin Henderson on Netflix’s Stranger Things, the roots of Matarazzo’s career run far deeper to reach…

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Gaten Matarazzo is not your average teenager. At just 19 years old, Matarazzo’s resume includes more iconic stage and screen roles than many performers manage over an entire career. While most will recognize him from his standout performance as Dustin Henderson on Netflix’s Stranger Things, the roots of Matarazzo’s career run far deeper to reach the Broadway stage and indie music scene. Still, underneath the gleam of his accomplishments and acclaim, Matarazzo remains a generous, thoughtful, and kind entertainer wise beyond his years.

While he embraces his roles in Stranger Things and other projects, Matarazzo endeavors to raise awareness for cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD). Born with this rare birth defect affecting his skeletal structure, Matarazzo has faced unfathomable challenges along his path. Yet despite the significant effect this has had on his life, Matarazzo still brings a signature good-humored disposition to every stage, set, or room he graces.

Matarazzo’s infectious positivity finds a natural outlet in his philanthropic work. Spurred by his personal journey living with CCD, Matarazzo seeks to help others with the same condition, speaking openly about his experiences to raise awareness. Matarazzo also fundraises for “CCD Smiles” to help cover the expenses of oral surgeries for those affected by the condition. A relentless and joyful advocate, Matarazzo’s story of demolishing obstacles and using his considerable platform for good continues to inspire audiences young and old to follow their passions and stay positive despite adversity they may face.

Hailing from New Jersey, Gaten Matarazzo began performing at age eight. A natural talent, he started his career on Broadway in notable roles such as Benjamin in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Gavroche in Les Misérables. Matarazzo later successfully transitioned to the screen with his breakout role as Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things, a performance which earned him an Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series SAG Award in 2017. After his Stranger Things success, Matarazzo returned to the stage with the Pinelands Thespians’ 2018 production of Cinderella and the Hollywood Bowl’s 2019 production of Into the Woods. Currently, Matarazzo can be seen as the host of the Netflix show Prank Encounters and in the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things.

Matarazzo’s passions also expand outside of acting. The actor is the vocalist of the six-person band, Work in Progress, which broke out onto the music scene in late 2017 and has been making waves with their invigorating on-stage energy. Moreover, as an individual living with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), a birth defect affecting the bones and teeth, Matarazzo is a proud advocate for those touched by the condition. He speaks openly about his experiences, even documenting a surgery, to destigmatize and raise awareness for CCD. Using his platform as a public figure, Matarazzo fundraises for “CCD Smiles,” an organization that helps people with CCD by covering the costs of their oral surgeries.

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    Turning Obstacles into Secret Weapons

    Following One’s Passion

    Youth Power

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    Gaten Matarazzo Spills on Season 4 of Stranger Things | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    Stranger Things Cast Answer the Web's Most Searched Questions | WIRED

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