Matthew Damon is an American actor, film producer and screenwriter. He is ranked among Forbes magazine's most bankable stars and is one of the highest-grossing actors of all time. Damon has received various accolades, including an Academy Award from five nominations, two Golden Globe Awards from eight nominations, and has been nominated for three British Academy Film Awards and seven Emmy Awards.
Damon began his acting career by appearing in high school theater productions. He made his professional acting debut in the film Mystic Pizza. He came to prominence in 1997, when he wrote and starred in Good Will Hunting, alongside Ben Affleck, which won them the Academy and Golden Globe awards for Best Screenplay and earned Damon a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He continued to garner praise from critics for his roles as the eponymous character in Saving Private Ryan, the antihero in The Talented Mr. Ripley, a fallen angel in Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, an energy analyst in Syriana, and a corrupt Irish-American police officer in The Departed. In 2019 he starred as race car driver and designer Carroll Shelby in James Mangold's Ford v Ferrari.
Damon is also known for his starring roles as Jason Bourne in the Bourne franchise and as a con man in the Ocean's trilogy. For his supporting role as the rugby player Francois Pienaar in Invictus and his leading role as an astronaut stranded on Mars in The Martian, Damon received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor, respectively. The latter also won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Damon has received Emmy Award nominations for his portrayal of Scott Thorson in the biopic Behind the Candelabra and for producing the reality series Project "Greenlight". He also received an Academy Award nomination for producing Manchester by the Sea.
In addition to acting in films, Damon has performed voice-over work in both animated and documentary films and has established two production companies with Affleck. He has been involved in charitable work, including the ONE Campaign, H2O Africa Foundation, Feeding America, and Water.org.
Damon has a global perspective that reaches far beyond the red carpet. After multiple trips around the world, Damon witnessed what life was like for a community living in the global water crisis. While filming a movie in Sub-Saharan Africa, he spent time with families in a Zambian village. They lacked access to water and toilets. Damon’s exposure to their daily lives inspired a commitment to helping solve the global water crisis. In 2006 he founded H20 Africa Foundation to raise awareness about safe water initiatives on the continent.
While his foundation brought water to families in need in Africa, the A-list actor realized he needed more expertise to solve the world’s water and sanitation crisis. Fortunately for him, a partner who could help Damon do more, faster, was a meeting away.
In 2008, during an annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, Damon met Gary White, an engineer from Kansas City who had gained an international reputation as a water and sanitation expert. Realizing the global impact they could have together, Damon and Gary merged H20 Africa and Water Partners International to create Water.org in 2009.
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