While best known for his breakout role as Joey Tribbiani on NBC’s “Friends”, Matt LaBlanc has made his fortune as a model, appearing in music videos and as a television and film actor. Before he became a successful actor, Matt LaBlanc struggled to make ends meet. “Friends” helped him finally earn a steady paycheck. In the decade and a half since the end of “Friends”, LaBlanc continues to collect royalties from the show and earned money starring in film, as a television host and in the successful shows, “Episodes” and “Last Man Standing”. Here’s how Matt LaBlanc achieved a net worth of $80 million:
Matt LaBlanc was born in Newton, Massachusetts on July 25, 1967. Early on, he was interested in an acting career. After graduating from Newton North High School, LaBlanc moved to Florida and pursued a career as a model. With the acting bug hitting him hard, he decided to try auditioning in New York City. He managed to get a role in a Heinz Ketchup commercial which led to small acting roles on television. LaBlanc has described his time in New York much like Joey Tribbiani’s (the character he would play on “Friends”). He was a struggling actor and model who lived from paycheck to paycheck. LaBlanc continued to gradually get more acting roles and ended up moving to Los Angeles when he got a role in the short lived 1988 series “TV 101”. He was also cast in a couple of music videos including Bon Jovi’s “Miracle” and Tom Petty and The Heartbreaker’s “Into the Great Wide Open”. Matt LaBlanc continued to get small roles in television including the role of Kelly’s (Christina Applegate) boyfriend Vinnie Verducci on “Married…with Children” and its two spin off shows, “Top of the Heap” and “Vinnie and bobby”.
Friends and Joey
In 1994, Matt LaBlanc got his big break when he was cast as Joey Tribbiani on NBC’s “Friends”. The sitcom featured an ensemble cast of twenty-somethings living in New York City. It became a hit and went on for 10 seasons. Joey Tribbiani was the loveable yet dimwitted friend who was a womanizer, loved pizza and sandwiches and was struggling to make it as an actor. LaBlanc won a TV Guide Award and Teen Choice Award for his role on “Friends” as well as the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast. LeBlanc had some tough competition for the role of Joey. Hank Azaria really wanted the role and was disappointed not to get it, but he was cast in the recurring role of Phoebe’s love interest, David. The part of Joey Tribbiani wasn’t supposed to be ditzy, but Matt LaBlanc developed the iconic role into the Joey we loved when the show first ran and as it runs in syndication.
When Matt LaBlanc started “Friends” in 1994, he and the other five cast members were each paid $22,500 an episode. When the show proved successful, the cast members were paid different salaries ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 an episode. By the third season, Warner Brothers studios was making a lot of money from “Friends”. The cast members decided to get together and demand equal pay. Despite some cast members taking a pay cut the camaraderie proved successful. The cast continued to get pay raises each season with each earning $1 million an episode for the final two seasons. The cast also negotiated to collect royalties from the show’s syndication. The show continues its popularity in syndication, and LaBlanc and the other cast members collect $20 million a year in royalties. In addition, LaBlanc is also a partner in Fort Hill Production Company which he makes money from. When “Friends” ended its run after 10 seasons, fans wanted a spinoff. “Joey” was the winner. LaBlanc continued to play his character, Joey Tribbiani, an actor in Hollywood. Unfortunately “Joey” only lasted two seasons, but it helped LaBlanc continue his career. LaBlanc won a People’s Choice Award for “Joey”.
While filming “Friends”, the cast members found other projects to work on. LaBlanc found some success in film. He starred in 1996’s “Ed” and 1998’s “Lost In Space”. He also starred in 2000’s “Charlie’s Angels” and its sequel. Although his film career never really took off after “Friends”, LaBlanc would continue to have success in television.
After taking a break from work, Matt LaBlanc returned to work on the Showtime series “Episodes” in 2011. He played a version of himself as an arrogant actor in the show about a British couple remaking their successful British show in America. The series was written by “Friends” creator David Crane. LaBlanc won the Golden Globe Award for his role. The show aired through 2017. In the meantime, LaBlanc also appeared on “Friends” cast mate, Lisa Kudrow’s, web series and later television series “Web Therapy” in 2013.
In 2012 Matt LaBlanc appeared on the BBC show “Top Gear” in 2012. The show is aimed at car enthusiasts, and LaBlanc won the race of an average car. He was asked to co-host the show in 2016 and did so for two seasons. LaBlanc is a car enthusiast and a big fan of the show. Matt LaBlanc, who was once married to actress Melissa McKnight whom he has a daughter with, is currently dating a Top Gear producer, Aurora Mulligan.
Man With a Plan
Since 2016, Matt LaBlanc has played Adam Burns on the CBS sitcom “Man With A Plan”. The show follows Adam, a Pittsburgh contractor. He and his brother Don (Kevin Nealon) co-own the business. When Adam’s wife Andi (Liza Snyder) returns to work, Adam must run the household, including three children, as well as his business while dealing with family members. LaBlanc won a People’s Choice Award for his role.
Leblanc Had $11 to his Name before Friends
Memorable Matt LeBlanc Quotes
- I believe that laughter is the best emotional Band-Aid in the world. It’s like nature’s Neosporin
- I find the earth to be a place of misery in which I am surrounded by the conformity that kills society.
- The way I look at it, everything is a trade. You acquire some money, so then you’ve got no financial burdens, but everyone wants your money and so who can you trust? Or you’ve got no money and you can trust anyone, but then you’ve got the worry to pay bills. Which is worse?
- Is it better to strive for success as a self-representing artist or try to get your feet wet in the gallery world? That is such a common question these days among artists. I truly believe that most artists will come to a cross road where they will have to decide on which route to take as it’s extremely hard to be successful in both worlds.
- Comedy is just to me, maybe it’s a natural knack, if I can see where the joke is in the writing and I can see where the setup is and I can tell this is the way to make it.