Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Damon began his acting career by appearing in high school theater productions. He made his professional acting debut in the film Mystic Pizza (1988). 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 (1998), the antihero in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), a fallen angel in Dogma (1999), an energy analyst in Syriana (2005), and a corrupt Irish-American police officer in The Departed (2006).
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