|This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (March 2013)|
|Born||Matteo Martin Battaglia|
September 25, 1965
Tallahassee, Florida, United States
|Occupation||Football player, actor, producer|
|Years active||1989 (football player)|
|Spouse(s)||Tina Frazier (m. 2006)</span>|
|Date of birth:||September 25, 1965|
|Place of birth:||Tallahassee, Florida|
|Playing stats at|
Battaglia, one of four siblings, was born in Tallahassee, Florida and is of half Italian and half German/Dutch heritage. He has an older sister, Mary Ann Battaglia Pedersen, an older sister whose married name is Theresa Battaglia Nossett and an older brother Vince Battaglia, who served 3 tours in the Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars.
When Battaglia was three years old, his family moved north from Tallahassee, Florida and he grew up in the towns of Tucker, Georgia and Lithonia, Georgia, two suburbs east of Atlanta. He attended Idlewood Elementary in Tucker, Georgia and then in 1977, his family moved 15 miles southeast and he attended Lithonia High School. His family currently resides in Roswell, Georgia. As a high school athlete, Battaglia served as team captain for his school's wrestling and football teams. In wrestling he placed second in the AAU's Southeastern States Championship, qualifying him to compete in the National AAU Tournament. But a football scholarship led him to the University of Louisville, where he became an All-American and All-South middle linebacker, leading the nation in tackles both his junior and senior seasons with 153 and 166 tackles respectively. He averaged 15 tackles per game in both his junior and senior seasons. Battaglia also broke former All-Pro Otis Wilson's college tackling record. He was team captain his junior and senior year and was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates and coaches. Battaglia went on to play in the National Football League with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles. Two years later, his career ended abruptly after a broken bone was discovered in his neck. He returned to school, graduating from the University of Louisville with a degree in business and an emphasis in finance. In September 2006, he was named to the All-time University of Louisville team, with such football greats as Johnny Unitas, Mark Clayton, Tom Jackson, Deion Branch, Joe Jacoby, Dwayne Woodruff and Frank Minnifield.
Acting & ProducingEdit
In 2011, Battaglia was Executive Producer of the television show "Last Shot with Judge Gunn", which he sold straight into syndication with 130 episodes in season one. He was nominated and won the Emmy in June 2012 as Executive Producer for its first season on the air. The show also won an Emmy for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Drama. It was both his and the show's first nomination and first win.
Battaglia served as Co-producer on the two time Golden Globe-nominated film Brothers, starring Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal. The film is a remake of the 2004 Danish film by Susanne Bier. The remake was directed by six-time Academy Award nominee Jim Sheridan, from a script written by David Benioff, and was released worldwide on December 4, 2009 by Lionsgate.
Battaglia was also a co-executive producer on the 2009 horror film Kill Theory, directed by Chris Moore.
Battaglia formed Matt Battaglia Productions to produce feature films and television shows. His first acquisition was in 2008 for the life rights to The Marlboro Marine, which is currently in development as a documentary. He continued with optioning some best selling books including the national bestseller Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff and Or I'll Dress You in Mourning by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. Mourning was adapted into a screenplay by screenwriters Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal. Bad Monkeys is currently set up at Fox Studios and a script has been completed by writer Jeff Eastin, most known for creating White Collar. In 2011, he was also Executive Producer of the documentary Do As You Likey.
As a feature film actor, Battaglia has acted in the Marvel Comics Thor, Sony Pictures action thriller Half Past Dead with Steven Seagal, Morris Chestnut and rap artist Ja Rule. He replaced Jean-Claude Van Damme in the lead role of Luc Deveraux in the action movies Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business. He has also acted in Kiss of a Stranger, Pendulum and the direct-to-video film Raven.
In television, Battaglia is known for his episode of NBC's hit sitcom Friends (playing the fireman boyfriend of Lisa Kudrow's character). He also had the recurring role of Drew Boyd in Queer As Folk. Other notable guest appearances include The Mentalist, The Client List, Longmire in 2012, two episodes on 24, two episodes of HBO's Big Love, and appearances in shows such as Shark, CSI: NY, Bones, Charmed, JAG "Sabrina The Teenage Witch and CSI: Miami.
Battaglia currently serves on the board of advisors for the G.I. Film Festival, which honors the successes and sacrifices of US soldiers through the medium of film.
Battaglia married Tina Frazier in 2006. The couple has two children, Blaize Christian Battaglia and Paxton Rose Battaglia. He designed and built a 4,200 square foot house for his family in the Hollywood Hills in 2006, with jet liner views from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific ocean. He sold the house in 2012.
On July 3, 2005, Battaglia saved the life of two teenagers who were drowning off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Battaglia, who was surfing solo at the time, looked over his shoulder to catch a wave and saw two heads bobbing in the water in the distance. He decided to investigate further to see if the swimmers were okay. As it turns out, the two boys had swum out away from the shore to try and reach a floating buoy several hundred feet from shore and were caught in a rip tide. Battaglia paddled to each of them and simultaneously brought them both back safely to shore.
As a television producer and philanthropist, Battaglia co-founded with Tommy and Chris Thieneman "The Mint Jubilee" in 1995, an enormous charity event which in its first ten years raised over $4 million for cancer patients and has provided financial resources to scientists, cancer centers and hospitals committed to finding cures and controls for cancer. This non-profit organization was created by Battaglia in memory of his mother Nancy Van Cleve Battaglia, who died of cancer in 1993. The black tie gala takes place in Louisville, Kentucky the night before the Kentucky Derby. Battaglia helped to create, develop, grow and brand the organization into becoming one of the most prestigious charity events in the world, becoming a world class event attracting high profile celebrities, entertainers and dignitaries from around the globe. The Mint Jubilee has been televised worldwide in over 130 countries and over 200 million homes. Past celebrities have included Vince Vaughn, Jim Caviezel, Kid Rock, Kate Capshaw, Jessica Capshaw, Felicity Huffman, Shannon Elizabeth, Chloë Sevigny, Uncle Kracker, Leslie Bibb, Prince Albert of Monaco, Bob Costas, Evander Holyfield, Wendie Malick, poker champion Phil Hellmuth and Thora Birch.
- Matt Battaglia at the Internet Movie Database
- Official Website
- Matt Battaglia Productions
- Mint Jubilee Web Site
- G.I. Film Festival