Gaten Matarazzo (born September 8th, 2002) is a 17 year old American actor and singer, best known for his portrayal of main character Dustin Henderson in the Netflix original sci-fi series Stranger Things.
Matarazzo has a medical condition that delays the development and growth of his teeth called cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD). He shares this trait with his character Dustin Henderson. He uses his reputation to raise awareness of CCD and to help fundraise for the nonprofit organization CCD Smiles.
Gaten Matarazzo has only acted in theater and television, without taking any film roles since his career debut in the year of 2011. In 2011, he was cast an alternate for the Broadway production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical. However, playing Dustin Henderson in the critically acclaimed Stranger Things led him to gain much popularity.
Matarazzo was born with cleidocranial dysostosis, which he has spoken openly about, even documenting one of his surgeries, during which 14 supernumary teeth were removed, on Instagram. After he was cast in Stranger Things as Dustin Henderson, the character's background was modified to have the condition as well. He uses dentures.
He uses his platform to raise awareness of CCD and fundraise for CCD Smiles, an organization that helps cover costs of oral surgeries for people with CCD. Matarazzo has also started a line of T-shirts whose proceeds will go to CCD Smiles. On his social media sites, Matarazzo tells followers how to donate to CCD Smiles and promotes events he will participate in. In November 2017, his sister started a Facebook campaign to raise money for the organization.