Matthew Avery Modine (born March 22nd, 1959) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles that include Private Joker in Full Metal Jacket, high school wrestler Louden Swain in Vision Quest, Sullivan Groff on Weeds and Dr. Martin Brenner in Netflix original Stranger Things.

Modine has been acting since his graduation and he is also the nephew of stage actress Nola Fairbanks. After his graduation, Modine moved to New York City to pursue his dream of art and theater.

As of today, he is married to actress Caridad Rivera and they have two children together; Boman Mark Rivera Modine (born November 8th, 1985) and Ruby Wylder Rivera Modine (born July 31st, 1990).


Early Life

Modine was born in Loma Lunda, California and was the youngest of seven children. He was the son of Dolores, a bookkeeper, and Mark Alexander Modine, who managed a few Drive-In Theaters. He was also the nephew of a stage actress Nola Modine Fairbanks and the great-grandson of the prospector and pioneer Ralph Jacobus Fairbanks. Modine had lived in Utah for several years, moving every 1 or 2 years. The drive-in theaters his father had managed were being torn down because the land beneath them had exceeded the value of the theaters. The Modine Family had returned to Imperial Beach, California. There, Matthew had attended and graduated from Mar Vista High School in 1977.


His first film role was in John Sayles' film Baby Its You. Modine's perfomance in that film caught the eye of director Harold Becker, who casted him in the film Vision Quest, which was based on Terry Davis' novel of the same name. Modine also appeared in the sex comedy, Private School, the film co-stared Phoebe Gates and Betsy Russell.



Year Title Roles
1983 Baby It's You Steve
1983 Private School Jim
1983 Streamers Billy
1984 Birdy Birdy
1984 The Hotel New Hampshire Chip Dove / Ernst
1983 Mrs. Soffel Jack Biddle
1985 Vision Quest  Louden Swain
1987 Orphans Treat
1987 Full Metal Jacket Private Joker
1988 Married to the Mob Mike Downey
1988 The Gamble Francesco Sacredo
1989 Gross Anatomy Joe Slovak
1990 Memphis Belle  Capt. Dennis Dearborn
1990 Pacific Heights Drake Goodman
1992 Wind Will Parker
1992 Equinox Henry Petosa / Freddy Ace
1993 Short Cuts Dr. Ralph Wyman
1994 The Browning Version Frank Hunter
1994 Jacob  Jacob
1995 Cutthroat Island  Shaw
1995 Bye Bye Love Dave
1995 Fluke  Thomas P. Johnson / Voice of Fluke
1997 The Maker Walter Schmeiss
1997 The Blackout Matty
1997 The Real Blonde Joe
1999 Any Given Sunday Dr. Ollie Powers
1999 If... Dog... Rabbit.. (also known as One Last Score) Johnnie Cooper
1999 Notting Hill Movie-Within-Movie Actor (uncredited)
2000 Bamboozled Himself
2000 Very Mean Men Bartender
2001 In the Shadows Eric
2001 Nobody's Baby Sonny
2001 The Shipment Mitch Garrett
2003 Hitler: The Rise of Evil  Fritz Gerlich
2003 Le Divorce  Tellman
2004 Funky Monkey  Alec McCall
2005 Opa  Eric
2005 Transporter 2 Jefferson Billings
2006 Kettle of Fish  Mel
2006 Mary Tony Childress / Jesus
2006 Lost in Love 
2007 Go Go Tales Johnie Ruby
2007 The Neighbor Jeff
2007 Have Dreams, Will Travel  Ben's Father
2008 The Garden of Eden David's Father
2009 PoliWood Himself
2009 Little Fish, Strange Pond (also known as Frenemy) Mr. Jack
2010 The Trial Mac
2010 Frenemy (2010 film) Australian
2010 A Cat in Paris (English version) Lucas
2011 Mia and the Migoo Mr. Houston / Godfrey
2011 Jesus Was a Commie John Doe
2011 The Flying House Bertie
2011 Rugas (English version) Juan
2012 The Dark Knight Rises Peter Foley
2012 Girl in Progress Dr. Harford
2012 Jobs John Sculley
2013 Family Weekend Duncan Dungy
2014 Unity Narrator
2014 Altar (also known as The Haunting of Radcliffe House) Alec Hamilton
2015 The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards  Theodore Foster
2016 The Confirmation Kyle
2016 In the Deep
2016 Stars in Shorts: No Ordinary Love Abe
2016 Come Diventare Grandi Nonostante i Genitori Bob Riley
2016 The Brainwashing of My Dad  Narrator
2017 The Hippopotamus Michael Logan
2017 47 Meters Down  Captain Taylor
2018 Sicario: Day of the Soldado  James Riley
2018 An Actor Prepares  Charlie
2018 Speed Kills George Bush
2018 Backtrace Macdonald
2019 Foster Boy Michael Trainer
2019 Miss Virginia Congressman Cliff Williams
2019 Chance Mike
2020 The Martini Shot Steve
2020 Breaking News In Yuba County Carl Buttons
TBA Wrong Turn: The Foundation  Scott
TBA My Love Affair with Marriage  Bo (voice)

Television (TV Movies included)

Year Title Role
1993 And the Band Played On Dr. Don Francis
1996 What the Deaf Man Heard Sammy Ayers
1998 The American Christopher Newman
2000 Flowers for Algernon Charlie Gordon
2001 Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story  Jack Robinson (Johnathan William Duncan Robinson)
2002 Redeemer Paul Freeman
2003 The West Wing Marco Arlen
2004 The Winning Season Honus Wagner
2005 Into the West Samson Wheeler
2005 Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Gordon Rickett
2006 The Bedford Diaries Professor Jake Macklin
2007 Weeds Sullivan Groff
2008 Sex and Lies in Sin City Ted Binion
2011 Too Big to Fail John Thain
2012 CAT.8 Dr. Michael Ranger
2015 Proof Ivan Turing
2016 Stranger Things Dr. Martin Brenner
2019 Surveillance The Man in the Red Tie
2019 Sanctuary  Dr. Fisher


  • He is dyslexic.
  • He's good friends with Eric Stoltz and Edward Asner.
  • He is a staunch liberal Democrat.
  • He's a horticulturist and a carpenter.
  • He is the neighbor of Liam Neeson.
  • He loves the New York Knicks and loves to paint.
  • He has a son Boman Modine (b. 8 November 1985) and a daughter Ruby Modine (b. 31 July 1990).
  • He was originally offered Tom Cruise's role in Top Gun (1986) but turned down the part because he disagreed with the film's cold-war politics.
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