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See '90s Teen Star Heather Matarazzo Now at 39

The actor is famous for Welcome to the Dollhouse, The Princess Diaries, and more.

Heather Matarazzo had only just entered her teen years when she came to fame in the 1995 coming-of-age movie Welcome to the Dollhouse. For her performance in that film, the young actor (who uses she/they pronouns) won the Indie Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance—but she was taken aback by the response. "To have grown people come up to me crying saying that this movie changed their life, and that the character I played changed their life, was hard to receive," she told IndieWire in August 2022. "It was very, very, very overwhelming."

Matarazzo's acting career continued as they grew up throughout the '90s, and they also found success in teen movies of the early '00s. That said, Matarazzo has also opened up about the struggle of finding roles in projects as an adult actor. Read on to find out more about their career and life today.

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Matarazzo was busy as an actor throughout the '90s and early 2000s.

Heather Matarazzo at the National Board of Review Annual Gala in 1997
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In addition to Welcome to the Dollhouse, some of Matarazzo's other '90s roles include appearances on the shows The Adventures of Pete & Pete, ER, and Roseanne, as well as roles in the films The Devil's Advocate and 54, among others.

In the '00s, Matarazzo became known for her role as Lilly, Mia's (Anne Hathaway) best friend, in The Princess Diaries and its sequel. She was also in the movies Saved! and Scream 3, and on the TV shows Now and Again and The L Word.

She's opened up about her struggles.

Heather Matarazzo at the premiere of "The Princess Diaries" in 2001
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Matarazzo has been candid in interviews and on social media about how difficult it's been to continue their acting career, post-child stardom.

"I don't know if I took a step back from Hollywood, or Hollywood took a step back from me," they told The Guardian in 2017. "I had difficulties dealing with my own insecurities and identity when I was in my late teens. It was strange because I never thought about the characters that I played when I was younger. But it wasn't until I became an adolescent that I started hearing words such as 'ugly' or 'plain.' I started to get a firm grasp on how other people saw me, and I took other people's views of me as absolute truths."

They also wanted to clear up any misconceptions people might have about the financial status of actors in a similar position to their own. "Most people think that I probably get paid a lot of money," they said. "But I really don't and most working actors don't. I drive a beat-up [expletive] Prius and I just bought my first pair of new shoes in over two years. There is this 'untouchable' and made-up image of actors, where they live this extravagant, beautiful life. But in reality, it's just not the experience."

Matarazzo is still acting today, however.

Heather Matarazzo at the premiere of "Generation Wrecks" in 2021
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Despite the unexpected challenges, Matarazzo is still an actor today. Her most recent role was in 2022's Scream, in which she revisited her character, Martha, from Scream 3. She's also continued to act in independent movies, including Generation Wrecks in 2021 and The Estate in 2020.

According to her interview with IndieWire, in addition to acting, Matarazzo also works giving notes on scripts for screenwriters.

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She's married.

Heather Matarazzo and Heather Turman at opening night of "Pretty Woman the Musical" in June 2022
David Livingston/Getty Images

As for Matarazzo's personal life, she's been married to wife Heather Turman, a comedian and writer, since 2018.

The couple sometimes post about each other on social media. For instance, for Turman's birthday in December 2021, Matarazzo wrote on Instagram, "To the woman who is witty, brilliant, generous, big hearted, graceful, elegant, hilarious, suffers no fools, has patience for days, knows everything about football, is a magnificent writer, producer and storyteller, and is just getting started, happiest of birthdays to you my love. You continually open my mind and widen my heart/spirit."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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