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MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY (Willis Newton) was born in Uvalde, Texas, later settling with his parents and two older brothers in Longview. Discovered in his junior year of college while attending the University of Texas at Austin, where he was pursuing a degree in film, McConaughey benefited from a chance meeting with producer/casting director Don Phillips. This led to McConaughey being cast as the over­aged slacker 'Wooderson' in Richard Linklater's acclaimed ode to the '70s, "Dazed and Confused."

McConaughey then returned to Texas to complete his senior year. There, he shot and directed a 12­minute short film centered in the world of low riders called "Chicano Chariots." Upon graduation, he gained the lead role in "Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre," the fourth installment of the cult series.

In 1993, McConaughey moved to Los Angeles and quickly landed the male lead in Herbert Ross' "Boys on the Side," opposite Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore and Mary­Louise Parker.

In 1996, McConaughey portrayed Sheriff Buddy Deeds in John Sayles' "Lone Star" and appeared in the Bill Murray film "Larger Than Life." But it was his portrayal of lawyer 'Jake Brigance' in Joel Schumacher's "A Time to Kill," co­starring Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey, which lifted him to the forefront of in demand leading actors.

McConaughey was most recently seen in Steven Spielberg's "Amistad," opposite Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins, and Robert Zemeckis' "Contact," opposite Jodie Foster.

His other films include "My Boyfriend's Back," "Angeles in the Outfield" and "Judgment."

In December of 1996, McConaughey's production company, j.k. livin (short for just keep livin'), entered into a first­look deal with Warner Bros. whereby j.k. livin will develop projects for McConaughey to produce, star in and possibly direct. j.k. livin's initial effort for Warner Bros. will be "South Beach" in which McConaughey will reteam with director Joel Schumacher. Additional projects are to include "Johnny Diamond," in which McConaughey will star and j.k. livin will partner with Brian Grazer for Grazer's Imagine Entertainment; and "Last Flight of the Raven," based on a true story of a smuggling ring gone awry from Indo China to the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Prior to the deal with Warner Bros., j.k. livin produced "Making Sandwiches," with Sandra Bullock's Fortis Films, and executive produced the feature documentary "Hands on a Hard Body," about a truck giveaway contest in East Texas. Most recently, McConaughey wrote, starred in, and directed "The Rebel," a 20­minute short film about a man who breaks arbitrary rules, but imagines himself to be a national criminal.


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