The on-screen funny guy has had a painful childhood, which probably made him love and protect his daughter fiercely.
When we talk about Joey Tribbiani we think of his lame jokes, crazy laughs, hilarious goof-ups, and fierce love for friends. But behind his adorable smile on-screen is a past that could break down the strongest and happiest people.
Growing up, Matt LeBlanc had a tumultuous relationship with his father, Paul LeBlanc, which eventually died due to Paul's nonchalant approach towards their relationship. According to The Telegraph, Matt is a "mommy's boy" who rings her up for pep talks before going out for public appearances but the same can't be said about his father. Paul abandoned his family when Matt was still a baby and didn't return until he was eight.
He also believes that his parents' failed marriage is the reason his relationships did not last. To make things worse, Matt claims that Paul was never loyal to his mother, Patricia and had a voracious appetite for women. "I don't have a prime example set by my parents. My mum was married twice. My dad has been married eight, nine, 10 times. He was a ladies' man. Now he's old. I don't talk to him," Express quoted him.
However, he does admit that the one thing his father taught him is that “you can learn valuable lessons from unpleasant people, too,” said the 52-year-old. He goes on to say that Paul returned in his life after he found fame through the wildly famous sitcom Friends, and the father-son duo tried to give another shot to their feeble relationship. “My dad wasn’t around when I was born and I only met him for the first time when I was eight,” he said.
But unfortunately, their already brittle bond broke to pieces when Paul sold a story about Matt and Jennifer Aniston's rumored fling to a magazine without his permission. Following this incident, Matt snipped all ties with his father; something Paul has called him out for. “He’s still my son but I’m very hurt by what he’s done. Matthew has always been wild and reckless. I’m just going to wash my hands with it and get on with my life. If I don’t see or talk to him again, then fine,” Express quoted Paul.
Fast forward, Matt is a father himself and he is nothing like his own father. In fact, when his daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease he went on a self-imposed exile to take care of her all the time. His daughter Marina Pear LeBlanc from his ex-wife Melissa Mcknight was diagnosed with a form of dysplasia when she was only 11 months old. It affected the left side of her brain causing seizures. It also affected her vocal cords and her ability to crawl and walk.
He had told Mirror in an old interview that her condition affected him to a point where he had stopped leaving the house. “For years and years, I barely left the house. I was burnt out. I wanted to not have a schedule, not be somewhere. I was in a position to do that. My agent was bummed. Most actors call their agents and say, ‘What’s going on?’ I’d call mine and say, ‘Please lose my number for a few years’. It was a very dark time. I almost had a nervous breakdown," he said.
Fortunately, she bounced right back and Matt never took his time with her for granted, ever!
The 52-year-old told Mirror, “We make breakfast, go horseback riding, hiking, I really try to offset this computer age kid thing that’s going on now with as much time outside. Spending time with her is the best thing I’ve ever done. We have a great bond and it’s the best thing in my life.”
While he had the tragic experience of going through a dark, fatherless childhood, he made sure that his daughter did not have to face the brunt of his failed marriage. He also stood beside her like a rock when she needed him the most. "It was a very dark period. But I got through it. Don’t they say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?” he had once said proving that his dark past made him a stronger individual and a better father!