When a family friend suggested that then 8 year-old Matt Weinberg would make a good child actor, his parents wanted no part of it and said no. When the parents were still saying no five months later, the friend decided to take matters into her own hands and sneaked a kids' agent into a gym where Matt was taking boxing lessons to meet him behind his parents' backs. The agent flipped for him and when asked, Matt said, "I'll give it a try", his parents consented and just a few months later, in late 1998, Matt was on a film set in Vancouver in his first acting job: a lead role starring opposite Oscar winners Ben Kingsley and Mercedes Ruehl in the independent feature Spooky House (2002) (coming to theaters in April 2002). Since then, Matt has been busy in both television and film. He landed one of the most sought-after kids roles of the 1999 pilot season when he was cast as Eli opposite Edward Asner in Imagine Television's Eli's Theory (1999). Viewers of ER (1994) saw Matt as a guest lead in an episode that aired in January 2002. In 2001 he was cast as James Bishop, the ring-leading child in the family that has hired a witch-turned-nanny in The (Mis)Adventures of Fiona Plum (2001), a comedy pilot for the WB Network. Matt has guest-starred as a little boy who believes his mother will return from heaven on Touched by an Angel (1994), as a skateboarder whose shadow becomes inhabited by an evil, murderous spirit on FreakyLinks (2000), and as an adopted son who finds out just how much his new older brother loves him on Chicken Soup for the Soul (1999). Matt starred as the son of Christine Lahti and Tom Skerritt in Lifetime's MOW adaptation of Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter (2000), and worked with legendary star Maureen O'Hara in the CBS MOW The Last Dance (2000). His co-star appearance on Friends (1994) cast him as a talented actor who shows-up Joey Tribbiani when they audition together for a soup commercial; he also is credited with a co-star appearance on Ellen (1994). Matt was twice nominated for the prestigious Young Artist Award for his performances in Friends (1994) and An American Daughter (2000). His performance in The Last Dance (2000), earned him a CAMIE Award (Character and Morality in Entertainment). Matt has appeared in several feature films including the Fox blockbuster X-Men (2000) where he was the jellyfish-obsessed Tommy, Bad Boy (2002), where he plays the 8 year-old version of star Denis Leary and the upcoming indie Who's Your Daddy? (2004). He is the voice of Young Simba in the new Disney video, The Lion King 1 1/2 (2004), and is one of four leads in Joe Dante's 4D film for Lookout Entertainment, R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse (2003). He also has numerous commercials under his belt including McDonalds, Digimon and Loanworks. Marnie Cooper is Matt Weinberg's acting coach; Larry Moss has been his dialect coach. A student at a Los Angeles public school, Matt is also the starting shortstop for his little league team, the Giants. He lives in Los Angeles with his mom, Dana; his dad, Larry, a public relations executive; his brother Mike, 9 (also an actor) and their three dogs. And, his nay-saying parents are now his biggest fans.