Paul Le Mat

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Paul Le Mat
Born(1945-09-22) September 22, 1945 (age 69)
Rahway, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active1973–present
Spouse(s)Suzanne de Passe (1978-?) 3 children
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Paul Le Mat
Born(1945-09-22) September 22, 1945 (age 69)
Rahway, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active1973–present
Spouse(s)Suzanne de Passe (1978-?) 3 children

Paul Le Mat (born September 22, 1945) is an American actor who first came to prominence in the 1973 film American Graffiti, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year - Actor.

Personal life[edit]

Le Mat was born to Matthew (1914–1963) and Paula Le Mat (1912–1990). He is of French, Scottish, English, Cuban, and Irish descent. He graduated from Newport Harbor High School in 1963, and, although he never received a degree, he attended various colleges in California. Le Mat served in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Navy on an SP-5B Marlin seaplane in a maritime patrol squadron. He is married to Suzanne de Passe and they have three daughters.


Le Mat starred in the pilot episode of Firehouse in 1973. In 1972, he appeared in American Graffiti (released in 1973), a coming of age film about a group of friends in Modesto, California in the early 1960s. He played John Milner - a role that would earn him his first Golden Globe Award. The film went on to receive universal acclaim and was a box office smash. Le Mat also starred in Floyd Mutrux's 1975 crime spree film Aloha, Bobby and Rose, another commercial hit. In 1977, he starred in Jonathan Demme's acclaimed comedy, Handle with Care, which was later re-titled Citizens Band, which saw him reunite with his American Graffiti co-star Candy Clark. Le Mat would reunite with Demme for 1980's Melvin and Howard, in which he played the titular role of Melvin Dummar. The film was based upon the true story of a gas station attendant who claimed to be an heir of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, and won two Academy Awards. It was met with rave reviews from Pauline Kael and other top film critics, and Le Mat was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. In 1979, Le Mat reprised his role of John Milner in More American Graffiti.

In 1982, Le Mat played the Donald E. Westlake character John Dortmunder in Jimmy the Kid, opposite Gary Coleman in the role of Jimmy. He also provided the voice of Omar in the American release of the animated film Rock & Rule. Le Mat starred in the made-for-TV movie The Burning Bed opposite Farrah Fawcett. The film was based on the true story of an abusive husband who drives his wife to drastic measures with his aggressive ways. Le Mat was awarded the second Golden Globe Award of his career for his role in the film. He would go on to star in other television films such as The Night They Saved Christmas, Into the Homeland and Secret Witness. He appeared in the TV miniseries On Wings of Eagles, and in the film Puppet Master. In the 1990s, Le Mat would continue to work on independent films and TV movies. He played Josiah Peale in Lonesome Dove: The Series, and in the follow-up Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years. He had a small role in the 1998 film American History X. More recently, Le Mat starred in the film Stateside.


1973FirehouseBilly DalzellTV series; episode “Pilot”
1973American GraffitiJohn MilnerGolden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor
1975Aloha, Bobby and RoseBobby
1977Handle with Care (aka Citizen’s Band)Spider
1979More American GraffitiJohn Milner
1980Melvin and HowardMelvin DummarNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1982Death ValleyMike
1982The Gift of LifeDwayne SuttonTelevision film
1982Jimmy the KidJohn Dortmunder
1983Rock & RuleOmarVoice role
1983Strange InvadersCharles Bigelow
1984The Burning BedMickey HughesTelevision film
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
1984The Night They Saved ChristmasMichael BaldwinTelevision film
1986On Wings of EaglesJay CoburnTV mini-series
1986Long Time GoneNick SanduskyTelevision film
1987P.K. and the KidKid Kane
1987Deadly NightmaresJake PurlyTV series; episode “Doctor’s Orders”
1987The Hanoi HiltonEarl Hubman
1987P.I. Private InvestigatorsDetective Wexler
1987Into the HomelandDerrick WinstonTelevision film
1988Murder, She WroteCarl Mattson / Luke PurdueTV series; episode “Showdown in Saskatchewan”
1988Secret WitnessKurtTelevision film
1988The Twilight ZoneTom BennettTV series; episode "Appointment on Route 17"
1989Easy WheelsBruce
1989Puppet MasterAlex Whitaker
1989Grave SecretsDavid Shaw
1989Veiled ThreatJack Purcell
1989Blind WitnessDetective Mike TuthillTelevision film
1992The Ray Bradbury TheaterCharlieTV series; episode “The Jar”
1992In the Line of Duty: Siege at MarionDoug BodreroTelevision film
1992Woman with a PastMerleTelevision film
1992Deuce CoupeSheriff
1994Caroline at MidnightEmmet
1994SensationMitch Snyder
1995Deep DownRay
1995Grace Under FireThe StrangerTV series; episode “Memphis Bound”
1994–1995Lonesome Dove: The SeriesJosiah PealeTV series; 16 episodes
1995–1996Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw YearsJosiah PealeTV series; 14 episodes
1998American History XMcMahon
1999The OutfittersRobby
2000Beyond Belief: Fact or FictionSheldon LudovicTV series; episode “Eclipse”
2001Big Bad LoveMonroe
2004StatesideDori’s Internist
2004The Long ShotGuido LevitsTelevision film
2009Chrome AngelsElliot


External links[edit]