From “Princess Diaries” to LGBTQ Icon

From “Princess Diaries” to LGBTQ Icon

Heather Matarazzo is an American-born actress who rose to prominence for her performance in the film “Welcome to the Dollhouse”, and she’s also known for her appearances in “The Princess Diaries” film series.

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Age, Early Life, and Education Background

Heather Christina Marie Matarazzo hails from Oyster Bay, New York, and was born under the Scorpio zodiac sign on 10 November 1982, which makes her 41 years old as of 2023. She’s the daughter of Pat Corley, who was from Knock, County Mayo, and Camille Matarazzo. Her adoptive father, Ray Matarazzo, was a data processing manager at a local bakery chain in Oyster Bay. She was brought up alongside her brother, Mark Matarazzo.

Matarazzo attended Oyster Bay High School before she transferred to Long Island High School for the Arts. Concurrently, she studied musical theater at the BOCES Cultural Arts Center.

Interesting facts

Heather revealed on Facebook that she had a 9 a.m. appointment at the World Trade Center building, 15th floor, moments after the infamous September 11 (9/11) attacks happened in 2001.

She claimed that her alarm failed to go off, so she ended up oversleeping on that fateful day.

She is a big fan of politics, and actively endorsed senior US Senator Bernie Sanders, in the 2016 US Presidential Democrats campaign.

Heather is good friends with her “The Princess Diaries” co-star, Anne Hathaway.

Career 1993-2000

Heather started acting when she was six years old, shortly after she commandeered the microphone at an AIDS fundraising event for children, which saw her selected as a talent manager. She made her TV debut as Natasha in two episodes of the sitcom “The Adventures of Pete & Pete” in 1993, then in 1995, she landed her breakthrough role as Dawn Wiener in the black comedy film “Welcome to Dollhouse” – for her performance, she bagged an Independent Spirit Award for Best Breakthrough Performance (1997), and was also nominated for a Satellite Award and a Young Artist Award. Her next notable film appearances were in the 1997 Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves-starred supernatural horror “The Devil’s Advocate”, and the 1998 drama “54.” In 1999 and 2000, she starred as Heather Wiseman in the sci-fi series “Now Again,” which saw her nominated for several awards including a Young Artist Award.


In 2001, Matarazzo landed one of her most iconic roles as Lily Moscovitz in the Garry Marshall-directed comedy movie “The Princess Diaries,” which was produced by Walt Disney. She starred alongside Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews in the critically acclaimed film, which grossed over $165 million; she reprised her role in its sequel “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” in 2004. Between 2006-2009, Matarazzo appeared in eight episodes of the Canadian and American cable TV series “Exes & Ohs”, and subsequently played Stacey Merkin in four episodes of the Showtime TV drama “The L Word.”


In the 2010s, Matarazzo appeared in an episode or two of several series, including the ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (2015), and starred in the comedy “Girl Flu” in 2016. 2020 saw her play Phillis Lyon in the episode “The Birth of a Movement” of the docuseries “Equal”,  and most recently in 2022, she appeared in the slasher movie “Scream”, and in the documentary series “Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror.”

Awards and Nominations

Heather’s performance in the 2017 short film, “The Avant-Gardener,” saw her win four awards, including a Rhode Island International Film Festival Award (2017). She scooped a Jury Prize and two New York Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Smothered by Mothers,” moreover, her praised performance in “Now and Again” has seen her nominated for various awards including a Saturn Award.

Matarazzo is active on Instagram (@heathermatarazzo) with around 80,000 followers. She joined Twitter in March 2009, and is followed by almost 45,000 fans and supporters as of 2023 – her handle is @HeatherMatarazz. The actress has around 15,000 fans on Facebook.

Personal Life

Is Heather Matarazzo Gay?

Matarazzo’s schoolmates jeered at her calling her ‘Lesbo! Lesbo!’, but as she said in an interview during the shooting of one of the scenes of the film “Welcome to Dollhouse”, she didn’t know what it meant. She later came to find out its meaning, which answered a lot of questions she previously had about her sexuality. She revealed that she was ‘more thrilled than distressed’ when she found out about her sexuality. Later in 2004, Matarazzo came out publicly as gay in an article published by the Daily News (New York Daily News). She was brought up in a tight-knit Roman Catholic household, but had turned away from the religion when she came to terms with her sexual orientation, but later became a born-again Christian.

In early 2005, Heather was a keynote speaker at a GLSEN – the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network conference at Brookline High School, Massachusetts, at which she described how she struggled to come to terms with her sexuality.

Wife and Dating History

Matarazzo is married to the actress, writer and comedian, Heather Turman, a native of Pontiac, Michigan, who has performed as a touring comedian in over 75 US cities and 20 states. She’s known best for her appearances in the stand-up comedy special “Everything Is Fine!”, and the FOX TV series “Laughs.” Matarazzo proposed to Turman in January 2018 and they walked the aisle in November 2018.

Heather met the American recording artist, Caroline Murphy, in 2007 and began dating her shortly afterward. She proposed in 2008 and planned to marry her in California, but their plans were stopped by the November 2008 Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. In 2011, the couple relocated to New York planning to get hitched and start a family after the state legalized gay marriage. However, apparently things didn’t work out for them, and they parted ways in 2012.

Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance

Matarazzo is of White ethnicity and has a pair of blue eyes, and long dark brown hair. She’s slim, weighs approximately 120lbs (54kgs), her height is 5ft 3ins (1.60m), and her vital statistics are 34-24-33. Moreover, she wears shoe and dress sizes 7(US) and 4(US) respectively,

Net Worth

Matarazzo’s main source of income is her acting career, and she’s accumulated a net worth of approximately $750,000, as of 2023.

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