Matthew Langford Perry was born on August 19, 1969, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. His parents divorced when he was less than a year old, and Perry moved with his mother, Suzanne, to her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where Suzanne later worked as a press secretary for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. A talented tennis player, Perry was ranked No. 2 among junior players in Canada when he was 13 years old. At virtually the same time, he discovered acting, earning his first applause for his role in a seventh-grade production called 'The Life and Death of Sneaky Fitch' When he was 15, Perry decided to move to Los Angeles to spend some time with his father, John Bennett Perry, an actor best known to audiences as the smooth-faced sailor on a series of commercials for Old Spice. Soon after he lost his first big U.S. tennis match, his acting career kicked into gear when director William Richert spotted Perry in a Los Angeles restaurant and asked him to audition for his movie, 'A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon' (filmed in 1986; released 1988), starring River Phoenix. Perry landed the role, which marked his first significant professional acting experience.