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His father had English and Scottish ancestry, and his mother is of five-eighths Finnish and three-eighths Swedish descent (his mother's family surname had been changed from the Finnish "Pajari" to "Paige").

Damon attended Harvard University, where he was a resident of Lowell House and a member of the class of 1992, but left before receiving his degree to take a lead role in the film Geronimo: An American Legend.

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Nor does he strike any sparks with [Penelope] Cruz." From 2001 to 2007, Damon gained wider international recognition as part of two major film franchises.He also received an Academy Award nomination for producing Manchester by the Sea (2016).In addition to acting in films, Damon has performed voice-over work in both animated and documentary films and has established two production companies with Affleck.While at Harvard, he wrote an early treatment of the screenplay for Good Will Hunting as an exercise for an English class.Damon was a member of the Delphic Club, one of the University's select Final Clubs. During the early 1990s, Damon and Affleck wrote Good Will Hunting (1997), a screenplay about a young mathematics genius, an extension of a screenplay he wrote for an assignment at Harvard, having integrated advice from director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, and writer/director Kevin Smith.Damon is also an ambassador for ONEXONE, a nonprofit foundation committed to supporting, preserving and improving the lives of children at home in Canada, the United States, and around the world.Comedian Jimmy Kimmel had a running gag at the end of his ABC television show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!Along with Affleck and producers Chris Moore and Sean Bailey, Damon founded the production company Live Planet, through which the four created the Emmy-nominated documentary series Project Greenlight to find and fund worthwhile film projects from novice filmmakers.In January 2012, it was announced that Damon had signed a multiyear deal to be the voice of TD Ameritrade advertisements, replacing Sam Waterston as the discount brokerage's spokesman.He made his professional acting debut in the film Mystic Pizza (1988).He came to prominence in 1997 when he wrote and starred in Good Will Hunting alongside Ben Affleck, which won them the Academy and Golden Globe awards for Best Screenplay and earned Damon a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

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