Gaten Matarazzo portrays the popular character of Dustin Henderson from Stranger things. His role as Dustin and the fame that came alongside it has brought his net worth up to $5 million even before he turned 20.
Matarazzo is an American actor and singer. Even though he has been in the industry since 2011, his true rise to fame came with his role as Dustin, the Netflix’s most popular Sci-Fi horror series, Stranger Things.
Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things Biography
Gaetano John “Gaten” Matarazzo III (a.k.a. Gaten Matarazzo) was born on 8th September 2002, in Connecticut, United States. He then moved with his family to Little Egg Harbor Township in New Jersey, where he was raised. He did his initial schooling at Pinelands Regional High School in Tuckerton, New Jersey, US. Gaten was born with Cleidocranial Dysplasia (CCD), a condition that he has been very vocal about.
Gaten’s father, Gaetano Matarazzo, is a member of the US government. His mother, Heather Matarazzo, is a teacher by profession. Gaten has two siblings, an older sister Sabrina and a younger brother named Caleb.
He attended Starlight Performing Arts Center, where he received vocal training. Gaten did not pursue a college education and therefore does not have any degrees beyond a high school diploma. At the young age of 9, he took part in the Starpower Talent Competition Nationals in Uncasville, Connecticut. He finished third place at the said competition for his solo performance of “White Boy Summer”.
Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things Career
Gaten’s love for acting started at a very young age. He would often audition for Broadway plays which landed him his first theater role in 2011. The talented young actor was part of the Broadway show “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” which was performed at the Palace Theatre. 3 years later, he also played a role in Broadway’s “Les Miserables” at the Imperial Theatre. In 2015 Gaten played a small role in the popular crime/drama series “The Blacklist”.
While he did well in these minor side roles, his actual ticket to success came when he landed the role of Dustin Henderson in Netflix’s Stranger Things. Matarazzo was chosen from a pool of 1000+ participants to play the role of Dustin. He had originally auditioned for the role of Mike, but producers believed that the role of Dustin suited him better. They liked his performance so much that they wrote his CCD into the script. As all of us know, Stranger Things took over the internet instantly and became one of the most-watched television series of its genre.
All the young actors and actresses received immense praise for the portrayals of their respective characters. Gaten’s role as Dustin received special praise from audiences and critics alike. The show was soon renewed for a second season in 2017 and later a third season in 2019. The 4th season went into production but was unfortunately delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as the threat subsided, the production resumed, and season 4 was released on Netflix on 27th May 2022.
With an astounding, yet not surprising, 39-time Emmy nomination and a 6-time Emmy win, the show has become an absolute fan favorite. The cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award for the first season for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Matarazzo also won the 2017 Shorty Award for Best Actor.
Alongside Stranger Things, Matarazzo has appeared in multiple reality game shows alongside his cast members. These include Lip Sync Battles, Drop the Mic, Ridiculousness, and Prank Encounters. In 2017 he also featured in Katy Perry’s music video, giving a pleasant treat to his fans. He has also appeared in music videos for Green Day and Computer Games.
Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things Net Worth
As of 2022, Gaten’s net worth is $5 million. That is an impressive figure, to say the least, considering the teenage actor has not even turned 20 yet. When he started Stranger Things, he was paid $10,000 per episode. This totaled to about $80,000 for the 8-episode-long first season. By the second season, his per-episode earnings had tripled to $30,000.
When he signed the contract for the 3rd season, he made a whopping quarter of a million dollars ($250,000) per episode, amounting to $2 million for the third installment. For Stranger Things, season 4, the actor was paid $2.25 million for the full season.
The powerhouse of talent, Matarazzo, has been very vocal about his congenital condition, Cleidocranial Dysplasia. The fact that his Stranger Things character portrayed the same condition, has greatly increased the awareness regarding it. CCD is a congenital anomaly that affects the growth of bones in the body, specifically the jaws and also the teeth. The illness, however, does not have any impact on neurological intelligence.
Gaten works with multiple organizations to help and advocate for CCD, such as CCD Smiles. The said organization works towards providing dentures and funding oral surgeries for patients with CCD. He also participated in an hour-long fundraising campaign for CCD, held by Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show.
Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things Relationships
The Stranger Things actor is currently in a relationship with Lizzy Yu. The couple has been together since March of 2018. The two knew each other long before Gaten rose to success, however, made their relationship official in 2018. Gaten often posts pictures on his Instagram with his girlfriend, and the young lovebirds look absolutely adorable each time.