Matt Shakman

Matt Shakman (born August 8, 1975) is an American film, television, and theatre director, and former child actor. He is most well known for his work on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Fargo and Game of Thrones. He is the artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, California.

Matt Shakman
Born (1975-08-08) August 8, 1975
EducationYale University (BA, MFA)[1]
OccupationActor, film director, television director, theatre director
Years active1984–present

Early life

Shakman was born and raised in Ventura, California.[2] After finding success acting as a child, starting with commercials before landing a series regular role on Just the Ten of Us, he stepped away to attend The Thacher School in Ojai.[1]

Shakman went on to attend Yale University where he graduated with an art history & theater double major.[1] It was at Yale where Shakman became interested in theatre, going on to direct a number of stage productions.[3]

After university, Shakman lived in New York City for several years before permanently moving to Los Angeles.[1]


As a child actor, Shakman is best known for his role as Graham "J.R." Lubbock, Jr. in the Growing Pains spin-off series Just the Ten of Us (1988–1990). His other television acting credits include The Facts of Life, Highway to Heaven, Diff'rent Strokes, Night Court, Good Morning, Miss Bliss and Webster. He also appeared in the films A Night at the Magic Castle (1988), and Meet the Hollowheads (1989).

Shakman is the founder and Artistic Director of the Black Dahlia Theatre (BDT) in Los Angeles,[4] which was named one of "a dozen young American companies you need to know" by American Theatre Magazine.

Since 2002, Shakman has mostly been directing for television. Among his credits include Mad Men, Six Feet Under, New Girl, Brothers & Sisters, House M.D., Fargo, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (also executive producer).

Shakman directed the episodes "The Spoils of War" and "Eastwatch" for the seventh season of the HBO series Game of Thrones in 2017. In August of the same year, Shakman was appointed as the new artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.[5]

In 2017, TriStar Pictures announced that Shakman would direct its upcoming "live-action/hybrid" film adaptation of The Phantom Tollbooth.[6]

Directing credits




Awards and nominations

  • 2018: Directors Guild of America (nomination)—Dramatic Series, Game of Thrones, "The Spoils of War"
  • 2012: L.A. Drama Critics Circle Milton Katselas Award for Career or Special Achievement in Direction
  • 2012: LA Weekly Award (nomination) - Direction of a Musical
  • 2011: L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award (nomination)-Direction
  • 2009: Garland Award, Direction
  • 2008: Ovation Award, Direction
  • 2008: GLAAD Award, LA Production
  • 2005: L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Direction
  • 2004: Ovation Award (nomination)-Direction
  • 2002: Garland Award for Direction
  • 2002: L.A. Weekly Award (nomination) - Direction
  • 1989: Young Artist Awards – Best Young Actor/Actress Ensemble in a Television Comedy, Drama Series or Special


  1. "BA #069: Matt Shakman". the Box Angeles podcast.
  2. "Matt of All Trades". Highbeam Business. March 20, 2008. Archived from the original on March 18, 2013.
  3. "Meeting Matt". Duke in New York State of Mind. October 22, 2008.
  4. Black Dahlia Theatre (BDT)
  5. "Director Matt Shakman Named Geffen Playhouse New Artistic Director" (PDF). The Beverly Hills Courier. August 25, 2017. p. 13. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  6. "Matt Shakman to Helm TriStar's 'Phantom Tollbooth' Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
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