Matt LeBlanc would do anything for his daughter and his love for her was tested as soon as she was born. Now, there's nothing that can break these two apart.
For Matt LeBlanc, making people smile with his role as Joey Tribbiani, was no big deal. However, there is just one person whose smile and laughter he wanted to see above all else — his daughter, Marina Pearl's. She is so precious to him that despite the fame that popular sitcom, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., gave him, he dropped everything to be with her. And that was because he had to face one of the most heartbreaking and toughest obstacles in his life.
There's something special about a father-daughter bond. When a father sees his daughter happy, he's happy too. But when he sees her in pain and there's nothing he can do to ease it, it breaks his heart. And that is what happened to this actor.
In 2004, the Top Gear presenter was over the moon to bring his newborn into this world with his now ex-wife, Melissa McKnight. However, before they could really enjoy time with their baby, just a few months later, the couple were told that 11-month-old Marina had a form of dysplasia. The condition can be quite severe and affects the patient's brain, bones and motor skills. It not only affected little Marina's left side of her brain and caused seizures, it also affected her vocal cords and her ability to crawl and walk, according to Female First.
This was intensely painful for the actor, who decided to prioritize her health over the immense fame and popularity he'd gathered through Friends. "I didn’t feel like being funny. I had a lot going on in my personal life," he told Telegraph UK.
But it was more than just Matt le Blanc's work that had taken a nosedive in terms of his priorities. At the time, his marriage too was breaking down and there was no stopping it. But once again, Marina came first. So he packed his stuff up and moved to his Santa Barbara cattle ranch.
The actor chose to stay away from the limelight and focused on his daughter. "I knew I wasn’t missing out on anything. I had dabbled with the celebrity world. I’d partied a bit. But there wasn't anything there that could fulfill me. I mean, I have beers in the fridge at home," said the Man With a Plan actor.
His world revolved around his little girl and as he told Telegraph, "She’s a daddy’s girl. She can wrap me around her little finger. I’m powerless." Thankfully, young Marina outgrew the disease by the age of two and now a healthy 15-year-old teenager.
But one thing they never outgrew was the unique and special bond the father and daughter share even today. In fact, LeBlanc is so enamored by his daughter that he doesn't mind how her opinions on his scenes in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. As he told Express UK, “It’s still on all the time, so we’ll stop and watch it if we’re channel surfing and it pops up. She loves to ask me questions about it. She’ll say: ‘Was that real? Did you really eat that? What did that taste like? Ooh, you ate that off the floor? That’s gross! You’re so funny, Dad.’”
Well, looks like this father-daughter duo connection is one that not even the strongest forces on Earth can break. Here's to them!