Although born and raised in Los Angeles, Matthew Labyorteaux knew at a young age that his career would one day lead him to New York City, when at the age of 8 he was cast opposite Susan Sarandon, Judd Hirsch and Sterling Hayden in the gritty New York cult film “King of the Gypsies.”
Now living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, he has focused his attentions for the past 15 years on his voice-over career, filling his days as the voice of the much beloved “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and the lead in the hit cartoon “Yu-Gi-Oh” as well as the announcer for many products including McDonald’s, Purell, Sudafed, Day’s Inns and Toyota.
Matthew Labyorteaux recently was acknowledged for his narration of the children’s book, “Leon and the Champion Chip,” which won for best recording of the year in the Young Adult audio-book category for Harper Collins.
This is what Michael Landon told People Magazine in 1978 about the adopted brothers Patrick and Matthew Laborteaux:
The two relative newcomers to Little House, Patrick and Matthew Laborteaux, arrived after perhaps the hardest journey of all, aided by their remarkable adoptive parents, Ron and Frankie Laborteaux. He is an interior designer and she a former actress. "Patrick was diagnosed as a schizophrenic at the age of 3 weeks because he was so high-strung he couldn't keep food down," remembers Frankie. "When we got him he was suffering from malnutrition and was exhausted. He would break out in a cold sweat when anyone tried to touch him. With a lot of love and a firm, gentle hand, his symptoms had disappeared in a couple of years. Our success made us want to adopt another child. That was Matthew.
"The adoption agency told us he had been born with a hole in his heart that would heal naturally," Frankie continues, "but they would never acknowledge he was also autistic. He didn't walk until 3 or talk until 5. He slept standing up in his crib, and when anyone would try to pick him up he would scream and try to get away. I spent months on the floor with Matthew screaming and me holding him down telling him that no matter what he did I would love him."
Doctors and psychiatrists held out little hope that Matthew would ever be normal. But brother Patrick had started acting as therapy and by 7 was a veteran of Cheerios and McDonald's commercials. One day Matthew tagged along to a United Way audition. "The lady asked if Matthew wanted to test," Frankie recalls. "I was panicked. He-would throw a tantrum if anyone touched him. But Matthew just got up and followed her into the room. It was like sitting on a powder keg smoking a cigarette." He not only won that part but went on to play Peter Falk's son in the movie A Woman under the Influence. Patrick joined the Little House cast last year, and then Landon remembered a promise he'd made to some friends whose son was killed in a car crash—"that if I ever found a boy who had Albert's qualities I would put him on the show and call him Albert."
Matthew, who had already played Landon himself as a boy in flashbacks, debuts this fall (1978) as Albert. Though the Laborteaux family is still in difficulty—Frankie had a stroke four years ago, and Ron suffers from a serious, yet-undiagnosed illness—the success of their boys is cheering. "It's funny," Frankie reflects. "Patrick is blue-eyed and has light hair, and Matthew is brown-eyed with dark hair, but people automatically know they are brothers. Melissa Gilbert said to Patrick one day, 'Don't you two ever fight?' They really don't. They've been through too much to bother with pettiness."
Television appearances as actor/himself:
Michael Landon: Memories with Laughter and Love (1991) "Barbarians at the Gate" (TV movie) Teenage F. Ross Johnson (uncredited) "Silk Stalkings" .... Jason Dietz (1 episode, 1991) - Dirty Laundry (1991) TV episode .... Jason Dietz
The Last to Go (1991) (TV) .... Nathan Holover "Paradise" (1 episode, 1990)... aka Guns of Paradise (USA: new title) - The Coward (1990) TV episode "Night Court" .... Bobby Johnson (2 episodes, 1989) - Branded: Part 2 (1989) TV episode .... Bobby Johnson - Branded: Part 1 (1989) TV episode .... Bobby Johnson "Hotel" .... Mark Daniels (1 episode, 1988)... aka Arthur Hailey's Hotel - Double Take (1988) TV episode .... Mark Daniels Deadly Friend (1986) .... Paul Conway
Shattered Spirits (1986) (TV) .... Ken Mollencamp
"Amazing Stories" .... Andy (1 episode, 1985)... aka Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories (USA: complete title) - Fine Tuning (1985) TV episode .... Andy
"Highway to Heaven" .... Matt Haynes (1 episode, 1985) - The Right Thing (1985) TV episode .... Matt Haynes
"This Is Your Life" .... Himself (1 episode, 1984) - Matthew Laborteaux (1984) "Whiz Kids" .... Richie Adler (18 episodes, 1983-1984)
"Simon & Simon" .... Richie Adler (1 episode, 1983) - Fly the Alibi Skies (1983) TV episode .... Richie Adler
"Home Again": Part 1 (1983) TV episode .... Albert Quinn Ingalls. "Home Again": Part 2 (1983) TV episode .... Albert Quinn Ingalls "The Love Boat" (1 episode, 1982) - Same Wavelength, The/Winning Isn't Everything//Honeymoon for Horace (1982) TV episode "The Aliens Are Coming (1980) (TV) .... Timmy Garner "Lou Grant" .... Mark Donner (1 episode, 1979) - Kids (1979) TV episode .... Mark Donner "Little House on the Prairie" .... Albert Quinn Ingalls / ... (87 episodes, 1976-1983)
King of the Gypsies (1978) .... Middle Dave
"Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo (1977) (TV) .... Matthew Beck
"Mulligan's Stew" .... Duane (1 episode, 1977) - Biggest Mansion (1977) TV episode .... Duane "The Red Hand Gang" (1977) TV series .... Frankie (unknown episodes)
"NBC Special Treat" .... Billy (1 episode, 1976) - Papa and Me (1976) TV episode .... Billy "The Bob Newhart Show" .... Richie (1 episode, 1976) - My Boy Guillermo (1976) TV episode .... Richie "The Rookies" .... Jody Gifford (1 episode, 1975) - Lamb to the Slaughter (1975) TV episode .... Jody Gifford "A Woman Under the Influence (1974) .... Angelo Longhetti