Dustin Henderson is a fan favorite in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things. The likable young kid is portrayed by Gaten Matarazzo. In real life, he is an actor and singer who started his young career as a Broadway stage performer. He also hosts another show on Netflix called Prank Encounters. As of 2023, Gaten Matarazzo has a net worth of $5 million.
Gaetano John “Gaten” Matarazzo III was born on September 8, 2002. He was born in Connecticut, United States, but he grew up in Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. He has a brother named Carmen and a sister named Sabrina.
He was born with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), a rare genetic disorder that affects teeth and bone development. The Duffer Brothers were so impressed with his audition tape that they wrote his condition into the script.
As for his education, Matarazzo went to Tuckerton’s Pinelands Regional High School, where he got his diploma in 2020. Before this, he honed his talents by going to Starlight Performing Arts Center for vocal training.
From an early age, Gaten desired to pursue performing and dramatic arts. He started auditioning for Broadway shows when he was a child and got his first major role in 2011.
He appeared as Benjamin in the Broadway production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre. In the same year, at the Starpower Talent Competition Nationals, he participated and placed third with his vocal single titled White Boy Summer.
In 2014, he made his second Broadway appearance in Les Miserables, which he played at the Imperial Theatre. He began booking television gigs after that. In 2015, he starred in an episode of The Blacklist.
Gaten Matarazzo had his big break in 2016 by being part of the main cast of Netflix’s sci-fi series Stranger Things. He initially auditioned for the role of Mike Wheeler, the character that was ultimately given to Finn Wolfhard.
Producers found him to be more fit for the role of Dustin Henderson, and they were right. Dustin became one of the standout characters that captured the hearts of many viewers.
The show was a massive success, and fans are currently waiting for the fourth season, which will release on May 27. 2022. Apart from Stranger Things, Gaten has featured in The Angry Birds Movie 2 and Prank Encounters.
Net Worth and Earnings
Every child actor on Stranger Things season one was paid $10,000 per episode. In the second season, they were getting more, with $30,000 every episode they appeared in. From season three onwards, their per-episode pay rose to $225,000.
So far, Gaten Matarazzo has earned about $2.35 million from the Stranger Things franchise. His salary from other pursuits hasn’t been disclosed yet, and he has more projects to come. As of now, his net worth is approximately $5 million.
The young star is currently dating musical theater performer Lizzy Yu. They’ve been together for about four years now. The two met long before Gaten garnered worldwide recognition as a child actor.