Friends Actor, Matthew Perry died suddenly on October 28th at the age of just 54.
Being a major Friends fanatic, I was so sad to hear of Perry’s death, but it made me reflect on his career as an actor and most famously his witty personality.
Many will know him from the hit 1990’s show, but Perry appeared in several other films including ‘17 Again’, ‘The Whole Nine Yards’, ‘Fools Rush In’ and ‘The Ron Clark Story’ which got him his 2nd Emmy nomination alongside a Golden Globe nomination.
Perry also starred in a few plays over the years as well as other TV shows including ‘Sydney’ and ‘Home Free’.
However, behind his life on screen, Perry openly battled with addiction and all that comes with being in the public eye.
Writing in his memoir, ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, the prologue begins with ‘“I don’t write all this so anyone will feel sorry for me—I write these words because they are true.
“I write them because someone else may be confused by the fact that they know they should stop drinking […] You are not alone, my brothers and sisters. (In the dictionary under the word “addict,” there should be a picture of me looking around, very confused.)”.
Being so candid about his struggles over the years, has helped so many people across the world openly talk about their addiction troubles including some of his fellow actors such as Hank Azaria.
In his tribute to Perry, he recalls very vividly his first experience at an AA meeting.
He writes, “I loved Matthew, and I leaned on him a lot in my early sobriety, I was lucky that Matthew was my guy because humour is a huge part of recovery. And he was a hilarious, hilarious man.”
His fellow Friends cast members released a statement following the announcement of his death, “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family.”
The cast also promised to share more later, saying: “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”
Following his death, the Matthew Perry Foundation has been set up to help those who also suffer from addiction struggles.
Their mission is to honour his legacy and to make sure everyone has a friend they can turn to in their darkest times like Chandler did for me when I was struggling.
Beloved for his kind heart and comic genius in Friends, Perry’s life was more than just his character Chandler, as he said in his own words, ‘When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned – I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned.
Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.’