Matthew Langford Perry : Matthew Perry (August 19, 1969 – October 28, 2023) was a beloved American and Canadian talent who made us laugh and feel throughout his remarkable career. He became a household name in the 1990s as the iconic Chandler Bing on the hit NBC show “Friends” (1994–2004), a role that earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Perry’s talents weren’t limited to sitcoms; he graced both the small and big screens. From “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” to films like “Fools Rush In,” “Almost Heroes,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” “The Whole Ten Yards,” “The Ron Clark Story,” and “17 Again,” he demonstrated his versatility.
In 2010, he even lent his voice to the character Benny in the video game “Fallout: New Vegas.”
Perry’s creative genius shone bright when he co-created, co-wrote, executive produced, and starred in the ABC sitcom “Mr. Sunshine,” which ran from February to April 2011. His journey continued in August 2012 when he took on the role of sportscaster Ryan King in the NBC sitcom “Go On.”
One of his crowning achievements was his role in the revival of the CBS sitcom “The Odd Couple” from 2015 to 2017, where he portrayed the unforgettable Oscar Madison.
Matthew Perry’s contributions to the world of entertainment will be remembered and cherished for generations to come.
Matthew Perry came into the world on August 19, 1969, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. His family had an interesting mix of backgrounds. His mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison (formerly Langford, born 1948), was a Canadian journalist who served as the press secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. On the other hand, his father, John Bennett Perry (born 1941), was an American actor and former model.
Matthew’s parents went their separate ways before his first birthday, and his mother later married Canadian-born broadcast journalist Keith Morrison. Matthew spent most of his upbringing with his mother in Ottawa, Ontario, but also had short stints living in Toronto and Montreal.
His early education took place at Rockcliffe Park Public School, where he rubbed shoulders with future Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and later at Ashbury College. During his formative years, he developed a strong passion for tennis and even reached a high ranking as a junior player. Matthew Perry’s journey to stardom had its roots in a diverse and intriguing family background, and his early experiences in Canada shaped his path to success.
Matthew Perry’s journey through the entertainment world has been nothing short of remarkable. Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
At just 15 years old, Perry made a life-changing move from Ottawa to Los Angeles to live with his father, where he embarked on his acting career. He graduated from the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks in 1987, all the while pursuing improvisational comedy at the LA Connection in Sherman Oaks while still in high school.
His early roles included playing Chazz Russell in the TV series “Second Chance,” which later became “Boys Will Be Boys.” Perry also made his big-screen debut in the 1988 film “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon.” His career started to take off as he appeared in “Growing Pains” in 1989 and played the starring role in the ABC sitcom “Home Free” in 1993.
Interestingly, Perry’s commitment to one pilot led to him missing out on another pilot – the one that would become “Friends.” However, destiny had its way, and he landed the iconic role of Chandler Bing. At just 24, he was the youngest member of the main cast.
As “Friends” soared to unparalleled success, by 2002, Perry and the main cast were making a staggering $1 million per episode. His role earned him an Emmy nomination in 2002 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. While he was busy with “Friends,” he also found time for films like “Fools Rush In,” “Almost Heroes,” “Three to Tango,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” “The Whole Ten Yards,” and “Serving Sara.”
Perry’s talent extended to guest appearances, and he received two Emmy nominations for his role as Associate White House Counsel Joe Quincy in “The West Wing.” He also made a memorable appearance in “Ally McBeal.”
Matthew Perry didn’t stop at acting; he made his directorial debut and acted in an episode of the fourth season of “Scrubs.” His dedication and skills led him to star in the TNT movie “The Ron Clark Story,” which earned him a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination for his performance.
In 2006, he took on the challenging role of Matt Albie in Aaron Sorkin’s drama “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” Perry’s commitment to diverse projects continued as he filmed “Numb,” a film that explored depersonalization disorder.
He also ventured into stage acting in London, performing in David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.” His filmography expanded with unique roles, including Morrie Tanager in “Birds of America.”
Perry continued to shine on television, taking on the lead role in “Mr. Sunshine.” His journey led him to star in the NBC comedy “Go On,” where he portrayed sportscaster Ryan King. In 2012, the show made its debut, and Perry’s performance left an impression.
Over the years, he displayed his versatility by guest-starring on shows like “The Good Wife” and reprised his role in its fourth season. He even made his British TV debut in the one-off comedy program “The Dog Thrower.”
From 2015 to 2017, Perry took on the challenge of starring in, co-writing, and serving as an executive producer of the revival of “The Odd Couple.” His creative talents extended to the stage with his play “The End of Longing.”
Perry’s career saw another highlight as he portrayed Ted Kennedy in the mini-series “The Kennedys: After Camelot.” His contributions to the industry reflect his incredible journey.
In October 2022, Perry shared his experiences and insights with the world through his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” which quickly became a bestseller. Matthew Perry’s career has been a rollercoaster of talent and achievement, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of entertainment.
Matthew Perry’s life has seen its share of unique experiences and challenges. He held both Canadian and American citizenship and had notable relationships with various celebrities.
Throughout his life, Perry dated high-profile individuals, including Yasmine Bleeth in 1995, Julia Roberts from 1995 to 1996, and Lizzy Caplan from 2006 to 2012. These relationships garnered considerable media attention, providing a glimpse into his personal life beyond the entertainment world.
In 2009, Perry’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show had an unexpected impact. He gifted Ellen DeGeneres an Xbox 360 system and a copy of the video game Fallout 3. This seemingly simple gesture resulted in an intriguing turn of events: game studio Obsidian Entertainment cast him in the video game Fallout: New Vegas.
Perry faced a significant health challenge in 2018. He spent five months in the hospital due to a gastrointestinal perforation, a condition that brought him close to death. His colon burst due to struggles with opioid abuse, leading to a two-week coma and the use of a colostomy bag for nine months. Doctors gave him only a two percent chance of survival, and he relied on an ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine to assist with his breathing during this critical period.
In November 2020, Perry announced his engagement to literary manager Molly Hurwitz. However, their engagement came to an end in 2021, marking another chapter in his personal life. Matthew Perry’s journey has been marked by unique experiences, challenges, and relationships, both in the public eye and behind the scenes.
Addiction and advocacy
Matthew Perry’s journey had its share of struggles, particularly with addiction. It began with his dependence on Vicodin following a jet-ski accident in 1997. To address this issue, he completed a 28-day rehab program that year, taking the first steps toward recovery.
Over the next few years, Perry faced challenges related to his health and weight. His weight fluctuated significantly, dropping to 145 pounds (66 kg) due to pancreatitis, a condition often linked to alcohol abuse.
In February 2001, Perry made another critical decision to enter rehab, this time for an addiction to Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines, and alcohol. His commitment to overcoming addiction led him on a challenging path to recovery.
While filming Serving Sara in Texas, severe stomach pain sent Perry to Marina del Rey’s Daniel Freeman Hospital. This was a turning point in his battle with addiction. He later estimated that he had spent a substantial $9 million on his journey to sobriety, highlighting the lengths he went to in order to overcome his struggles.
Remarkably, Perry revealed that his addiction issues had a profound impact on his memory. He could not recall three years of his life during the time he was a part of the iconic series Friends, spanning seasons three to six.
Despite his own battles, in 2011, Perry used his status as a celebrity to advocate for an important cause. He lobbied Congress as a spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, aiming to secure funding for drug courts that offer crucial support to those fighting addiction.
Perry’s commitment to recovery and advocacy didn’t go unnoticed. In May 2013, he received the Champion of Recovery award from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for his efforts. Notably, he had opened Perry House, a rehab center located in his former mansion in Malibu, California, further demonstrating his dedication to helping others on their journey to recovery. This commitment to recovery and support for others in their own battles marked a significant chapter in Matthew Perry’s life.
Tragically, on October 28, 2023, the Los Angeles Police Department made a distressing discovery at Matthew Perry’s Los Angeles residence. Perry was found lifeless in a hot tub, and detectives have initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his passing. He was 54 years old. According to information from police sources reported by TMZ, it appears that he may have drowned. This heartbreaking event marked the end of Matthew Perry’s life.
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