Matthew Perry was an American-Canadian actor, comedian, and producer who gained international recognition in the 1990s for playing Chandler Bing on the NBC television sitcom Friends.
He was born on August 19, 1969, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to an actor father and a journalist mother.
Perry pursued his passion for tennis and became a top-ranked tennis player in Canada before developing an interest in acting.
His first credited role was a small part in the drama 240-Robert in 1979, and from there, he landed more high-profile roles in projects including Growing Pains, Who’s the Boss? and Sydney.
Perry’s first film role was while still in high school, playing opposite River Phoenix in the 1988 film, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon.
Matthew Perry cause of death
Perry died on October 28, 2023 of an apparent drowning at his Pacific Palisades home.
There was no apparent foul play, and more details about his death were not immediately available.
Perry had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, which he had been candid about since getting sober, opening up about his addictions in a memoir he published last year.
In the memoir, he revealed that he had been in rehab at least 15 times and had undergone 14 surgeries on his stomach due to gastrointestinal perforation stemming from his opioid abuse.
At the age of 49, his colon burst from excessive opioid use, and he spent two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital.
Matthew Perry drug abuse
Prior to his passing, Perry had been open about his struggles with addiction.
He had gone through periods of drinking excessively and hiding it from everyone, and he had estimated that he went through detox 65 times and went to rehab 15 times.
Perry’s addiction started with opioids following an injury during a break from shooting a movie.
His addiction extended to prescription painkillers, and he was taking 55 Vicodin pills a day at one point.
Perry’s body had built up such a tolerance that he needed to take more and more pills to stave off withdrawal.
On some occasions, he told doctors he had fake injuries and migraines in order to secure the pills.
Perry had made it his goal to help others who are struggling with addiction as his journey to sobriety was a very public one.
He had been in and out of rehab for years, and had been open about his struggles with addiction in interviews and in his memoir.
Perry has acknowledged that his addiction has affected his relationships and his career.
His memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, is a candid and darkly funny book that explores the minute-to-minute, tooth-and-nail skirmish of recovery.
Matthew Perry career
Perry consistently shown a remarkable capacity to assume a variety of roles, displaying his breadth and adaptability as a performer.
He has repeatedly shown that he is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world, from his breakout role as Chandler Bing on the classic television series Friends to his critically praised performances in West End plays like The End of Longing.
Perry made his debut in 1979, and joined the cast of Friends from 1988 to 1994.
From 2003-2004, he made his directorial debut, and continued his career in drama TV, starring in The West Wing and earning two Emmy nominations for the role.
Perry later entered the world of directing when he directs an episode of the successful TV comedy series, Scrubs.
He begins co-writing and producing the reboot of the TV series, The Odd Couple, and later assumed the lead role in his play, The End of Longing, in London, England.
Perry has also demonstrated his talent as a writer and producer by earning a number of writing and producing credits.
He even wrote and produced an episode of the popular television program Friends, showcasing his astounding variety and skill as an artist.
Despite his successful career, Perry has struggled with addiction and has been to 14 treatment centers and 65 detox centers.
He has written a book about his addiction and recovery, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which explores his journey to sobriety and his experiences with mortality, colostomy bags and pickleball.
At the time of his death, Perry was a spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and is committed to helping the less fortunate and supporting important causes.