On Saturday, Oct 28, 2023, actor Matthew Perry left us for his heavenly abode at the age of 54. The news came as a shock to all of us. He was immensely loved for his character Chandler Bing in the American sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S. The actor won us over with his wit, humour, and sarcasm in the show. He may have left us but the fact that Chandler is forever there with us is nothing short of comforting. Perry left a void within us but will continue to live rent-free in our hearts forever.
Mathew Perry’s life as an actor appeared picture-perfect. But behind this perfection, lay the story of struggle, drug addiction, poor health, and an eternal emptiness that even the showbiz couldn’t fulfill. He covered all the lesser-known aspects of his life in his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing in 2022. Hence, it’s not just the sitcom character that immortalizes him. It’s also his heartwarming life story that keeps his memories alive among his fans.
As we bid adieu to the legendary Matthew Perry and pray for his departed soul, let’s take a moment to look back in time and remember his journey.
Where it All Started
Matthew Perry was born on Aug 19, 1969, in Williamstown Massachusetts. He joined the theatre at a tender age out of his love for acting. Perry further polished his skills at Ashbury College, Ottawa. He started his career with the 1979 American drama series 240-Robert. Going ahead, he appeared in cameo roles in various series, such as Not Necessarily the News, Charles in Charge, and Silver Spoons. Eventually, he starred in the series Second Chance (which later became Boys Will Be Boys) and the sitcom Sydney. His debut film was A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon opposite Ione Skye. The turning point in his career came after he auditioned for the sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S, the Game Changer for Matthew Perry
In the 1990s, Perry was broke and was committed to a pilot titled LAX 2194. There he played the role of a baggage handler at the Los Angeles International Airport in a futuristic setup for the year 2194. After this, he landed the role of Chandler Bing though he originally auditioned for the character Joey Tribbiani. However, his part in the sitcom became a part of his identity.
Perry wowed us with his impeccable performance to the extent that Chandler remains one of the most beloved characters in the history of television. Viewers not only admired him for his comic timing but also for his relatability. He portrayed what it is like to be a true friend, partner, and father, which resonated with thousands of people. Besides, when they saw him struggle with his career, identity, and relationships, they could picture themselves in his place.
Perry’s First Battle With Death
A few years ago, the actor dealt with gastrointestinal perforation, that is, a hole in his gastrointestinal tract. This was related to a lesser-known medical condition called narcotic bowel syndrome, caused due to the misuse of drugs. He was hospitalized for five months, where he went into a coma for 2 weeks. The disease nearly killed him, but fortunately, he survived after a long battle.
In his memoir, Perry documented his struggles with addiction candidly. He explained how he drank uncontrollably during the first two seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. In 1996, he became a victim of the opiate medication Vicodin after a jet ski accident while shooting for Fools Rush In. It was only after he received the correct treatment at a rehab that he recovered from addiction. Gradually, he took steps to help people heal from the same condition.
We will certainly miss Perry but our love for him and his enthusiasm for rescuing people from addiction will remain immortal. He may not be among us today but his story will continue to inspire the future generations.
Planning to re-watch Friends as a tribute to Chandler? Here are some additional recommendations for you: Top 10 Must-Watch Movies on Netflix.