The Complicated Yet Successful Life Of Matthew Perry

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Matthew Langford Perry (August 19, 1969 – October 28, 2023)
Perry gained international recognition in the 1990s for playing Chandler Bing on the NBC television sitcom Friends (1994–2004), and earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for the role. Perry starred in in the television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and films including Fools Rush In, Almost Heroes, The Whole Nine Yards, The Whole Ten Yards, The Ron Clark Story, and 17 Again. In 2010, he provided the voice of Benny in the video game Fallout: New Vegas.
His first role was in the TV series Second Chance (later called Boys Will Be Boys), and he made his big screen debut in the 1988 film, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon. He had guest roles in some of the big sitcoms of the era, including Growing Pains and Beverly Hills, 90210, alongside starring opposite Valerie Bertinelli in the short-lived Sydney.
When he landed his role as Chandler Bing in Friends, he was the youngest in the cast at age 24. Following Friends, Perry went on to make his directorial debut in Scrubs, for an episode he also starred in. He also garnered Emmy nominations for his roles in West Wing and The Ron Clark Story, which also earned him a Golden Globe nomination. From 2015-2017 he developed, cowrote, and executive produced a reboot of The Odd Couple, where he starred as Oscar Madison.
Despite his success, Perry struggled with addiction behind the scenes, seeking treatment in 1997 and 2001. He told Britain’s BBC Radio 2 in 2016 that he didn’t remember filming seasons 3 through 6 of Friends. In a 2013 People magazine cover story, the actor admitted to abusing alcohol and Vicodin, which a doctor had prescribed him after a 1997 Jet Ski accident. “I had a big problem with alcohol and pills and I couldn’t stop,” he said. “Eventually things got so bad that I couldn’t hide it, and then everybody knew.” Then, “something clicked,” and he founded Perry House, a men’s sober living facility, in his old Malibu beach home.
In his memoir, the actor discussed his health struggles, including a frightening experience in which he was hospitalized for five months after his colon ruptured as a result of using OxyContin. In 2011, Perry lobbied Congress as a celebrity spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals in support of funding for drug courts.
Perry died on October 28, 2023 of an apparent drowning at his Pacific Palisades home, a representative for the actor and a law enforcement source say. He was 54 years old.