“The One Where We Lost a Friend”
By: Amanda Rubio
Could we be any sadder that Matthew Perry is gone?
The beloved actor, known for playing the sarcastic, witty, and lovable Chandler Bing on Friends, died suddenly on October 28 at the age of 54. Although the exact cause of his death has yet to be determined, it is believed to have been caused by an apparent drowning. Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his Pacific Palisades home in Los Angeles, California.
Despite the overwhelming success that Friends brought him, Perry wanted to be remembered for much more than just having played everyone’s “comfort character.”
Throughout most of his life, Perry struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, a battle that he openly chronicled in interviews and his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.
Perry’s addiction plagued him for decades, but he was ultimately able to conquer his inner demons. He then dedicated the rest of his life to being an advocate for others who also suffer from addiction.
Perry wrote in his memoir, “Addiction, the big terrible thing, is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone, but together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”
Hank Azaria, an actor and longtime friend of Perry, recently opened up about his own battle with addiction and credited Perry with helping him get sober.
Azaria, who had a guest role on Friends as David, said in a video shared on Instagram, “The night I went into AA, Matthew brought me in. The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together. As a sober person, he was so caring and giving and wise.”
Apart from his candor regarding his struggles and recovery, Perry established a men’s sober-living facility in 2012. He turned his former Malibu beach house into Perry House, which was committed to assisting recovering addicts.
Perry House, which was shut down in 2015 after Perry sold the property, allowed men suffering from addiction to find solace in a safe environment free of drugs and alcohol. They were offered the opportunity to receive holistic services that assisted them in easing back into their regular lives.
The Matthew Perry Foundation was created in Perry’s honor with the intention of fulfilling his devotion to helping people struggling with addiction.
“It will honor his legacy and be guided by his own words and experience and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible,” a statement on the foundation’s website read.
Perry was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California, on November 3. The private funeral was attended by his family and friends, including his Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.
On October 30, the five actors released a joint statement to pay tribute to their former co-star and friend.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just castmates. We are a family,” the statement read. “There is so much to say, but right now, we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.
The statement continued, “In time, we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
“When I die, as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if Friends were listed far behind the things I did to try to help other people.” – Matthew Perry
We miss you dearly, Matthew Perry.
Amanda is a second-year journalism student at the University of Florida. This one made her heart hurt.