Press "Enter" to skip to content

Forever in our hearts: Remembering Matthew Perry

Graphic by Audrey Garcia

It was 1994 when the popular NBC sitcom “Friends” aired for the first time. Within just a few months, the show changed actor Matthew Perry’s life forever. Within just a few years, Perry changed fans’ lives forever, too. 

Casted as Chandler Bing, an eccentric and infamously sarcastic personality, Perry’s career skyrocketed. From numerous Golden Globe nominations to winning the Editor’s Choice TV Guide Award, Perry had it all. 

Unfortunately, Perry passed away on Oct. 28 at age 54 due to an apparent drowning at his Pacific Palisades home. His death felt dismal for the 52 million fans who watched the series finale of “Friends,” but Perry was so much more than Chandler. 

Although he never married, Perry dreamt of having the perfect family. However, he had previously expressed an extreme fear of finding love due to a looming concern that women would use him for his wealth and fame. 

Throughout his life, Perry dated actresses Julia Roberts and Lizzy Caplan. In 2020, he proposed to talent manager Molly Hurwitz before calling off the engagement a year later. 

Perry was survived by a loving family of siblings, parents and his step-father, famous broadcaster Keith Morrison. 

One of the biggest struggles of Perry’s life was his battle with substance abuse. He had his first drink at 14 years old and became addicted to prescription painkillers after a jet skiing incident. 

While filming “Friends” Perry was routinely drunk, high or hungover on set. This caused his cast members to stage an intervention, which started Perry’s journey to recovery. Throughout this process, he was admitted to rehab more than a dozen times.

After years of sobriety, Perry created a men’s sober living facility out of his old Malibu home called Perry’s House. After its closure in 2015, Perry embarked on the process of creating a foundation based on Perry’s House, but passed before its completion. 

Perry persevered through his challenges to ultimately achieve a lucrative and heartwarming career. Before starring in “Friends,” Perry had his first major break after being casted in Fox’s 1987 sitcom “Second Chance.” He also starred in “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Home Free” and “Sibs.” His talent earned him several Golden Globe, Guild award and Emmy nominations.

Regardless of the trials and tribulations of his life, Perry remains in the hearts of fans. His heartening performances brought smiles to so many of us. Nothing can ever change that. 

Perry’s legacy remains immortalized by the countless nights fans everywhere spent watching “Friends” with their loved ones. Fans will likely spend the next few weeks relishing in their favorite episodes in Perry’s honor.

Copyright © 2023, The Scout, Bradley University. All rights reserved.
The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.