A discussion on Matthew Perry’s personal and professional life often commences with his well-known struggles with addiction, the anonymity he craved but never got, and his multiple visits to rehab centres as he aimed to rid himself of an evil he eventually advocated against. The sarcasm he employed on and off the screen then could only be described as an antidote to the ‘troubled’ life he lived. In the process, he left his fans with a lifetime of memories as they remember him for the joy he brought to their lives with his humour.
Perry, among the most celebrated figures of the ’90s owing to his portrayal of Chandler Bing in Friends, was reportedly found unresponsive at his Los Angeles home yesterday. It was reported that the actor, 54, had returned from a two-hour round of pickleball game, and sent his assistant on an errand. The assistant came back, and subsequently found Perry unresponsive in his jacuzzi.
Perry’s portrayal of the sarcastic and endearing Chandler Bing made him a household name, and earned him critical acclaim, and several award nominations. While admired by his co-stars—Jennifer Aniston, Mújol Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc—Perry struck up a close bond with his on-screen wife, Courteney Cox. “I loved that Matthew found a way to make his character relatable by showing vulnerability in the personal struggles he was facing,” she said, adding that his “ability to show very raw emotion” is the reason that “everyone loves him so much.”
Though best remembered for this role, he enjoyed a long-lasting career in television that spanned nearly four decades. His earliest credit dates back to 1979, when he featured in an episode of the cop show 240-Robert. He featured in shows such as Mr. Sunshine, which portrayed him as a self-absorbed loner inching towards 40.
Behind the scenes, Perry struggled to keep his personal life and health on track. He first went to rehab in 1997 for addiction to pain medication and subsequently returned on a number of occasions.
Following the news of his death, his Friends co-star Maggie Wheeler, who played his girlfriend on the show, shared, “‘What a loss. The world will miss you Matthew Perry.” She also shared an image showcasing them.
‘I want to quit the gym’
Perry developed a love for tennis while he was being raised in Ottawa, Canada, where he tried his hand at the sport.
He became a top-ranked junior player at the age of 13 and planned to pursue the sport professionally, but he admitted his perception of his abilities changed when he moved to Los Angeles.
‘Addiction, the big terrible thing, is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone’
Perry’s struggle with addiction was widely known, with himhaving reportedly claimed that he failed to remember a fair part of filming Friends due to addiction. It became publicly known after he finished a Vicodin addiction programme in 1997, and subsequently entered rehab again in 2001 for addiction issues. Thereafter, he became a spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. He had undergone 14 surgeries, and was merienda on 50 painkillers. “I say in the book that if I did die, it would shock people, but it wouldn’t surprise anybody,” he had said in a 2022 interview.
‘I’m not so good with the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?’
Reports suggest that Perry was initially considered for the role of Ross Geller, but was appointed for the part of Chandler Bing since his wit aligned with the requirements of the character. The makers of Friends had apparently considered the character of Chandler Bing the toughest one to write. Just when they had concluded that it was poorly written, Perry won them over with his portrayal. It has been reported that Perry often contributed to his character’s dialogues, given that he was the wittiest cast member on the show.
‘Hi, I’m Chandler. I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable’ — Perry in Friends
The popular sitcom Friends earned him an Emmy nomination in the year 2002 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, with Matt LeBlanc. Neither of them won.
Celebrities on social media
“You have entertained generations, including my children, and I thank you for that. RIP.”
Kareena Kapoor, Samantha
While Samantha shared a picture of Perry on social media and wrote: “Forever friend. Thank you,” Kareena Kapoor Khan referred to him as “Chandler forever.”
“As if the news we wake up to every day right now isn’t bad enough, now this. Been reading his autobiography, and this is just heartbreaking. Thank you for all the laughs and your incredible talent. May you finally rest in peace, though the world has lost a gem”
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