Written by Paige Tamasi
A few weeks ago, the world lost a universal favourite, someone who brought many of us laughs and joy when we needed it. The world lost a world-renowned comedian, philanthropist, and beloved actor. On October 28, 2023, the world lost Matthew Perry…
Matthew Perry was most famous for his role as Chandler in the hit sitcom FRIENDS, ‘Chandler’ quickly became a fan favourite for his quippy comebacks and hilarious comments. Many fans grew to know him through his trademark line delivery: a sarcastic comment, usually in the form of a question, said with comical disbelief and seriousness. When casting the character, the producers of the show famously had a difficult time finding the right actor, until Matthew Perry. The story goes that the crew had begun rethinking the character, worried the humour wasn’t translating well, that was until Perry auditioned and then no one else could ever compete. This serves not only as a huge testament to Perry’s skill as both a comedian and actor but also to the expectations the production crew had of him.
After FRIENDS, Perry joined various shows and films such as The West Wing, Fools Rush In, and The Whole Ten Yards. In each one he showed off his exceptional comedic timing, winning personality, and overall mastery of acting. Perry was nominated for various awards such as Best Actor in the Golden Globe Awards for his performance in The Ron Clark Story and won many awards as well, including the 2013 Huading Award for Best Global Actor in a TV Series for his time on Go On.
As a successful comedian and a fan-favourite comic, Perry often felt the pressure of the script, the crew, his fellow actors, and the entire outcome of the show resting on him. In the FRIENDS reunion back in 2021, Perry opened up about this stress saying, “I felt like I was going to die if they didn’t laugh.” He continues to write about his struggles with the stress and expectations of the role, and how they were among the many things that pushed him to alcoholism, in his book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.
Matthew Perry’s alcoholism was a long-term battle for him, one he has repeatedly opened up about. Initially, he was hesitant about speaking about his addiction problems but decided that speaking about his recovery could help and encourage others in a similar predicament. He became an avid spokesperson for rehabilitation and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. His efforts and generosity earned him the Champion of Recovery Award from the White House in 2013.
But there can never be darkness without light, and while Matthew Perry’s darkness came to him in the form of addiction, he brought light to the lives of so many others through his work, his kindness and his many philanthropic acts, from converting his house into a rehab centre in 2013 to creating a fashion line purely to donate all profits to the World Health Organisation for COVID-19 relief. Perry was also a joy to be around, with videos abound showing him causing his castmates to laugh from going off script or making them break down in laughter from a joke made offstage. Rest in peace Matthew Perry, a top-notch comedian, a great friend, and someone who brought so much joy to everyone around him.
Written by Paige Tamasi, Edited by Eleanor Partington, Photography by Paige Tamasi, Published by Paige Tamasi.