Matthew Perry was best known for his role as Chandler Bing in Friends, but had an impressive acting resume before and after the 10 years he spend on the NBC sitcom.
The son of actor John Bennett Perry, Matthew followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued acting at a young age. At the age of 9 he made his first appearance on television on 240-Robert, a show that starred his dad alongside Mark Harmon. Matthew played Arthur, a curious boy who questions a paramedic, portrayed by his father.
“Are you a doctor?” Perry’s character asks. Told that he’s a paramedic, Perry then asks, “What’s a paramedic?”
The two-line gig only fueled Perry’s desire for fame. In an interview with the New York Times in 2002, Matthew detailed his hunger for the spotlight.
”I was a guy who wanted to become famous,” Perry said at the time. ”There was steam coming out of my ears, I wanted to be famous so badly. You want the attention, you want the bucks, and you want the best seat in the restaurant. I didn’t think what the repercussions would be.”
Just a few years after appearing in 240-Robert, Matthew Perry landed other sitcom roles including small roles in shows like Charles in Charge and Growing Pains. He also co-starred in other sitcoms including Sydney and Home Free which lasted only a few months.
In the late ’80s he landed big screen roles in movies like ”A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon” (1988) and ”She’s Out of Control” (1989).
It was in the early years of his career that Perry developed an addiction to drugs and alcohol as he realized that fame wasn’t enough. He continued to act, eventually landing the life-changing role of Chandler Bing in Friends. During the 10 years he appeared on Friends, Perry he continued to struggle with addiction, though he said he never used on set.
In 1996, Matthew landed his first starring movie role in Fools Rush In, co-starring Salma Hayek. Over the next 8 years, while still appearing in Friends, he would star in four more movies: Almost Heroes (1997), Three to Tango (1999), The Whole Nine Yards (2000) and Serving Sara (2002).
After the conclusion of Friends, Perry filmed two more movies, The Whole Ten Yards (2005) and 17 Again (2009).
In the years that followed, Matthew returned to television, appearing in sitcoms Mr. Sunshine, Go On, The Odd Couple, The Good Wife and The Good Fight. His final tv appearance came in 2021 when he reunited with his Friends co-stars for a television special hosted by James Corden.
During the reunion, Matthew Perry got emotional recalling the incredible bond he shared with each of his co-stars.
“The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it. That was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long and that was it.”
He added, “You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night. And that’s the way it worked.”
Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox began to cry, agreeing with Perry’s assessment. “It’s certainly the way it worked with all of us. It’s just the way it is.”
Matthew Perry died Saturday, October 28, at his home near Los Angeles.
TMZ was the first to report the news, saying that Perry was found deceased after apparently drowning. Authorities responded to a call to the home for a cardiac arrest and found Perry unresponsive in a jacuzzi at a home in the Los Angeles area, law enforcement officials told the news outlet. They added that no drugs were found at the scene and no foul play is suspected.
Watch Matthew Perry’s touching Friends reunion moment in the video below.