- ‘Friends’ actor Matthew Perry is dead at 54.
- His TV and movie also career included ‘The Whole Nine Yards’, ‘Fools Rush In’ and ‘The West Wing’
- Colleagues and co-stars, including Paget Brewster, paid tribute.
He was reportedly found in a jacuzzi at his home, but the investigation is ongoing. He’ll be remembered primarily for his work on ‘Friends’ but enjoyed a long career on screens big and small.
Matthew Perry: Early Life and Pre-‘Friends’ career
Matthew Langford Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on August 19th, 1969. He was raised in Ottawa, Canada, where he attended elementary school alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
His mother, Suzanne Morrison, was a journalist and press secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin’s father, while his father, John Bennett Perry, was an actor and model.
Perry made his television debut in 1979 on an episode of ‘240-Robert’ (which starred his father). After moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting, he would go on to book roles in shows like ‘Not Necessarily the News’, ‘Charles in Charge’, ‘Silver Spoons’, ‘Just the Ten of Us’ and ‘Highway to Heaven’. Perry became a series regular on ‘Boys Will be Boys’, which premiered in 1987 and ran for a single season.
In 1989 he had a recurring role on ‘Growing Pains’ followed by a series regular role on ‘Sydney’. He’d continue to guest star on shows like ‘Who’s the Boss?’ ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’, and ‘Dream On’.
In 1993 he was a series regular on ‘Home Free’, but his big break would come the following year.
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‘Friends’ and Beyond: Perry’s career takes off
In 1994, Perry landed the role of the wise-cracking Chandler Bing on the NBC sitcom ‘Friends.’ Along with co-stars David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc he became a household name.
Across 10 seasons, ‘Friends’ was the most successful comedy series of the ‘90s, earning different generations of fans during its run and in more recent times since younger audiences have discovered it via Netflix.
Perry, along with his colleagues, would end up earning a huge $1 million fee per episode.
And though he never reached the heights of, say, his co-star Aniston in terms of movie fame, he appeared on a variety of shows and films following his time on the series.
His post-friends TV work included appearances on ‘The West Wing’, ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’ and ‘Mr. Sunshine’, a sitcom he co-created that lasted for nine episodes. A reboot of ‘The Odd Couple’ fared better, lasting three seasons.
Which movies has Matthew Perry appeared in?
Though it was not the focus of his career, Matthew Perry appeared in movies both before, during and after his stint on ‘Friends’.
Matthew Perry: tributes arrive
Warner Bros. TV, the production company behind friends, issued a statement on his death:
“We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry. Matthew was an incredibly gifted actor and an indelible part of the Warner Bros. Television Group family. The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of so many. This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our love to his family, his loved ones, and all of his devoted fans.”
Paget Brewster, who appeared on ‘Friends’ hit Twitter to offer her own tribute:
Matthew Perry: life struggles
Perry was open about his battles with addiction to both alcohol and pills and spent a considerable amount of time and money getting sober. He ended up founding Perry House, a men’s sober living facility, in his old Malibu beach home. “I really lived life to its fullest and that got me in trouble from time to time,” he said in a US Weekly interview several years ago.