“When I die, I know people will talk about Friends, Friends, Friends. And I’m glad of that, happy I’ve done some solid work as an actor, as well as given people multiple chances to make fun of my struggles on the world wide web but when I die, as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if Friends were listed far behind the things, I did to try to help other people. I know it won’t happen, but it would be nice,” stated Matthew Perry in an interview on “Q with Tom Powers” in Nov. 2022.
Matthew Perry was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Oct. 28, 2023, at age 54.
“An investigation into how Perry died is ongoing, and it may take weeks before his cause of death is determined. Perry’s body was found in a hot tub at his home, according to unnamed sources cited by the Los Angeles Times and celebrity website TMZ, which was the first to report the news,” said AP News.
Two days after Perry’s death, the cast of “Friends,” Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer released a joint statement to People magazine.
“We were more than just castmates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss,” the statement said. “In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends and everyone who loved him around the world.”
With Perry’s strong initiative and commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction, the Matthew Perry Foundation was created after his passing to honor his legacy.
“The Matthew Perry Foundation is the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment
to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction. It will honor his legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible,” read The Matthew Perry Foundation website.
The Emmy nominated “Friends” star publicly talked about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. The foundation, which is currently taking donations, stated that beyond his popularity from his famous sitcom, he wanted to be known as someone who assisted people who were struggling with substance abuse.
In his memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” he revealed that he spent more than $7 million on his own drug treatment.
A “CBS Mornings” broadcast discussed how Perry also turned his Malibu home into a sober living facility from 2013 to 2015, known as “Perry House,” to help other men struggling with addiction. In 2015, the actor was honored by Phoenix House, a non-profit drug and alcohol rehab program, for his advocacy.
“‘Friends’ has and always will be my comfort show, and hearing about Matthew Perry’s death was so devastating. He is so much more than just a character on a television show, he’s a real person with real struggles,” said junior Tessa Grisanti. “He’s a great actor and ‘Friends’ is a great show, but the foundation he created to help others who struggle with addiction as he did is really what matters and how he should be remembered.”