Matthew Perry, born August 19, 1969, became a household name with his role as Chandler Bing in the massively popular sitcom “Friends,” which pioneered an almost-entirely new television genre. Before starring in “Friends,” Perry starred in drama films and T.V. series rather than comedies. During and after filming “Friends”, Perry also starred in several films spanning many genres from romantic comedy to action movies alongside other big names in Hollywood. Despite being an actor first, he dabbled in directing, scriptwriting, and live theater, making him a quadruple threat in the acting world. Help us celebrate his life and legacy today!
Matthew Perry rose to fame in his role as Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom “Friends.” Perry, whose full name is Matthew Langford Perry, was born on August 19, 1969, in Williamstown Massachusetts. Although he is an American citizen by birth, he has Canadian heritage from his mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison, a journalist and former press secretary for the Canadian government. His father, John Bennett Perry, is an American actor and model. After his parents’ divorce, Perry’s mother married a Canadian journalist and the family relocated to Ottawa, Ontario, where the actor grew up. Perry moved to Los Angeles, California, when he was 15 to pursue acting and graduated from The Buckley School in 1987.
Perry began performing improvisation comedy around the Sherman Oaks area during high school. He had his first T.V. role in 1979 in the series “240-Robert” in which he played the character of Arthur. In 1988, he got his first movie role in the film “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon.” He guest-starred on shows such as “Growing Pains,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and “Home Free” before landing his iconic role as Chandler in “Friends” in 1994. In addition to acting in the T.V. sitcom, he concurrently starred in multiple films spanning many genres including the rom-com “Fools Rush In” starring Salma Hayek and the crime comedy film “The Whole Nine Yards” alongside action heavyweight Bruce Willis. He also starred in the drama T.V. series “The West Wing” in 2003 and was nominated for two Emmy awards for the role.
Tragically, Perry passed away on October 28 at his home in Los Angeles.
In 2004, he directed an episode in the 4th season of the comedy T.V. series “Scrubs.” In 2006, he starred as the lead actor in the successful drama film “The Ron Clark Story” which earned him several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. He starred in several other drama and comedy T.V. series and films throughout the 2000s. Between 2012 and 2014, he starred in the critically acclaimed T.V. drama series “The Good Wife.” In 2015, he began co-writing and producing a revival of the 1970s T.V. series “The Odd Couple.” He moved to live theater in 2016, playing the lead role in a play he wrote entitled “The End of Longing” in London.
The actor stars in the American drama series “240-Robert” in his first T.V. acting role.
Perry stars in the drama film “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon” in his first film acting role.
The actor gets his big break as Chandler Bing in the sitcom “Friends,” making him a household name.
Perry continues his career in drama T.V. starring in “The West Wing” and earns two Emmy nominations for the role.
The actor enters the world of directing when he directs an episode of the successful T.V. comedy series “Scrubs.”
Perry begins co-writing and producing the reboot of the T.V. series “The Odd Couple.”
The actor assumes the lead role in his play “The End of Longing” in London, England.
Why We Love Matthew Perry
He beat addiction
Perry was abusing alcohol and drugs throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. After multiple rehab admissions, he got clean and is now even a spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
He was passionate about health
Owing to his previous addiction, Perry gained a lot of weight after he got clean. However, he took steps to take care of his health and has lost a lot of weight.
He was charitable
Perry was committed to helping the less fortunate and supporting important causes. He released a series of “Friends”-themed merchandise including t-shirts. The proceeds of the sales were donated to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 relief funds.
5 Surprising Facts
He loved tennis
Perry was a keen tennis player during his school days and was a top-ranked junior player.
He was nominated for an Emmy
The actor was nominated for the ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series’ category for his role in “Friends” but lost to Ray Romano.
He had dual citizenship
Because he was born in America and his mother is Canadian, he held American and Canadian citizenship.
He wrote a paper on quantum physics
The actor had to submit the science paper to actress Julia Roberts before she could appear on “Friends.”
He enjoyed video games
After giving talk show host Ellen Degeneres a copy of the video game “Fallout 3” on her show, the game’s production studio cast him in the next installment of the video game series.
Matthew Perry FAQs
What disease did Matthew Perry have?
He suffered from a gastrointestinal perforation which required surgery.
Who was Matthew Perry married to?
He broke off his engagement with literary manager Molly Hurwitz.
What was Matthew Perry's cause of death?
His apparent cause of death was accidental drowning.
Matthew Perry’s birthday dates