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The One Where We Lost Chandler

Friends star Matthew Perry passes away at 54, but fans won’t forget his legacy in the acting industry
Source: The New York Times

Matthew Perry, known as Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom show “Friends” was found unresponsive by his assistant in his hot tub around 4 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2023 in Pacific Palisades, California. He was 54 years old. His cause of death is still unknown, but it was later revealed by toxicologists that there was an unknown drug found in Perry’s system. Matthew Perry was always known as Chandler Bing, the self-deprecating, sarcastic, and fun-witted character, but many people may not know his struggle with drugs during and after the show. 

Source: 7News

Matthew’s addiction problems started when he was only 14 years old and by the season 3 finale ofFriends,” he had been taking up to 55 Vicodin a day. Matthew expressed in his 2022 memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” that he did many things to try to overcome this obstacle by attending 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, as well as entering rehab 15 times.

During his years on “Friends,” his weight would fluctuate throughout the seasons. This was due to the types of addictions and habits he had.

“When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills. When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills,” Perry shares in his memoir.

His book contains even more shocking information about his life, including childhood memories of his parent’s divorce, his teenage years as a nationally-ranked tennis player, and much more.  

Perry was also in multiple movies and television shows, one particular being “17 Again.” In an interview with People, Zac Efron revealed that Matthew Perry wanted him to represent himself in his future biopic. After his passing, Efron described working with Perry on the movie. “He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together,” he expressed to People.

“I looked up to him, I learned comedic timing from that guy. I mean, when we were filming ’17 Again,’ it was so surreal for me to look across and have him be there, because I’ve learned so much from him, from his whole life.” 

In addition, Perry was featured in other films and television shows like “Fools Rush In,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” and “Growing Pains.” 

Moreover, in an interview with CBC News, Perry also revealed how he wanted to help people who had drug and alcohol addictions. “When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned.” He knew that people were going to only see him as his persona of Chandler Bing. However, he wanted to help those with addiction recovery. The Matthew Perry Foundation was launched by the National Philanthropic Trust, in honor of his passing. 

From the moment Matthew Perry would show up on a screen, he stole the show with his remarkable acting and was rewarded with Primetime Emmy Award nominations for this. Even after his success on “Friends,” he continued to act despite his unfortunate hardships with his addictions. He had come out and told his story that broke fan’s hearts and inspired many others.

Fans continue to pay tribute to him, letting the world know that he will never be forgotten. 

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Stella Kakatsos
Stella Kakatsos, General Reporter
Senior who writes for the truth.
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