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The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The one where we lost a friend

Friends star, Matthew Perry, dead at 54
The+one+where+we+lost+a+friend

On Oct. 28, the hearts of many were shattered when headlines announced that Matthew Perry was found dead at the age of 54. The American-Canadian actor was best known for his role as Chandler Bing in the popular sitcom, “Friends.” 

Matthew Langford Perry was born on Aug. 19, 1969 in Williamstown, Massachusetts to John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Perry. John and Suzanne split up while Perry was still an infant and Perry went with his mother to live in Ottawa, Canada, where Suzanne later remarried. Perry attended Rockcliffe Park Public School and, as stated by Biography, “became friends with fellow student Justin Trudeau, the current prime minister of Canada.” 

When he was 15, Perry went to live with his father in Los Angeles and enrolled at Buckley School, from which he graduated from in 1987. By the time Perry had graduated from high school, he had already booked his first movie role. Regarding the role, Biography states that it was “a supporting role opposite star River Phoenix in “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon” (1988). Unfortunately, the film came and went without much notice.” 

In September of 1987, Perry starred in his first sitcom, “Second Chance,” which was later changed to a new title of “Boys Will Be Boys.” Even though the show was canceled after only a year on air, Perry continued to act. He landed small parts in shows such as “Empty Nests and Growing Pains” and larger roles in the short-lived sitcom “Sydney” and the movie “Call Me Anna” in 1990. 

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Three years later, Biography reports that “Perry tried again for sitcom success with “Home Free.” After a few months, the series was canceled. Perry was then cast in the pilot for “LAX 2194,” a futuristic look at an airport which never aired.” After years of searching for the perfect sitcom, Perry landed the role of his lifetime. 

Friends,” one of the most popular television sitcoms of all time, made its debut in September 1994 and followed a group of six friends living in New York City. Perry,co-starred in the show along with Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and Jennifer Aniston. 

On-screen and off, Perry quickly became known for playing the funny and sarcastic Chandler Bing. Perry and his castmates were also known for their chemistry. According to Biography, “they banded together to renegotiate their contracts after “Friends ” became a huge hit. Each eventually earned $1 million per episode. Critics loved the show, too.” By the time the sitcom came to an end in May 2004, “Friends” had earned 62 Emmy Award nominations. 

Following the conclusion of “Friends,” Perry went on to act in other shows and movies, including “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “The Odd Couple,” and “The Good Wife.”

Behind the scenes though, the actor was facing his own uphill battles. Perry’s addiction to Vicodin, according to Us, “began after a jet ski accident in 1997.” This eventually led to alcohol abuse and in 2000, Perry was hospitalized for alcohol-related pancreatitis. This incident happened right between the end of season six and the beginning of season seven and “Friends” fans rapidly grew concerned with Perry’s changes in appearance between the two seasons.

In 2001, the actor decided to ask for help with his addictions, stating in Us that “I realized I’ve got to go save myself. I got on the phone and called the people who were willing to help me.” 

After two months in a rehabilitation center, Perry returned to filming. He continued to fight his battle with drugs and alcohol throughout the rest of his life, and goes into more personal details about his addictions in his 2022 book, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.” 

While the “Friends” star never got married, he did come close. In November 2020, according to Biography, “the actor got engaged to his girlfriend Molly Hurwitz. However, the pair announced their split in May 2021.” Previously, Perry also dated Lizzy Caplan, Julia Roberts, Jamie Tarses, Rachel Dunn, and Gabrielle Allan. 

Matthew Perry died on Oct. 28, 2023 at the age of 54. Authorities found the actor unresponsive in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home in the early evening. Although it was apparent to many that the star’s death was likely drawing, Perry’s cause of death, according to ET, “is listed as pending investigation as the medical examiner’s office awaits toxicology and lab results.”

When the news broke out about Matthew Perry’s death, his family, friends, and fans all mourned the loss. Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey in the sitcom, was the first of the “Friends” stars to speak out about Perry’s death, posting this statement on his Instagram, 

“It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life. It was an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend. I will always smile when I think of you and I’ll never forget you. Never. Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”

Matthew Perry was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, after a simple memorial service and a private family funeral. 

www.biography.com/actors/matthew-perry, www.etonline.com/matthew-perrys-death-certificate-released-details-revealed-214870, and 

www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/pictures/matthew-perrys-ups-and-downs-through-the-years-a-timeline/



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Lainey Vollmer, Staff Writer

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