November 7, 2023

Goodbye to a ‘Friend’: Honoring Matthew Perry’s Talents, Battles, and Iconic Role as Chandler Bing

In this article, we pay tribute to Matthew Perry's legacy and reflect on the significant impact he left on the entertainment industry and the world.

Honoring Matthew Perry's Talents, Battles, and Iconic Role as Chandler Bing

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Julie Miller

Addiction & Mental Health Writer

Last Update on November 7, 2023

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Matthew Perry, a beloved actor renowned for his iconic role as Chandler Bing in the popular sitcom “Friends”, has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

With his undeniable talent, quick wit, and relatable charm, Perry won the hearts of audiences worldwide.

However, his recent and untimely death has brought to light not only his impressive career, but also the personal struggles he faced with addiction.

In this article, we pay tribute to Perry’s legacy and reflect on the significant impact he left on the entertainment industry and the world.

Matthew Perry Passes Away at 54

The entertainment world is mourning the loss of “Friends” icon Matthew Perry, who was declared deceased in his Los Angeles residence after emergency services were called to a “water emergency” on Saturday night.

October 28, 2023, at 4:07 p.m., first responders arrived at the home of Matthew Perry to find him lifeless in his hot tub.

Known for his battle with addiction, reports confirm there were no illicit substances present at the location.

Nonetheless, a source did note the recovery of prescription medication.

The lead of the Robbery Homicide Division of the Los Angeles Police, Capt. Scot Williams, conveyed that while the “cause of death may not be known for some time, but at this point foul play is not suspected.”

By November 2nd, an autopsy had been performed, revealing an absence of Fentanyl and Meth in Perry’s system.

The definitive cause of death is awaiting determination by the coroner’s office of Los Angeles County, which has postponed its conclusion pending additional analysis.

Medical examiners anticipate the comprehensive toxicology screen to ascertain the exact cause, which may require several more weeks.

Forensic pathologist and ex-chief medical examiner for New York City, Dr. Michael Baden, expressed that the necessity for further testing after the initial autopsy and toxicology “indicates that for some reason they’re holding up the rest of it,” suggesting that death from natural causes like a heart attack or stroke would have been quickly identified.

Perry’s relatives have shared their grief, stating: “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother. Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”

Matthew Perry's Openness About His Addictions

Perry candidly addressed his addiction issues, recently unveiling his battle with drugs and alcohol in his memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir,” published in November 2022.

He recounted during his peak fame on “Friends” his severe addiction to alcohol and opioids, such as Vicodin, which started as a treatment for pain after a jet ski accident in 1997.

This addiction escalated to the point where he was consuming 55 pills daily, and his weight dropped to a dangerous 128 pounds.

Even before his Vicodin dependency, Perry was no stranger to alcohol problems, beginning to drink at 14, and by 18, it was a regular part of his life.

He confessed that his substance abuse was so severe during “Friends” seasons 3-6 that he has no memory of filming them.

Matthew Perry's Health Battles Linked to Addiction

The actor suffered multiple health issues as a result of his substance abuse, including a 2000 hospitalization for pancreatitis and numerous hospital stays for various conditions after that.

A critical moment came in 2018 when Perry found himself hospitalized with a burst colon after heavy OxyContin misuse, leading to a two-month coma.

With a mere 2% survival chance, as Perry later mentioned, it was a wake-up call for a significant lifestyle change, leading to his dedication to sobriety.

Following his severe colon incident, Perry encountered yet another life-threatening situation.

While in a Swiss rehabilitation facility, he misused ketamine infusions and prescription Oxycontin, the latter of which he obtained by feigning pain.

Additionally, before undergoing surgery, he received an injection of propofol, which led to a harrowing five-minute cessation of his heartbeat.

The intense cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) required to resuscitate him resulted in the fracture of eight of his ribs.

In 2021, the actor achieved sobriety, attributing this life-changing accomplishment to his therapist.

This turning point came when his therapist advised him to associate the use of drugs with the perpetual reliance on a colostomy bag.

This powerful analogy resonated deeply with Perry, who confessed in his memoir that after this realization, he lost all desire to engage with drugs again.

Throughout his struggle, Perry spent over $9 million on treatment and had gone to rehab 15 times.

His recovery efforts extended to others as well; in 2015, he transformed his Malibu property into a sober living facility for men and worked as an ambassador for All Rise.

He was also in the process of establishing a foundation to assist those battling addictions at the time of his death.

In a heartfelt expression on the “Q With Tom Power” podcast, Perry encapsulated his commitment: “The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘yes’ and follow up and do it.”

The legacy of Matthew Perry will live on as a cherished friend and an ardent advocate for individuals tirelessly working towards a life free from addiction.

Honoring Matthew Perry's Talents, Battles, and Iconic Role as Chandler Bing

A Final Goodbye To Our Favorite 'Friend'

The sudden death of Matthew Perry has left a sad feeling as we remember his life.

Despite facing many trials, he was a symbol of hope and strength in the battle against addiction.

Perry’s openness about his struggles and his unwavering commitment to sobriety until his last days left a legacy beyond his fame on television screens.

His journey is proof of the incredible strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

As we look back on his life, remember that our struggles do not define us, but our reaction to them shapes our legacy.

In honoring Matthew Perry, we acknowledge that even during the most challenging struggles, we can still lead a life of recovery and hope.

His life is an inspiring example of courage and vulnerability.

Get Help For Addiction Today!

The tale of Matthew Perry stands as a stark testament to the enduring struggle against addiction.

Should you or a loved one be struggling with addiction, please don’t wait to ask for help.

Reach out to us at Cornerstone Healing Center in Scottsdale, AZ, to discuss your treatment possibilities and embark on the path to recovery.

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Author & Reviewers

julie miller recovery writer and author
RECOVERY WRITER
Julie is a recovery advocate, with over two years sober. She is a recovery speaker who believes people can change for the better. Her mission is to write factual, helpful information about addiction, treatment, and recovery. She believes that no one should be left in the dark about the process at any stage of their recovery.
lionel estrada lisac clinical director
CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Lionel is the Clinical Director of Cornerstone’s treatment facilities in Arizona. He has had over 4 years at Cornerstone. He is personally in recovery and passionate about helping others overcome substance abuse and mental health challenges, he is trained as an EMDR, adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of conditions.

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