Photo courtesy of Flickr.
On Saturday, October 28th, the whole world lost a friend following the unexpected passing of Matthew Perry at 54 years old. He was discovered in his Los Angeles home during the afternoon dead in his hot tub, of apparent drowning. As of now, an autopsy has been done but no real cause of death has been identified. Matthew Perry was mainly known for his iconic role of Chandler Bing, who he embodied during 10 years (1994-2004) in the very acclaimed Friends sitcom. As the first of the six core cast members to pass away, generation mourns the loss of a television friend.
Fans paid tribute to Perry and his character at the Friends apartment in Greenwich Village, N.Y.C. Crowds gathered, brought flowers and left notes in his memory. Social media was full of videos mourning him. Celebrities such as Salma Hayeck, Maggie Wheeler and Elliott Gould also paid tribute to him by posting pictures.
The most awaited reactions were the ones from the five other co-stars on Friends (Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt Leblanc, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer). As of this week, none of them have posted individually on social media, but on the 31st of October a joint statement was made to the magazine People on behalf of the five actors:
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” their statement reads. “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.In time we will say more, as and when we are able,” the statement continues. “For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
In 2022, Matthew Perry released his memoir called Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing starting with a very gut wrenching first line: “Hi my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.” His book addresses his journey through addiction to alcohol and drugs, during and after his time on Friends. Because of those, he revealed that he went 64 times to rehab and underwent many life saving operations. After getting sober, he transformed his former beach house in Malibu into the Perry House to try and help other men get sober. He dedicated his life to help others through addiction and was on the way to set up a Foundation to do so. To honor him, the Matthew Perry foundation was created a few days after his death with the goal to help people fighting the disease of addiction.
The actor said publicly several times during the promotion of his book back in 2022, that he would like to be remembered as “somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker. And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.” He didn’t want Friends to be the first thing that would come up about him, even if it was inevitable considering he was playing the most appreciated character, but his efforts to help others.
Perry’s legacy will live on not only through Chandler Bing, but also the Matthew Perry Foundation, which is committed to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction.
Sophomore Agathe Vanmassenhove is a Sports Reporter. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.