Today, I'm switching things up slightly and taking a moment to reflect, and pay tribute to one of the bests.
We find ourselves grappling with an irreparable loss - that of Matthew Perry, known and loved globally as Chandler Bing from "Friends". The news, unexpected and overwhelming, has left us bereft, struggling for words and wrestling with a surge of emotions. It feels as if a gust of wind has swept away a part of us.
Mourning this loss are countless fans around the world - people who loved "Friends", but more importantly, admired Matthew Perry for his unparalleled acting prowess. Tears have been shed, conversations had, and memories revisited, all in an attempt to accept this heartbreaking news that arrived too early in the morning.
“Could I BE any more…?”
This iconic line uttered by Perry's character Chandler Bing is one of many that fans of Friends fondly quote. But beneath the rapid-fire humor resided a man of great depth and character.
Matthew Perry was more than a beloved sitcom star often unjustly targeted by humor that, at times, bordered on the distasteful. But I'd rather not turn this homage into a colorful tirade. So, before I delve into my deep-seated admiration for the show "Friends" that has been central to my life, I want to focus on highlighting some truly commendable human qualities that one could only aspire to possess.
The legacy Matthew Perry left behind is personified resilience and altruism. … I wish he knew how deeply he touched people's lives - not merely through laughter and entertainment, but through his profound humanity and kindness - whose impact extended far beyond the screens where he became a household name. While many of us knew him as the charmingly witty Chandler Bing from "Friends," there was another side to Matthew that remained somewhat hidden from the public eye - his unwavering commitment to supporting those battling addiction.
Who could possibly forget the brave moment when Matthew Perry publicly documented his struggles with addiction in his memoir? Released less than a year ago, Perry’s memoir provides an unflinchingly honest look into the life he led when the cameras stopped rolling. His candidness about the decades-long battle with alcohol and pills is both heart-breaking and eye-opening. It's a remarkable testament to have the courage to lay bare such a personal journey, especially within the ever-churning rumor mill of Hollywood. His memoir, one might say, is a personal tribute to his own resilience.
Today, as we revisit his memoir with a heavy heart, one can’t help but recall Perry's journey into the shadowy realm of substance abuse, which started innocuously enough with just a Budweiser and Andrès Baby Duck wine at the tender age of 14. As time passed, his addiction escalated, leading to shocking levels of consumption, including quarts of vodka and a deadly cocktail of Vicodin, Xanax, and OxyContin, sometimes (during the darkest days) up to 55 pills a day.
Courageously, though, Perry fought back, enduring detoxification more than 65 times. Amid this bleak period, he managed to draw one inviolable line: heroin. In a New York Times article just last year, he stated his strong belief that this decision was a crucial lifeline that ultimately saved him from a more tragic end. To now, only a short year later - almost to the day and we're confronted with the harsh reality. A man who spread so much laughter and positivity to others was in his own life wrestling a profound inner sadness until it finally consumed him.
The funny thing about success is that it doesn't matter how many people you've made laugh, there will always be one person who will bring you down. - Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry's life is a testament to the fact that success is not just measured in dollars and cents, but also in the lives we touch and the change we inspire. His contributions were more than just his roles in films or television shows. He used his platform to voice support for those struggling with addiction, providing resources, help and, most importantly, hope.
Matthew Perry reminds us of the power of turning struggles into strength and transforming a 'Big Terrible Thing' into a 'Big Beautiful Thing.' He may have lost his battle, but he won the war against hopelessness, reminding us all that it is never too late to change a life - be it ours or someone else's.
Matthew Perry's talent was undeniable, and his contributions to both television and film will continue to be celebrated. - Matthew Perry Foundation
Although I never had the privilege of meeting Matthew Perry in person, his portrayal of Chandler continues to remain a significant part of my life. When "Friends" first aired in 1994 (The final episode, which aired in 2004, broke records with more than 50 million viewers.), like countless other mothers, my own mother became a avid fan, turning our weekly viewings into a cherished ritual. I recall a beautiful memory from my early childhood at around four or five years old, a tradition that I fondly remember and has endured to this day.
Upon hearing my mother shout, "IT'S ON!", I would dash into the living room just in time for that iconic CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP! This is one of my most favorite memories to date with my mother. The tradition has a unique charm, such that even my daughter is now part of it. She rushes to the TV, stands in front of it, and looks back at me with a radiant smile – one that I believe mirrors my own from my childhood – as we happily join in the ceremonial "Friends Clap".
There's no understating the profound influence Matthew Perry had on my life. He masterfully combined dry humor with self-deprecation, offering a comforting presence during my formative years and in turbulent times. His comedic timing was second-to-none, transforming mundane scenarios into moments of joyous laughter. With countless "Friends" episode reruns under my belt - yes, even the entirety of season 9 - his performance left an indelible mark on me.
Imagine yourself at the tender age of ten, attempting to mimic the iconic character, Chandler Bing, particularly during his unforgettable Santa Clause act where he exclaims, “But I didn’t get to shake my belly like a bowl full of jelly!” This isn't merely a moment in time but rather, the inception of a lifelong admiration that extends to cultivating an expansive knowledge encompassing all ten seasons of the beloved sitcom. With a penchant for self-deprecating humor, one might even find it challenging to encounter someone who can match my expertise in "Friends" trivia.
Today, as I remember Matthew Perry, I hope to honor him by carrying on his on and off-screen legacy forward - by laughing a little louder, smiling a little brighter, and cherishing the joy he brought into my life the past 29 years. And as I navigate this almost unbearable loss, I just want to imagine him in a better place, perhaps in Central Perk….? sipping on a big cup of coffee… sharing a laugh and even a cigarette with Gunther.
Matthew Perry was a gifted actor who brought depth and humor to his portrayal of Chandler Bing on 'Friends'. His legacy extends far beyond the show, as he continued to showcase his talent in various film and television projects. He will be greatly missed. - Jennifer Aniston
Matthew Perry was not only a talented actor, but also a kind and generous person. He used his platform to raise awareness about addiction and mental health, and was an inspiration to many. His legacy will live on through his work and the lives he touched. - Courteney Cox
Matthew Perry's portrayal of Chandler Bing was iconic and unforgettable. He had a unique ability to make us laugh and cry, and his comedic timing was impeccable. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest sitcom actors of all time. - David Schwimmer
Matthew Perry was a true professional and a joy to work with. He brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the set, and his dedication to his craft was evident in every scene. He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and fans. - Lisa Kudrow
Matthew Perry's talent and charisma were unmatched. He had a way of making every character he played come to life, and his performances were always captivating. He will forever be remembered as a true legend in the entertainment industry. - Matt LeBlanc
Matthew Perry - you will be missed, but your spirit will live on through the laughter and joy you've left behind. Here's to you, Chandler Bing - could you BE any more unforgettable?
P.S - To think that you feared that you held no significance to us all -
as if you didn't help and save so many of us ... </3