Matthew Perry Wanted To Be Remembered For Helping People With Addiction
via CBS Mornings / Youtube
Matthew Perry expressed his desire to be remembered for his efforts in aiding those struggling with addiction rather than for his iconic role in Friends. He firmly believed that overcoming addiction is an arduous journey, made even more challenging by the constant presence of paparazzi.
Tragically, the 54-year-old actor was discovered lifeless in a hot tub at his Pacific Palisades residence. However, before this heartbreaking event, Perry had been candid about his battles with addiction, revealing that he had spent a staggering $9 million on 15 separate rehab stays.
In 2018, Perry came perilously close to losing his life when he slipped into a coma that lasted for two weeks. He recounted this near-death experience in his recently published memoir. Perry shared that he had injected such a large quantity of opioids that it caused his colon to burst, necessitating life support. Perry stated that time:
“It’s what doctors and people call a hail mary. It never works. My parents were told I had a two percent chance of making it through the night.”
While promoting his memoir, Perry discussed the toll that addiction took on him during his time on the immensely popular television series, Friends. He admitted to taking 55 Vicodin pills daily and reaching a shockingly low weight of 128 pounds. He expressed his inability to watch the show now, given his emaciated appearance during that period.
Perry’s fluctuations in weight were closely tied to his struggles with addiction. He wrote in his memoir:
“When I’m skinny, it’s pills. When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills. When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol.”
His addiction had reached such a severe point that he had no memory of three entire seasons of Friends.
Leaving Behind a Powerful Message of Hope
In 2004, Jennifer Aniston became emotional while discussing Matthew Perry’s struggles with Diane Sawyer.
During his book tour, Perry revealed that he had been sober for 18 months, but concerns arose during his reunion with the Friends cast in 2021. He appeared distant as his castmates reminisced about the show, and when he spoke, his speech appeared slurred. Later, he attributed the slurring to emergency dental implants.
In his final public appearance, Perry emphasized his wish to be remembered not for his role in Friends, but for his commitment to helping individuals combat addiction. He said:
“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned. If somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me,’ I can say ‘yes’ and I’m gonna live the rest of my life proving that.”
The exact cause of Perry’s passing is still pending investigation by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office, awaiting toxicology reports and further testing.