From finding fame to drug scandals as fans fear for his health: A look back at Matthew Perry’s off-camera trials and tribulations as he emotionally reunites with his Friends co-stars in TV special
- The actor, 51, was the focus of a series of headlines during much of his time on Friends, stemming largely from his hard-fought battle with drug addiction
- Back in 1997, when his NBC sitcom was already flying high, the star was injured in a jet-ski accident – leading to him becoming dependent on painkiller Vicodin
- Three rehab stints in rehab followed, including one in 2011, to prevent a relapse
- Son of American actor and former model John Bennett Perry and Canadian journalist Suzanne Marie Morrison, Perry spent his formative years in Ottawa
- Now worth $120 million, Perry resides in a $6 million cottage in Pacific Palisades, after putting two homes – worth $27 million and $14.95 million – on the market
- After dating a bevy of famous women over the years, including Julia Roberts and Neve Campbell, he is now engaged to literary manager Molly Hurwitz, who is 29
He famously portrayed Chandler Bing in the classic sitcom friends for a decade, bowing out from his beloved role when the show ended in 2004.
But while Matthew Perry’s character raised the laughs onscreen, it has been a starkly different – and far more dramatic – life off-screen for the star, whose numerous troughs and peaks have been well documented over the years.
Born in Massachusetts and raised north of the border in Canada’s capital Ottawa, the actor, 51, was the focus of a series of headlines during much of his time on Friends, stemming largely from his hard-fought battle with drug addiction.
Ups and downs: While Friends favourite Matthew Perry has raised the laughs onscreen, it has been a starkly different – and far more dramatic – life off-screen for the star
Back in 1997, when his NBC sitcom was already flying high as a bona fide hit, the star was injured in a jet-ski accident – an already harrowing incident that led to the genesis of a far darker force as he became dependent on powerful painkiller Vicodin.
Perry has been open about his past struggles with addiction, previously telling People things got ‘out of control and very unhealthy’ after the accident.
The screen star, who currently boasts an estimated net worth of $120 million, told People in 2013: ‘I couldn’t stop. Eventually things got so bad that I couldn’t hide it, and then everybody knew.’
Addiction left the screen star in a worrying state, with many of the years he should have been celebrating now lost memories, as he told BBC Radio 2 in 2016.
Keeping a low-profile: Perry has stayed under the radar in recent years. He caused concern in 2019 when he looked dishevelled in his first sighting for almost two years
‘I don’t remember three years of [the show],’ he said. ‘Somewhere between seasons three and six… I was a little out of it.’
The actor, who checked himself into rehab during his time on Friends once in 1997 and again in 2001, told the Hollywood Reporter in 2015: ‘I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life. I learned a lot from my failures.
‘But the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic comes up to me and says, “Will you help me stop drinking?” I will say, “Yes, I know how to do that.”‘
He did his third stint in rehab in May 2011, when a representative for the star said it was to prevent a relapse.
Perry recently reunited with his Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc for the hotly-anticipated show reunion, which was shot in April and will air on May 27 via HBO and HBO Max
Emotional reunion: The star was comforted by his Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston has be broke down in tears during the upcoming reunion special
A teaser from the one-off episode showed Perry being comforted by Aniston, 52, as he welled up, before later cutting to scenes of the actor reminiscing about his time on the show.
In the clip, Perry’s on-screen wife Cox, 56, states: ‘It was an incredible time. We became best friends’, to which Perry confesses: ‘Yep, I’m going to cry now.’
Dropping his head down and wrapping his arms around his body, Perry looks solemn as Jennifer leans over to comfort him.
Season six, episode 14 of Friends was entitled The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry and aired back in February 2000.
When asked if he ever took anything from set as a souvenir, he admitted: ‘I stole the cookie jar that had the clock on it’ with a heavy ‘sh’ sound at the start of ‘stole.’
Fame: Perry shot to fame on the iconic show, which followed a group of friends living in New York City. Also pictured are David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc
Though fans were left delighted by the teaser, there were also concerns after Perry appeared to slur his speech in a promo for the upcoming reunion special.
The actor stammered and stared in the clip, even slurring together his words at one point.
‘Just saw People interview and can’t believe how Matthew Perry looks like… seriously it breaks my heart,’ one fan wrote on Twitter.
‘It pains me to see Matthew Perry like this, he just seems off, gazing at the void, speaking slowly,’ wrote another.
‘Hate to say it, but I’m sad and scared like hell for Matthew Perry,’ a third added. ‘Damn, Matthew Perry in those PEOPLE Friends interviews.’
Under the radar: Prior to his shock reemergence in 2019 he had been pictured in Beverly Hills in 2017 (left) and in 2016 (right)
Another tweeted: ‘Just watched @people exclusive interview clip of Friends casts and the time hasn’t been kind. I hope Matthew Perry is okay. Damn how much I love them.’
One wrote: ‘Let’s not use the friends reunion to make fun of the way matthew perry looks these days. people age, funnily enough.
‘Matthew has been through A LOT since friends wrapped up in 2004. be respectful instead of judgmental. hard block me rn if you think making fun of him is funny.’
Despite having multi-million dollar net worth, the star’s life mirrored that of countless everyday people around the globe as he grappled with his demons and combated the resulting dramatically fluctuating weight.
He has likely sought solace within the towering walls of the many palatial homes he has snapped up across the palm tree-lined hills of Los Angeles over the years.
Heartthrob: The star was seen as quite the heartthrob during Friends’ early days on the air. Pictured in 1994 with his recurring co-star Morgan Fairchild
Perry’s $1 million-per-episode Friends pay day afforded him a sky-scraping penthouse in the City of Angels, which placed on the market for an eye-watering $27 million over the summer, having dropped the asking price from $35 million.
His luxury property clearance sale also included the screen star bringing his Malibu beach house to market for $14.95 million during the same period.
As for where he currently lives? Perry last year purchased himself comparatively humble $6 million cottage in the tony neighbourhood of Pacific Palisades.
Post-Friends, Perry, the son of American actor and former model John Bennett Perry and Canadian journalist Suzanne Marie Morrison has been able to sustain his lifestyle by keeping himself busy with a slew of projects, to varying degrees of success.
In 2007, he received Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for his critically acclaimed turn in the titular role of TNT movie, The Ron Clark Story, about a small-town teacher to relocates to educate the toughest class in the US.
They’ll be there for you: Perry sparked concern with his slurring on the spcial, but seemed in good spirits as he filmed the reunion alongside his longtime friends and former castmates
Between 2006 and 2007, he continued to showcase his acting chops when he joined the cast of Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip Matt Albie, a writer-director character based on the show’s creator and executive producer Aaron Sorkin.
Other TV and movie roles followed, with the actor also treading the board of London, when he starred in David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity In Chicago in the West End.
However, replicating the success of Friends alluded him: Perry was the focus of much fanfare when it was announced that he was set to portray a middle-aged man going through an identity crisis in the ABC sitcom Mr. Sunshine.
A sign of just how brutal the decision-making is in the revenue-hungry TV landscape, the series was cancelled after just nine episodes in early 2011.
His NBC pilot for Go On failed to fare much better. The show, which saw him portraying a sportscaster trying to move on from the death of his wife, premiered in 2012 but was cancelled the following year at the conclusion of the first season.
Could this BE more embarrassing? The engaged Friends star was outed for sending a girl, 19, cringe-worthy messages after matching on celeb dating app Raya
Among his many TV roles was also a stint on British TV in the 2014 one-off The Dog Thrower, as well as portraying the late Ted Kennedy in the 2017 miniseries The Kennedys: After Camelot.
Perry last starred in a movie in 2009’s 17 Again opposite Zac Efron. He will next be seen in the comedy Don’t Look Up, which follows the tale of two astronomers, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, who discover that a giant asteroid that could destroy all life on Earth is cruising toward the planet.
The film boasts an absolutely stacked cast including Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Tyler Perry, Melanie Lynskey and Chris Evans, among others, and is expected to be released later this year.
It comes after Perry was embarrassed after a match from the dating app Raya leaked a video message sent by the star.
The Friends actor allegedly asked the 19-year-old girl, ‘Am I as old as your dad?’ during a flirty exchange that was leaked earlier this month.
Now THIS is a match: Perry, 51, got engaged to fiancée Molly Hurwitz in November last year having started dating in 2018 (though the pair were reportedly ‘on a break’ in May last year)
Perry, who is currently engaged to fiancée Molly Hurwitz, 29, can be seen in a video posted on Thursday flirting with TikTok user @kittynichole – real name Kate Haralson – who claims they matched on the membership-only dating service in May last year.
Haralson, now 20, shared the footage of herself with the caption: ‘When you match w Matthew Perry as a joke on a dating app and he facetimes you and plays 20 questions with you.’
In the 16-second video, Perry is seen smiling as he asks his potential date, ‘Do you always play with your hair this much?’ to which she responds, giggling: ‘I guess so.’
Haralson, a personal assistant who says she was 19 when Perry first contacted her, told PageSix on Thursday that she wanted to show how older men in Hollywood are ‘taking advantage’ of younger women on dating apps.
‘A lot of people were saying I’m a bully and mean for posting this, and it made me feel kind of bad, but at the same time, I feel like a lot of guys in Hollywood are talking to all these young girls and it’s something that I think a lot of people should be aware of,’ she told the outlet.
Ex: Perry dated Oscar winner Julia Roberts from 1995 to 1996 (pictured on the set of Friends)
Haralson claims the FaceTime exchange happened in May last year, which is when Perry is said to have briefly split with his current fiancée Hurwitz, who he had been dating since 2018.
The Los Angeles-based PA said she had matched with other celebrities before but wouldn’t ‘ever talk to older guys’ though she thought talking to the Friends actor ‘would be funny.’
The exchange was believed to have been filmed six months before he announced his engagement to literary manager Hurwitz.
‘I decided to get engaged,’ the TV icon announced in People magazine on Thanksgiving after proposing. ‘Luckily, I happened to be dating the greatest woman on the face of the planet at this time.’
This will mark the first marriage for Perry, who is famous for playing loveable and sarcastic Chandler Bing in Friends. However, he has had several highly publicized romances with notable names.
Exes; Matthew and Scream star Neve Campbell struck up a romance on the Three To Tango set in 1998 (pictured left that year) while Matthew and former fashion student Rachel Dunn had a 14 year age gap but dated for two years from 2003-2005 (pictured right 2004)
Perry briefly dated Baywatch star Yasmine Bleeth in 1995 and then moved on to Oscar winner Julia Roberts from 1995 to 1996. He has also dated Neve Campbell, Heather Graham and Maeve Quinlan.
His longest relationship was with actress Lizzy Caplan from 2006-2012.
Perry was also engaged to Kayti Edwards, who previously claimed he had her score drugs for him while she was pregnant – during their brief romantic relationship in the early Noughties.
In December last year, Kayti alleged in The Sun that when he was in the depths of his addiction he would take 80 Vicodin in one day.
She claimed that in 2011 when their relationship was platonic and she was five months pregnant he would pay her thousands of dollars to procure drugs for him.
Kayti alleged that he would ‘guilt trip’ her into going on the drug runs by offering to ‘go there myself and walk downtown,’ prompting her to pick up the slack instead in order to prevent him ‘driving’ or ‘wandering around the streets.’
However she also praised him as ‘funny’ and ‘easy-going,’ expressing her joy that he has gone on the wagon and settled down with Molly.
Life After Friends: How the Friends Stars Moved On From the Sitcom
25 years after its debut, Friends still remains one of television’s most enduring sitcoms, and now the stars may be reuniting.
The Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday that all six of the original Friends stars – Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc are in talks for a reunion special on HBO Max.
Since the show turned these rising stars into household names, we’re exploring their life after the hit show, which ran for 10 seasons.
Reunited: 25 years after its debut, Friends still remains one of television’s most enduring sitcoms, and now the stars may be reuniting
Fame: Cox had already parlayed her frame on the small screen to a burgeoning big screen career during the show, starring in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the first three Scream movies and 3000 Miles to Graceland during Friends’ run
Cox had already parlayed her frame on the small screen to a burgeoning big screen career during the show, starring in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the first three Scream movies and 3000 Miles to Graceland during Friends’ run.
After Friends went off the air in 2004, she returned to the big screen in Zoom and The Tripper before returning to the small screen in Dirt.
The FX series aired for just two seasons between 2007 and 2008, after which she reunited with Lisa Kudrow on three episodes of Web Therapy in 2009 before starring on ABC’s Cougar Town.
Big screen: Cox had already parlayed her frame on the small screen to a burgeoning big screen career during the show, starring in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the first three Scream movies and 3000 Miles to Graceland during Friends’ run
She starred in Cougar Town for all of its six season run between 2009 and 2015, the first four of which were on ABC and the last two on TBS.
After Cougar Town went off the air, Cox has acted sparingly, starring in one movie, 2016’s Mothers and Daughters, with guest-starring spots in Shameless and Drunk History.
She has been keeping busy as a producer, though, executive producing Celebrity Name Game and the Facebook Watch series 9 Months With Courteney Cox.
Aniston also used her Friends fame to kickstart a movie career, starring in She’s The One and Dream For an Insomniac in 1996
Aniston also used her Friends fame to kickstart a movie career, starring in She’s The One and Dream For an Insomniac in 1996.
She followed that up with Picture Perfect ant ‘Til There Was You in 1997, The Thin Pink Line and The Object of My Affection in 1998 and a pair of cult classics in 1999, Office Space and The Iron Giant, plus providing her voice for a South Park episode.
As the show continued, she still continued working steadily in film, starring in 2001’s Rock Star, 2002’s The Good Girl, 2003’s Bruce Almighty and 2004’s Along Came Polly.
Movie career: Aniston also used her Friends fame to kickstart a movie career, starring in She’s The One and Dream For an Insomniac in 1996
After Friends went off the air, she focused solely on movies from then on out, until just recently, except for the occasional guest starring spot that often became a Friends reunion.
She also mixed it up with some genre fare as well, including the 2005 thriller Derailed along with the 2006 indie comedy Friends With Money and guest starring on Courteney Cox’s show Dirt in 2007.
She also guest-starred on Cox’s Cougar Town in 2010, between movies such as 2008’s Marley and Me, 2009’s He’s Not Just Into You, 2009’s Love Happens, 2010’s The Bounty Hunter, 2010’s The Switch and 2011’s Just Go With It and Horrible Bosses.
Reunion: After Friends went off the air, she focused solely on movies from then on out, until just recently, except for the occasional guest starring spot that often became a Friends reunion
She also starred in 2012’s Wanderlust, 2013’s We’re the Millers and Life of Crime, 2014’s Cake and Horrible Bosses 2, 2016’s Mother’s Day, Storks and Office Christmas Party, 2017’s The Yellow Bird and 2018’s Dumplin’
Earlier this year, she reunited with her Just Go With It star Adam Sandler in Netflix’s Murder Mystery, and she returned to the small screen just days ago with Apple TV Plus’ The Morning Show, alongside Reese Witherspoon.
She’ll next be seen on the big screen in The Fixer, based on the life of Denise White, a former Miss USA contestant who became a dominant figure in the world of sports management.
Lisa’s work: She also had hit movies during her Friends tenure like the 1997 cult classic Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and the 1998 indie The Opposite of Sex
Kudrow’s post-Friend’s career trajectory was much different than her female co-stars but she still continued to work regularly in many different mediums.
She also had hit movies during her Friends tenure like the 1997 cult classic Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and the 1998 indie The Opposite of Sex.
She also voiced Aphrodite in the Disney animated series Hercules, plus characters on King of the Hill and Blues Clues.
Trajectory: Kudrow’s post-Friend’s career trajectory was much different than her female co-stars but she still continued to work regularly in many different mediums
After Friends went off the air, she continued starring in movies (2005’s Happy Endings) and continuing voice work (2005’s Hopeless Pictures and 2006’s American Dad).
But she also started pursuing other creative endeavors, creating and starring in HBO’s The Comeback.
She also created Web Therapy, which started as a web series before it was picked up by Showtime, where it aired for four seasons.
Friend: After Friends went off the air, she continued starring in movies (2005’s Happy Endings) and continuing voice work (2005’s Hopeless Pictures and 2006’s American Dad)
She then starred in a string of movies like 2007’s Kabluey and P.S. I Love You, 2009’s Bandslam and Paper Man, 2010’s Easy A, 2014’s Neighbors and its 2016 sequel Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, 2017’s The Girl on the Train and Boss Baby and guest spots on Grace and Frankie and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Earlier this year, she starred in a pair of comedies, Long Shot and the indie hit Booksmart.
She also lends her voice to the series Human Discoveries and has a number of TV projects in various stages of production.
New roles: Earlier this year, she starred in a pair of comedies, Long Shot and the indie hit Booksmart
Perry was also quick to jump into the movies while Friends was on the air, starring in 1997’s Fools Rush In, 1998’s Almost Heroes, 1999’s Three to Tango, 2000’s The Whole Nine Yards, 2002’s Serving Sara and 2004’s The Whole Ten Yards when the show was airing.
He played innovative teacher Ron Clark in the 2006 TV movie The Ron Clark Story, before returning to the small screen in the short-lived NBC series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for creator Aaron Sorkin.
He returned to the big screen in 2008’s Birds in America and 2009’s 17 Again alongside rising star Zac Efron before returning to TV.
Movie jump: Perry was also quick to jump into the movies while Friends was on the air, starring in 1997’s Fools Rush In, 1998’s Almost Heroes, 1999’s Three to Tango, 2000’s The Whole Nine Yards, 2002’s Serving Sara and 2004’s The Whole Ten Yards when the show was airing
He starred in the short-lived Mr. Sunshine (which he also created) in 2011 and Go On in 2012, both of which ran for just one season apiece.
He reunited with Cox in an episode of Cougar Town before starring in The Odd Couple (which he also created), which ran two seasons from 2015 to 2017.
He has most recently been seen in a recurring arc on The Good Fight and the mini-series The Kennedys After Camelot in 2017.
Short-lived: He starred in the short-lived Mr. Sunshine (which he also created) in 2011 and Go On in 2012, both of which ran for just one season apiece
LeBlanc was the only Friends cast-mate to get a TV spin-off, Joey, which ran from 2004 to 2006, but after that went off the air, he took a long acting hiatus.
He served as an executive producer on the 2010 film Jonah Hex before returning to acting in 2011 with the hit Showtime series Episodes.
Episodes, where he essentially plays a version of himself and was co-created by Friends creator David Crane, ran for five seasons from 2011 to 2017.
He currently stars on the CBS sitcom Man With a Plan, which has been airing since 2016.
Spin-off: LeBlanc was the only Friends cast-mate to get a TV spin-off, Joey, which ran from 2004 to 2006, but after that went off the air, he took a long acting hiatus
Schwimmer continued acting after Friends went off the air, but he focused most of his efforts on a career behind the camera.
He directed two episodes of the Joey spin-off before making his feature film debut with the 2017 comedy Run, Fatboy, Run, starring Simon Pegg.
He also directed six episodes of Little Britain USA before returning to the big screen with the 2010 movie Trust and the 2014 pilot for Growing Up Fischer.
Director: Schwimmer continued acting after Friends went off the air, but he focused most of his efforts on a career behind the camera
Schwimmer also voiced Melvin in all of the Madagascar movies and starred in 2008’s Nothing But the Truth, 2012’s The Iceman and John Carter, and reunited with Lisa Kudrow on 2012 episodes of Web Therapy.
He won rave reviews for playing Robert Kardashian in the 2016 FX series American Crime Story and played Noah Broader in NBC’s Will & Grace.
He currently stars in The Laundromat alongside Meryl Streep, which debuted on Netflix in October.
Stars: Schwimmer also voiced Melvin in all of the Madagascar movies and starred in 2008’s Nothing But the Truth, 2012’s The Iceman and John Carter, and reunited with Lisa Kudrow on 2012 episodes of Web Therapy
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