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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

On September 2, 1994, Chandler Bing was introduced to the comedy world, brought before millions of viewers. A brilliant character, cast in television sitcom “Friends,” which became a number one hit comedy for six consecutive years. Brought before a live audience for 236 episodes, Matthew Perry became adored by millions. A character full of impeccable comedic timing, a tremendous amount of sarcasm, and a heart as pure as gold soon filled our hearts. 

However, as the seasons went by, his character faced backlash as he had a drastic weight loss at the end of season three and again in season seven. Behind Chandler Bing’s endless sarcasm in an effort to stray from his past was actually a man named Matthew Perry who was struggling. Immersed in the world of addiction, Matthew Perry had struggled with substance abuse, which would lead him to face a near-death experience in the following years to come. 

In 1997, a jet ski incident resulted in a downward spiral for Matthew Perry. During the filming of the movie, “When Fools Rush In,” Perry was involved in a jet ski accident; this led to a reliance on painkiller Vicodin and soon alcohol. Struggling the next few years, he underwent hospitalization for pancreatitis in 2000. A year later, Perry took a break during the filming of the movie, “Serving Sara,” to attend rehab. 

But let’s take a moment to commemorate Matthew Perry and his heart of gold both on and off the screen. After nearly losing his life to his colon bursting in 2018, which had put himself in a two-week coma, he declared himself sober in 2021. Nonetheless, back in 2013, eager and strong-willed to bring awareness to drug and alcohol use, he opened a foundation called the “Perry House,” a sober living facility which lasted for two years. Additionally, in 2011, Perry made numerous trips to Congress and lobbied for specialized drug courts to enable drug offenders long-term treatment. Perry was rewarded in 2013, with an award from the White House labeled, “Champion of Recovery,” according to Daily Express US. In 2022, Matthew Perry opened up about his journey with addiction and sobriety and launched his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.” He announced it to the world in a tweet, “the highs were highs and the lows were lows…I apologize it’s not a pop up book.” This Goes to show how iconic and hilarious Perry truly was even when discussing the darkest moments of his life.

Moreover, Matthew Perry’s acting career did not begin with NBC’s hit comedy, “Friends.” He remains popular from his performances in TV shows such as “Who’s the Boss?” and “Beverly Hills 90210.” Throughout his acting career, apart from “Friends,” Perry was a part of countless shows and movies that will live on to this day. According to Television Academy, Matthew Perry shone in the movies, “The West Wing” and “The Ron Clark Story,” in which he received Primetime Emmy Award Nominations for his remarkable performances.

On October 28, 2023, the world would say goodbye to Matthew Perry. A tragedy which would leave the world in awe. Although it was confirmed that he relapsed on Ketamine, a heart attack had escalated his suffering, causing him to drown in his jacuzzi. Nonetheless, let us not dwell on the causes of Matthew Perry’s death but instead on his beautiful journey of life. Matthew Perry rests in his grave but his legacy lives on. A character America fell so desperately hard for in 1994 remains in our hearts today but instead as a simple man full of compassion, warmth, and a yearning desire to help. Perry, a man who lived a normal life seeked to help others fulfill a normal existence. So let us savor this moment of glory and say goodbye to our friend Matthew Perry.

Her name is Zara. As a junior, she is working towards a major in political science, alongside a minor in philosophy and a certificate in legal studies. She is a writer who constantly finds herself intrigued about the world around her. She enjoys walks and is always up for trying new things, whether it be a new boba shop or a new cafe.