"Friends" ensemble actor, Matthew Perry is no longer entertaining fans in our world but surely is someplace else. The actor passed away on Saturday for reasons still not quite known. It was initially reported as an accidental drowning but later information revealed potential health issues.
It is no secret that Perry battled addictions since the age of 14. He revealed his daily struggles in-depth for the world to see when he released his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.
I'm not a big reader but I managed to finish his memoir in two days. Intrigue perhaps? Like many of my generation, Matthew Perry was a "Friend". His role on "Friends" as Chandler Bing was iconic but did you know he made a couple of films for Disney?
In 2000, Perry and Bruce Willis teamed up for the mob comedy "The Whole 9 Yards" and it was there that he and Willis became close friends. Willis of course would guest star on "Friends" for a series of episodes as Jennifer Aniston's Rachel's love interest.
Willis would later that year convince Perry to make a guest appearance in his own 2000 film for Disney Pictures, "The Kid." Perry's time in the picture lasted less than a minute and he was unrecognizable in his make-up as Mr. Vivian. His role, as Perry reportedly wanted, was uncredited.
Perry would also take part in another Disney picture, "17 Again." The lead role had Zac Efron play Mike O'Donnell, the suddenly returned 17-year-old to Matthew Perry's Mike O'Donnell the adult. The film wasn't a huge box office success but Perry brought his wry and witty sense of humor to the film.
For fans of Perry, it is hard to believe that he has passed but at the same time, not all that surprising given his life of inner torment. The sadder part is that he met his demons head-on and appeared to have turned the biggest page in his life's script. He was recovering and this time he appeared to have it going in a direction that he wanted more than anything else...a path to help others with their own addictions.
Over the last years of his life, Perry used his own accounts to reach out to others and give them strength and hope. In his passing, he will continue to do the same.
We may never be able to watch "Friends" in the same way again but we will still laugh, and with each episode, we will laugh again. Rest in love and peace Matthew Perry.