Matthew Perry hoped that when he died he would remembered for helping people with addiction rather than his work on the iconic sitcom Friends.
Perry made the statement one year ago while promoting his memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.” The actor’s comments, relayed during a podcast episode, have resurfaced after his sudden death on October 28. He was 54.
“I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker,” Perry said during an episode of “Q With Tom Power” in 2022. “And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.”
“The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘yes’ and follow up and do it,” he said.
“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m gonna live the rest of my life proving that,” Perry continued.
Perry has been open about his struggles with addiction throughout his career. In 1997 he was in a jet ski accident and became addicted to Vicodin. He went to rehab in 2001, and then again 14 more times over the years.
As he battled addiction, Perry saw an opportunity to help others.
In 2013, he turned his former Malibu home into a sober living facility for men called the Perry House. Unfortunately, it cost too much to run and it closed in 2015, but its closure didn’t stop Perry from advocating for those in need of help.
Perry also supported drug courts where non-violent offenders would receive help rather than punishment.
According to Variety, Perry declared he was sober in 2021 and admitted to having spent $9 million on his journey to sobriety.
Not only did we lose a great comedic actor, but we lost a wonderful advocate for those struggling with addiction.
Rest in peace, Matthew.
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