Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir of a New York Times Actor and His Trouble with Addiction
Born in Massachusetts, the actor was raised in various parts of Canada, often traveling between the homes of his split parents in Los Angeles and Montreal. In Canada, he became a nationally ranked junior tennis player.
“I felt like I was dying if the audience didn’t laugh at me, that’s not healthy for sure,” he wrote. Sometimes, I could say a line that the audience wouldn’t like. I would go into convulsions sometimes. If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get I would freak out. I felt that every single night. This pressure left me in a bad place. Only one of the six people who made that show was sick.
“Whenever I bumped into something that I didn’t really want to share, I would think of the people that I would be helping, and it would keep me going,” the actor told The New York Times last year.
But behind the scenes, she was struggling with addiction. In his memoir last year, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, he said he used excessive amounts of alcohol and pills for decades. He wrote a book about his experiences with addiction, detailing how he spent half of his life undergoing treatment and undergoing at least 65 hospital procedures.
He didn’t do anything that was as good as ” Friends” before or after. It’s not hard to see why, even among his co-stars,Perry stood out for a rubbery, heedless way with physical comedy and a split-second timing. If you have seen more than a few episodes of the show — and many, many millions have, including fans born years after its initial airing — you will have absorbed Chandler’s rhythms, his catchphrases, the way Perry’s handsome, moony face would stretch like spandex, the better to sell a reaction. He had a way of gently ironizing the line, and he had an absolute commitment to what a line required. His character was the butt of jokes. The same jokes were being joked about byPerry. He had a boyishness to him, which made him excuse his characters worst behavior on “Friends” and subsequent roles.
Perry was cast in Friends, the sitcom that shot him to fame, at age 24. He starred as Chandler for the sitcom’s entire 10-season run, a sarcastic yet affable commitment-phobe who later found love with the Type-A Monica Geller (Courteney Cox).
Perry was found dead of an apparent drowning at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times, celebrity outlet TMZ and other reports.
A confession: When I received a news alert that the actor Matthew Perry had died, my mind adopted the particular cadence that Perry perfected as Chandler Bing, the character he played for 10 seasons on the NBC sitcom “Friends.” Here is where I thought, could it be any sadder?