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‘The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken’: A Tribute to Matthew Perry


Specifically known for his role as the loveable goof and eminently sarcastic Chandler Bing, the ‘Friends’ actor, Matthew Perry (54), passed away in his home on Saturday, October 28.

There are still many theories surrounding Perry’s cause of death. Due to his unhealthy nature over the past 20 years, the reason for his passing could be a heart attack, natural causes, heat stroke, or an accidental drowning.

But, we’re not here to focus on Perry’s infelicitous and unforeseen death. We’re here to celebrate the joy he has brought to many and the impact he’s left on the world.

Matthew Perry, while known most for his role in ‘Friends,’ appeared in 17 Again (2009), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Serving Sara (2002), and Fools Rush In (1997).

Jon Cryer and Craig Bierko originally tried out for the role of Chandler, but Perry ended up landing the role for the way he brought his own personality into the character.

David Crane, Marta Kaufman, and Kevin Bright, the co-creators of ‘Friends,’ released a joint statement following Perry’s death. “He was a brilliant talent. It’s cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew’s case, there are no truer words. From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us,” the co-creators mentioned.

Audrey Galloway, a senior at Lake Highlands, is a big ‘Friends’ fan who took Perry’s passing particularly hard. She mentioned that she was originally drawn to Chandler’s character because of his witty humor and sarcasm.

“[He] made such a big impact on ‘Friends’ because he made the character of Chandler his own. He put his own spin on it, and made Chandler a fan favorite on the show,” Galloway said.

Galloway originally started watching ‘Friends’ when she was in seventh grade when it would come on TV every night. She watched it with her parents, and by the time she was a freshman, she started to watch it in order from seasons one to ten.

“I think fans love the character of Chandler so much because he’s so relatable,” Galloway added. “He’s always the first to comment on something and he is very loyal.”

Superfans of ‘Friends’ know about Matthew Perry’s struggle with drugs and alcohol, even while the show was being filmed. Over the span of ten years, there were some episodes Perry didn’t even remember shooting. Perry mentioned in an interview with BBC about his least favorite ‘Friends’ episode, “I think the answer is, I don’t remember three years of it. Somewhere between season three and six… I was a little out of it.”

Perry developed an addiction to Vicodin after a jet ski accident in 1997. In his memoir which he wrote in 2022, ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,’ he noted that at one point, he was taking 55 Vicodin a day. Perry would go to great lengths to get his hands on the addictive pain relief.

After getting clean in 2002, Perry said in an interview with The New York Times, “I didn’t get sober because I felt like it. I got sober because I was worried I was going to die the next day.”

The ‘Friends’ cast consisting of Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer all imaginably took Perry’s sickness and death pretty hard. The six were a tight-knit group for a large stretch of filming the show.

Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay on ‘Friends’, wrote the heartfelt foreword to Perry’s memoir. She told the New York Times what it was like to be on set with Matthew while he was struggling. “Hard doesn’t even begin to describe it. When Matthew was sick, it was not fun. We were just hopelessly standing there on the sidelines. We were hurting a lot.”

In Kudrow’s foreword, she says that Matthew has survived impossible odds, but she has no idea how many times he almost didn’t make it.

“I’m glad you’re here, Matty. Good for you. I love you,” Kudrow concluded.

Perry’s constant battle with his sobriety has left many ‘Friends’ fans heart wrenched. However, his commitment to creating a safe space for others battling addiction was something he strived for until the day he passed. The Matthew Perry Foundation will continue to advocate for his intentions.

“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned — I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that,” Perry said on an interview with the Q With Tom Power podcast.

“Matthew’s passing will affect the rest of the world not just because of his character on ‘Friends,’ but because he was willing to open up about his struggle with drugs and alcohol and wanted to help other people who had the same problem,” Galloway concluded.

Rest in peace, Matty. You will be missed. 

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About the Contributor
Amory Moore
Amory Moore, Editor In Chief
Amory Moore is super excited to be Editor-in-Chief in her third year on the newspaper staff as a senior! She is involved in NHS, PIP, GSL, HATS, and her church’s youth group. In her free time, she likes to bullet journal, write, spend time with her friends and family, video edit, and play with her dog, Chia. Amory loves writing about sports games and Lake Highlands’ annual events! She is bummed that this is her last year on staff, but she’s thrilled to get back into writing and doing what she loves!
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