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Matthew Perry shared why he doesn't want to be remembered for 'Friends' and it's so wholesome

In a world where addiction often remains stigmatized, Perry's openness served as a beacon of hope and understanding for those grappling with similar issues.

Matthew Perry shared why he doesn't want to be remembered for 'Friends' and it's so wholesome
Cover Image Source: Matthew Perry during The Museum Of Television & Radio To Honor CBS News's Dan Rather And Friends Producing Team at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, United States. (Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic)

Trigger warning: This article contains references to grief and substance abuse which some readers may find distressing

Matthew Perry, who sadly passed away at the age of 54 in his apartment, left behind a legacy in the form of his on-screen and off-screen achievements. He was Chandler Bing to the world - a loving husband and the greatest friend. But he was so much more than that. Perry knew it would be difficult to overpower his legacy of Chandler Bing, and yet he wished to be remembered for something more. In a 2022 interview with podcaster Tom Power while promoting his memoir "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing", Perry expressed a heartfelt desire to be remembered not for his iconic role in the hit TV show "Friends", but for his tireless efforts to help those struggling with addiction.


 
 
 
 
 
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Perry was always candid about his own battle with addiction which defined a significant part of his life. Perry as Chandler Bing wasn't just another character in a sitcom. He was a friend to everyone who watched the show. He was kind, awkward, sarcastic, relatable and the kind of friend who makes you believe that it gets better. However, Perry's legacy was far more than just his role as Chandler Bing in "Friends." He was a wonderful person who helped people fight battles similar to his own. He openly discussed his journey with addiction, stemming from a Vicodin addiction following a jet ski accident in 1997, which eventually led him to seek help through rehab in 2001. His personal struggles inspired him to make a difference in the lives of others battling addiction. "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," Perry passionately stated during the interview. He dedicated a considerable part of his life to helping individuals facing similar challenges.

Image Source: Friends Special Episode,
Image Source: Friends Special Episode, "The One That Could Have Been, Part One" From L-R: Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox Arquette And Matt Leblanc. (Photo | Getty Images)

Perry's commitment to making a difference was evident in the transformation of his former Malibu beach home into a men's sober living facility known as Perry House. This facility played a crucial role in providing support and a fresh start for those in need of recovery. In addition to his personal contributions, Perry also advocated for drug courts, emphasizing a more compassionate approach to non-violent substance abusers. He believed in offering help and support rather than incarceration for those who committed offenses due to their addiction. His dedication to this cause reflected his unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for those who struggled as he did. In his memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing" released in 2022, Perry delved deep into his mental health and addiction issues. This book allowed readers to gain insight into his struggles, making it evident that his desire to help others came from a place of profound empathy and personal experience.


 
 
 
 
 
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During his 2022 podcast interview, Perry emphasized the significance of connecting with and supporting people who have faced similar struggles. He described the feeling of helping others as something spiritual, where witnessing the lights come on for someone who previously didn't understand was deeply fulfilling to him. Despite his immense popularity as Chandler Bing on "Friends", Perry admitted that he couldn't bring himself to watch the show because it reminded him of the dark times he experienced while battling addiction. Perry's honesty about the impact of addiction on his life was both courageous and enlightening. He shared that he contemplated watching "Friends" again not only as a celebration of the show's success but also because it touched the hearts of different generations, making it a significant part of his legacy.


 
 
 
 
 
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Perry acknowledged the likelihood that he would forever be associated with "Friends" and expressed acceptance of that fact. However, his true aspiration was for his contributions to helping others to be recognized as an essential part of his legacy. He recognized that changing people's perceptions would be a challenge but believed that it was a challenge worth undertaking. So today, let's remember him as Matthew Perry. While Chandler Bing's biggest fear was probably dying alone in an apartment like Mr. Heckles, Matthew Perry's was to only be remembered as Chandler. Let's remember Matthew for the man he was. Let his legacy be associated not only with the laughter he brought through his role in "Friends", but also with the hope, compassion and support he provided to countless individuals on their journey to recovery. While he may have been Chandler Bing to the world, to those he helped - he was a true friend and mentor.

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