Matthew Perry Didn't Want To Only Be Remembered As Chandler On Friends

This article includes mentions of substance abuse and addiction.

Matthew Perry became a television icon for his role as Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom show "Friends," and while he treasured his time on the series, he wanted to be remembered for so much more.

For 10 years, Perry played Chandler and adored every minute of it. In his 2022 memoir, "Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing," he revealed he was destined to play Chandler Bing. He shared, "It was as if someone had followed me around for a year, stealing my jokes, copying my mannerisms, photocopying my world-weary yet witty view of life... It wasn't that I thought I could play Chandler; I was Chandler." His character was beloved by many even after the show wrapped. In the years that followed, Perry opened up about his struggles with addiction and the difficult things he dealt with throughout his life. Unfortunately, the actor tragically died and "Friends" fans have been mourning the loss of Perry.

Perry died at age 54 after he was found unresponsive in his home. Reports initially claimed the actor had drowned in his hot tub. An autopsy has since been performed, but the cause of death has been deferred until more information is revealed. "Friends" fans have shared tributes in honor of the late actor following his death, and while he will always be remembered for playing Chandler Bing, Perry also wanted fans to remember him for helping others.

Matthew Perry wanted to be remembered for helping those struggling with addiction

Matthew Perry was always vulnerable about sharing his struggles with addiction. For three decades, the "Friends" actor drank and used pills daily, admitting in his memoir that at one point it had gotten so bad that he was taking 50 Vicodin pills a day, per Today. In 2002, the actor became sober, but still had moments where he checked into rehab to ensure he would stay clean, per Page Six. Knowing how difficult dealing with addiction was, Perry always wanted to help others struggling with the same disease.

In a 2022 interview with Tom Power, Perry revealed what he wanted to be remembered for after his death, and it wasn't his iconic role on "Friends." He shared, "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 continued, "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 experienced the throes of addiction himself and ultimately wanted to help others up until his death.

Matthew Perry advocated for those struggling with addiction

Matthew Perry used his recovery from addiction to do some good. His journey to sobriety was not easy by any means, but once he got on the right path, all Perry wanted to do was help others. In 2022, the "Friends" actor told People what he'd say to someone struggling with addiction. He shared, "That there's a way out. And if they have my phone number, I'd be more than happy to show them." Perry wasn't kidding when he said he would be willing to show them the way out. Beyond calling those who needed help, Perry actually opened up his home to those facing situations much like he once did.

In 2013, Perry transformed his home into a sober living facility called The Perry House, according to The Guardian. The "Friends" actor joined forces with addiction specialist Earl Hightower to turn his home into a "sober-living center." The center provided various programs and a 12-step workshop to help those dealing with addiction. In his memoir, Perry shared, "And I created the Perry House in Malibu, a sober-living facility for men ... When I die, as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if Friends were listed far behind the things I did to try and help other people." Although his facility only ran for two years, Perry continued to support related causes and those struggling with addiction issues.

Matthew Perry shared his story to help others

In the final years of his life, Matthew Perry was vulnerable about sharing his journey with addiction. From detailing how he got started to the worst parts of his life under the addiction, Perry was willing to share it all with the public, and there was a reason why. The "Friends" actor revealed in a 2022 interview with Diane Sawyer, "Obviously, because I was on 'Friends,' more people will listen to me. So I've got to take advantage of that, and I've got to help as many people as I can." All Perry wanted was to be a supporter and guide for those who may not have someone in their life who understands addiction as well as he did.

However, it did take some time for Perry to become as vocal about his troubled past. In 2022, he told People, "I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side again. I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober—and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction—to write it all down. I was pretty certain that it would help people if I did." Perry's story has certainly brought addiction issues to the public light, and while he will always be remembered for "Friends," the actor is sure to also be remembered for everything he's done for those who have dealt with addiction issues like he has.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).