Was Matthew Perry Close With His Mom On Friends, Morgan Fairchild?

This article includes mentions of addiction.

From 1994 to 2004, Matthew Perry starred in the hit NBC sitcom "Friends" as Chandler Bing, the funny, sarcastic, and socially awkward friend among a group of six 20-somethings who live and work together in Manhattan, New York City. The role helped catapult his career to new heights and put Perry on the map as one of the biggest stars in TV history, alongside his co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer. ("Friends" also earned Perry a hefty fortune, and a Primetime Emmy nomination for leading actor in a comedy series in 2002.) As Chandler, Perry got to work with some of the most talented and revered actors in film and on TV, from Robin Williams to Morgan Fairchild, who played his mother Nora in the series.

Speaking with CNN in October, Morgan recalled the first time she and Perry met on the set of "Friends," which was back when the show was just starting to pick up steam. "He came bounding over to me, literally bounding like a big puppy and said, 'Oh, you won't remember me. I used to visit you on the set of 'Flamingo Road' and 'Falcon Crest' with my dad!'" she said. Matthew's father, of course, is John Bennett Perry. As co-stars, Morgan and Matthew had a surprisingly natural rapport. "He was just such a wonderful, gifted actor," Morgan told People. She went on to describe her experience working with the late actor as a "very joyful time" in her acting career. 

Morgan Fairchild on Matthew Perry's addiction

Morgan Fairchild has nothing but kind words to say about her onscreen son Matthew Perry. During her chat with People, Fairchild talked about his life-long struggles with addiction, which Perry made no secret of in interviews and in his book "Friends, Lovers, and "The Big Terrible Thing," released just one year before his death. "He was always great. He also was very present and terrific when I was working with him, but I did know he was going through some struggles," Morgan said. Although she didn't know the full extent of his struggles — had she known, she would've given Matthew a heartfelt talk, like a real mother. "I would've just given him a big hug and taken him aside and sat him down and said, 'Honey, you got to talk to me.' But he did hide it well," she added.

After "Friends" wrapped in 2004, Fairchild said she and Perry lost communication, although the actors would bump into each other every once in a while around town. "I was glad to see that he seemed to be doing better," she said. For Fairchild, Perry's true legacy was not only bringing joy to other people but serving as an inspiration to all those who are dealing with addiction. "The main thing I just want people to remember is his kindness and his ability to face his demons and to help other people face their demons," she said.

Morgan Fairchild paid tribute to Matthew Perry

Morgan Fairchild was among the first few celebrities to honor Matthew Perry shortly after his tragic death on October 28, 2023. As reported by TMZ, the actor was found dead in his Pacific Palisades home after drowning in his jacuzzi. No foul play was suspected and no drugs were found at the scene. On her Instagram account days after the news, Morgan expressed her shock and grief over the sudden loss. "I'm heartbroken about the untimely death of my 'son,' Matthew Perry. The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock. And such a sweet, caring man, too!" She also extended her condolences to Matthew's family, especially his father, John Bennett Perry, who was her co-star on shows "Falcon Crest" and "Flamingo Road." "Lovely family and such a heavy loss!" said Fairchild.

The "Days of Our Lives" actor also shared a photo of her with Matthew taken on the set of "Friends" during its first season. "Hard to believe this was from our first season of #Friends almost 30 years ago. #ripmatthewperry," she wrote. Speaking with ET, Fairchild said she was in Kansas City for a play when she first found out about Matthew on the news. Sharing her message for Matthew, Fairchild stressed that she was proud of the actor for what he had achieved in terms of his career and addiction journey. "A life well-lived. Well done, my son. Well done."

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).