Matthew Perry, the beloved actor who played Chandler Bing in the famous TV series Friends, had long wanted to help addicts as he had faced similar struggles with substance abuse during his life. Perry suffered from addiction to drinking and Vicodin, and his addiction struggles led to a life-threatening health issue at the age of 49 years. Due to opioid overuse, his colon had burst, and he was in a coma for two weeks. Perry had been planning to create a foundation to help those suffering from addiction before his sudden death at the early age of 54 years.
Less than a week after his death, the Matthew Perry Foundation was announced to help people struggling with addiction. The foundation is a donor-advised fund sponsored and maintained by National Philanthropic Trust. The foundation’s goal is to help those “struggling with the disease of addiction”. The foundation will honour Perry’s legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible.
Perry’s friends are launching the foundation in his name, and it will be called The Matthew Perry Foundation. Perry’s co-stars from Friends had known about his addiction struggles, and Jennifer Aniston had even confronted him for the same. Perry had been very candid about how he grappled with addiction during his life. In his memoir, the actor pulled no punches when explaining how much time he had spent in rehab, even noting he was living in a facility while shooting the famed episode where Chandler and Monica get married.
Perry had shared in a 2022 interview that whenever he dies, he won’t want to be remembered for his Friends role but rather for his efforts to help addiction victims. He said, “When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that (efforts to help addicts) to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that”. The Matthew Perry Foundation is the realisation of Perry’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction.