The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Remembering Matthew Perry: A “Friend” Who Would Always “Be There for You”

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Matthew Perry arrives at the 2022 GQ Men of the Year Party on Thursday, Nov.17, 2022, at the West Hollywood Edition in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Vibrant colors dominate the screen, filling a dark world with the lighthearted nature of the show. Images and sounds emanate from the television screen and bring the show to life as a seamless stream of images flicker with the beloved characters of the show, Friends. The program unfolds on the screen with detail and resolution  as a catchy tune resounds from wall to wall, reminding viewers that the show will always “be there for [them].” 

The program got interrupted when CNN abruptly turned on, and the bright colors of the world became a depressing black and white, usurping a bright star from the world forever. That star was Matthew Langford Perry. 

On Saturday, October 28, 2023, Friends star and beloved actor Matthew Perry was found unresponsive by emergency responders “in a stand-alone jacuzzi” when they were summoned to his Los Angeles residence. The Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey informed CNN that at 4:07 p.m., a call came in for a water rescue emergency that was said to have been sent out by Perry’s assistant. Just hours later, the death of the man who played Chandler Bing on the television sitcom, Friends, had died at 54 years of age. 

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the circumstances surrounding Perry’s death are currently under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. While the initial claim stated that there lacked any foul-play or drug presence on the scene, an autopsy was conducted regarding toxicology levels. The results claimed that fentanyl or a methamphetamine overdose was not the cause of the death, according to TMZ investigators and law enforcement sources. However, more in-depth tests are being conducted regarding any other illegal drugs being present in his blood due to suspicions caused by his intense drug addiction history. 

In Perry’s 2022 memoir, titled, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, he elaborates on his elongated struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. 

“I was taking 55 Vicodin a day, I weighed 128 pounds, I was on Friends getting watched by 30 million people — and that’s why I can’t watch the show, ’cause I was brutally thin,” Perry explained. “I didn’t watch the show, and haven’t watched the show, because I could go, Drinking, opiates, drinking, cocaine… I could tell season by season, by how I looked. That’s why I don’t wanna watch it, because that’s what I see.” 

In addition to repeated cycles of alcohol and drug abuse, Perry revealed that his opioid abuse resulted in a colon rupture when he was 49 years old, only living with a two percent chance of survival and in a coma for two weeks along with multiple months in the hospital. The actor required 14 operations and 15 rehab processes in hopes of putting his drug addiction to a halt. 

As a result of not only his impeccable acting skills and rise to fame in Friends, but also due to his candidness regarding drug and alcohol abuse, Matthew Perry has left behind a monumental legacy. Tributes to the actor were abundant on social media from fans, former co-stars, family, and many other loved ones. However, some certainly hurt to read more than others.

For instance, the official Instagram account for Friends posted a heartfelt message regarding Perry’s passing on Saturday night. “We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing,” they wrote. “He was a true gift to us all.” 

Furthermore, Friends co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane issued a statement regarding his passing. “We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing,” they said. “It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives. He was a brilliant talent.” 

However, it is difficult to imagine that anyone is more disturbed by this event than the main cast of Friends. After taking a few days to mourn in private, Friends stars Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer informed the world of their feelings regarding the loss of their beloved friend. “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew,” they said. “We were more than just cast mates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.” 

The New York Times notes the continuation of their statement, saying that they will express more of their feelings regarding the loss over time and that their “thoughts and love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.” 

In addition, Maggie Wheeler, who played one of Chandler’s love interests in Friends, posted about Matthew’s passing. “What a loss,” she wrote. “The world will miss you Matthew Perry. The joy you brought to so many in your too short lifetime will live on. I feel so  very blessed by every creative moment we shared.” 

While it is important to mourn the loss of Matthew Perry, and while there are a plethora of other tributes out there, it is also crucial to celebrate his life and honor his legacy. Honoring his legacy is done best by appreciating what he did: acting and writing his memoir. 

Perry starred in a plethora of cinematic works with the most popular being Friends, Beverly Hills 90210, Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, Serving Sara, and Growing Pains. In addition, his truly inspiring memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, is absolutely worth a read and is an excellent way to honor his legacy. By reflecting on the positive impact Perry had on the world, it’s easier to remember him fondly and continue his extraordinary legacy to better the world as a whole. 

So, take a moment to honor his memory and the mark he left on the world this weekend by watching one of the works he starred in, and use his legacy as an inspiration to live your own life with purpose and meaning. 

Matthew Perry, you will be dearly missed. Rest in peace.


Chandler Bing, one of Perry’s most famous roles in his career. (Rolling Stone)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Maia Goldman
Maia Goldman, Staff Writer
Maia Goldman ('25) is excited to be writing for The Echo for this 2023-2024 school year! In her spare time, she enjoys being part of the Tenafly Tigers Marching Band, writing a plethora of creative stories, and watching the news. She aspires to be an international attorney someday.