Matthew Perry Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Matthew Perry’s legacy will live on through the Matthew Perry Foundation, and the new organization is already accepting donations.
As of Friday, November 3, the foundation is officially up and running. “In the spirit of Matthew Perry’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction, we embark on a journey to honor his legacy by establishing the Matthew Perry Foundation, guided by his own words and experiences, and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible,” a statement from the charity reads.
Perry was open about his addiction struggles before his sudden death at age 54 on Saturday, October 28. Law enforcement officials were called to the actor’s Los Angeles home where he was found “unconscious in a stand-alone jacuzzi.” A statement from the Los Angeles Fire Department on Monday, October 30, revealed that Perry had been “deceased prior to first responder arrival.” His official cause of death has yet to be released pending a toxicology report.
Matthew Perry never shied away from opening up about his struggles after rising to stardom for his role as Chandler Bing in Friends. “When [fame] happens, it’s kind of like Disneyland for a while. For me it lasted about eight months, this feeling of ‘I’ve made it, I’m thrilled, there’s no problem in the world.’ […]
“The best thing about me, bar none, is that if an alcoholic or drug addict comes up to me and says, ‘Will you help me?’ I can say yes and follow up and do it,” Perry said of his legacy while appearing on the “Q with Tom Power” podcast in November 2022. “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 going to live the rest of my life proving that.”
Perry admitted that he knew Friends will be at the forefront of fans’ minds, but he hoped that opening the “Perry House in Malibu, a sober-living facility for men” would also be part of his legacy.
Matthew Perry Denise Truscello/WireImage
“But 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 to help other people,” he said on the podcast. “I know it won’t happen, but it would be nice.”
According to the Matthew Perry Foundation’s website, the group is committed to “to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction” and hopes to honor Perry’s wishes by putting his “passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible” at the forefront of the organization.
The bulk of Perry’s discussion about his substance abuse struggles came from his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, where he wrote about the various ups and downs in his life.
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In the book, Perry revealed that he was only “completely sober” for one season of Friends, the show’s ninth.
“You can track the trajectory of my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season — when I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills,” he wrote. “When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.”