My Tribute to the Late Talented Actor Matthew Perry

I was around 25 when the TV show “Friends” came out in 1994. I was single, had my first real job and bought my first brand new car. So when Friends came out, it became my favorite TV show as I could relate with the characters – same age bracket, same generation and same aspirations in life. Not only the characters are relatable but real life actors were almost the same age as me. The main difference was they lived in New York and I lived in Los Angeles. I remember on a Thursday night before 8:00 pm, I was so psyched to see the show. I had a huge crush on “Chandler Bing” who personifies what I want from a man: funny, cute and professional. I always like how he carried himself especially wearing a blazer/jacket. For me, he looked like a yuppie.

Watching “Friends” in the 90s felt like I was growing up with these Gen X characters and they were part of my twenty something life. These group of actors don’t know me but somehow you felt a connection and they were part of your group. It was a lovely time when internet was just starting to emerge – the dot com era. I had the best job working for AOL Digital City in Santa Monica.

Matthew Perry - My Tribute to the Late Talented Actor Matthew Perry -
Matthew Perry arrives at CBS, CW And Showtime 2015 Summer TCA Party at Pacific Design Center on August 10, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

When I heard Matthew Perry passed away on Saturday night, Oct 28, we were at my son’s school party and I forgot my phone. As I was seating at the table, my husband showed me his phone with the headline about Matthew Perry passed away. I was in utter shocked and could not believe it. I was hoping it was a hoax. I told myself, I’m going to sleep it off maybe the news will change when I wake up. But when I woke up, Matthew Perry was all over the news and I still could not believe it. I bawled my eyes out and felt really sad about what happened to him. I was like “He can’t die. What is ‘Friends’ without him.” There won’t be another reunion when the cast is complete. It’s like a band when one member is gone, it’s not the same, just like The Beatles. I even told my family that I’m sad because one of favorite actors is gone who was part of my young adult life. My family understood it and they texted me back telling me “Feel better mom”, “He’s in a better place”. And I totally agree with them. No more struggles, no more physical and mental pain. He was given a second chance when he almost died at the age of 49 after his colon burst. He left a legacy by helping others through his book “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”

Outside of Friends, Matthew Perry established his advocacy for people that are struggling with addiction.
According to Forbes, these were his advocacy efforts:

  • Perry lobbied Congress in 2011 to fund drug courts, an alternative to incarceration that aspire to help individuals recover from addiction and reduce future criminal activity.
  • Champion of recovery award from The White House from the Obama Adminstration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2013 for his advocacy efforts.
  • In 2013, Perry opened his former Malibu, California, mansion into a sober living facility, which was operated until 2015.
Matthew Perry is shown in this undated file photo.
NBCUniversal via Getty Images

According to People magazine, before his untimely death, Perry was planning to establish a foundation to support those suffering from substance abuse. His loved ones made it happen when a website for The Matthew Perry Foundation went live less than a week after his death.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know Matthew Perry personally and never met him, but because he was in my living room every Thursday at 8:00 pm and gave me so much laughter and happiness, he was like a “Friend” who I never met. Chandler Bing is Matthew Perry and Matthew Perry is Chandler Bing. It was like the character was given to him. Matthew fans are grieving and will miss him. Thank you Matty for entertaining us. No more struggles and most importantly no more pain. So long Matthew, praying for your peace and happiness.

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