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The Dart

The student news site of Davis High School

The Dart

The student news site of Davis High School

The Dart

Depression
Julia Adams, Journalist • May 15, 2024

The Complex Life of Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry arrives at the Disney ABC Television Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 1, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. on August 1, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
Disney ABC Television Summer Press Tour - Arrivals
Los Angeles, CA United States
August 1, 2010
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

To license this image (17349579), contact WireImage.com
Steve Granitz/WireImage.com
Matthew Perry arrives at the Disney ABC Television Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 1, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. on August 1, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Disney ABC Television Summer Press Tour – Arrivals Los Angeles, CA United States August 1, 2010 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (17349579), contact WireImage.com

The Complex Life of Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry, most known for his portrayal of the iconic character Chandler Bing, in thefamous American sitcom “Friends,” sadly passed away at the young age of 54. Perry had manycontributions to the show and was able to leave an indelible mark, infusing Chandler with a wry sense ofhumor, mirroring many aspects from his own life. Chandler’s sarcasm and neuroticism were, in Perry’sown words, an exaggerated reflection of himself, stemming from the experiences from life such asdivorce in both their childhoods. Matthew Perry was a complex person who was able to make aprofound mark on this earth in the short time he was here.As Chandler, Perry’s character, though not pleased with his statistical job, which he found boringand mundane, simply earned more than his friends, which began to play an integral part to the show’sdynamics. Throughout the show his relationship with MonicaGeller (played by Courteney Cox) evolved from being theclosest of friends, to marriage. This was an issue in a fewepisodes considering Chandlers best friend is Monicasbrother. And though this was challenging, the couple nevergave up because of how much love they had for one another.Their relationship truly began to blossom in the adoption oftheir twins, this was able to add more emotional depth to theseries’ final episodes, drawing in over 50 million viewers in theUS.The impact of “Friends” extended far beyond where itwas filmed, it embedded catchphrases like Joey’s “How youare doin’?” and Chandler’s signature expressions into thelanguage of a young audience, catapulting Perry to globalfame. Yet, despite all this newfound stardom, Perry grappledwith his many vulnerabilities and insecurities. From JenniferAniston’s observation, Perry’s sensitivity and the wounds frompublic opinion reflected onto his struggle with some personal demons he was facing, mainly with hisbattles with alcoholism and prescription drug addiction.Throughout his life, Perry confronted these challenges head on, seeking comfort in manydifferent rehabilitation clinics, hospitalizations, and even near-fatal health crises. Despite all his ownstruggles, Perry tried his best to help others in need. He did this by converting his Malibu home into arehabilitation center, to help those also struggling. This was called the Perry House, whichunfortunately, due to financial constraints, he later had to close. This malibu sanctuary was able to sellfor over 10 million dollars.

Beyond these challenges, Perry’s upbringing was not much better, as the son of a Canadianjournalist, and an American actor, his key development years were split between different countries.This showed that this little change caused a brief yet impactful realization when a schoolyard scufflewith Justin Trudeau showed glimpses of how divided he truly felt in his life. We also see how this changeimpacted Perry positively by seeing how he transitioned from being an aspiring tennis player, to adetermined actor. This turn of events truly shows how his relentless, and pursuit of fame andrecognition led him to become great.Perry’s career jumped from genre to genre, spanning through various roles, from sitcoms toattempts in film, including doing a partnership with different actors like River Phoenix and Bruce Willis.Despite a strong desire for success in the film industry and a successful career, Perry found his calling ontelevision. Being able to explore all the diverse genres, from popular ones like drama, and sitcoms, Perrywas able to showcase how versatile he is as an actor, writer, and performer.In his personal life, Perry was marked by relationships with some very high-profile individuals,and his engagement to Molly Hurwitz in his final years, hinted at all the complexities and hidden secrets,behind how much the actor shares with the public and his actual life. Surviving from his parents, Perry’slegacy extends far beyond the character of Chandler Bing. He was able to accomplish so much morethan what the average watcher would know. Encompassing a journey marked by triumphs, struggles,and a relentless pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment, Perry did his best to live a better lifethan those before him.Matthew Langford Perry, born on August 19, 1969, left an undeniable, incredible mark on theentertainment industry, leaving a huge legacy that comes from none other than his iconic role in“Friends”, a true testament to the complexities and challenges of the human experience, and trulyMatthew’s life experience. Fighting long and hard to leave something worthwhile on this earth, in hismemoir, ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Things’ he wrote, “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in mylife. I’m still working through it personally, but the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic or drugaddict comes up to me and says, ‘will you help me?’ I will always say, ‘Yes, I know how to do that. I willdo that for you, even if I can’t always do it for myself.’ So, I do that, whenever I can. In groups, or one-on-one. And I created the Perry house in Malibu, a sober living facility for men. I also wrote my play, TheEnd of The Longing’, which is a personal message to the world, an exaggerated form of me as a drunk. Ihave something important to say to people like me, and to people who love people like me. When I die,I know people will talk about Friends, Friends, Friends. And I’m glad of that, happy I’ve done some solidwork as an actor, as well as giving people multiple chances to make fun of my struggles on the worldwide web… But when I die, as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if friends werelisted far behind the things, I did try to help other people. I know it won’t happen, but it would be nice.”This goes to truly show what a remarkable and complex human Matthew Perry really was. That eventhough he knows he did good at acting, he still valued helping others in his same situation as best as he

could. And with that his passing on October 28, 2023, marks the end of a chapter in entertainmenthistory but leaves behind a legacy that will endure through generations.

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About the Contributor
Emma Nielson
Emma Nielson, Journalist
My name is Emma Nielson, I’m 16 and a junior at Davis High. Some things about me are that I love to read, write, and tell stories. With juggling work, school, and a social life, it’s important to me to give short fun stories to help pass the time. Giving reliable information to readers in kaysville is the #1 goal.