Matthew Perry, the celebrated star of the hit TV show Friends, was found dead on 28 October 2023 in his Los Angeles home after a suspected drowning. The actor openly spoke about his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction and in one of his final interviews with Elizabeth Vargas, he explains some of the early warning signs that addicts can show when they’re slipping.
In the days following Matthew Perry’s death, which sent seismic shockwaves through the millions of fans worldwide, tributes and expressions of love and support have poured in, remembering the late star.
Perry was open about his continued struggles with addiction, revealing his difficult journey in his book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, going behind the scenes of what it was like filming the biggest television series in the world whilst battling this disease.
“Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead,” the book begins. It’s a poignant reflection of Perry’s humour through adversity, but also his unwavering candour and transparency amid his enduring struggles.
It’s something that Perry had said he wanted to be remembered for instead of Friends; an unwavering commitment to helping others who by their own admission can’t stop drinking. Perry wanted to use his platform to raise awareness about addiction and provide support to those still struggling with their personal battles, by being present for those around him.
In one of his final interviews, just a year before his passing, Perry spoke candidly with journalist Elizabeth Vargas about his enduring struggles. Vargas recalled a question that had been put to Perry in a previous interview.
She said: “What would you tell people, who love you, to look out for? What is your warning sign that you may be slipping?”
“Dangerous things for me to say are: ‘I’m cured,” Perry admitted. “If you hear me say that… it could be as simple as: ‘Ah I’m just going to chill alone tonight.’ Something like that would be a danger sign. Robert Downey Jr. said ‘I’m fine,’ and that was a very good answer.”
Perry’s response is a familiar reminder that addiction can be silent and hidden; it’s a reminder to check on those around you, your loved ones, and those who are seeking help.
A coroner autopsy has yet to determine Perry’s cause of death. There were no signs of foul play and it’s reported there were no narcotics found at the scene, although there were antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.
The cast of Friends penned an emotional tribute to their late castmate saying they were “utterly devastated” by the news of Perry’s passing, and they were more than cast mates. “We are a family,” it read.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, please reach out. Help is available.
Hours: Available 24 hours.
13 11 14