Hollywood veteran George Clooney is taking a moment to recall his enduring friendship with the late Matthew Perry. The actor, known for his role in ‘The Boys in the Boat’, took a trip down memory lane, sharing personal anecdotes about Perry, predating his tragic passing.
‘Matthew and I crossed paths when he was just 16 years old, some ten years my junior. We often found ourselves competing over paddle tennis. As a teenager, Matt was incredibly hilarious and refreshingly down-to-earth,’ mused Clooney, now 62, while conversing with Deadline.
Clooney further revealed, ‘At such a young age, Matt had set his life goal – all he ever wished for was to be a part of a sitcom. He thought that would essentially guarantee his happiness. And as fate would have it, he landed a part in one of the most incredible sitcoms in history’. Clooney was referring to Perry’s iconic role in the hit sitcom, ‘Friends’.
Despite Perry’s dream coming true with his breakout role on ‘Friends’, the picture wasn’t entirely rosy, according to Clooney. He expressed, ‘Contrary to what people believed, he wasn’t on cloud nine. His dreams coming to fruition didn’t necessarily give him the joy, peace or contentment that he had hoped for. Being based next to each other at Warner Brothers, I had a front-row seat to this poignant reality – it was far from easy to witness such despair.’
In spite of achieving major success with ‘Friends’, Perry had previously shared that he needed to resort to drug abuse to cope with his inner grief. ‘It was apparent that he was struggling on the inside, but I had no inkling about the full extent of his battles, including the alarming frequency with which he was consuming Vicodin,’ Clooney sadly remembered, referencing Perry’s painful revelations about his drug dependency.
In the period leading up to his untimely death, Perry had publically disclosed his battle with a crippling Vicodin addiction, consuming up to 55 pills daily to dodge debilitating withdrawal symptoms. This harmful addiction took root in 1997 when Perry first started taking the drug after a severe jet ski accident.
Matthew Perry passed away on October 28 under tragic circumstances – an unexpected drowning in the hot tub of his Pacific Palisades residence in Los Angeles. He was merely 54 years old. The County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner disclosed that the cause of death was the ‘acute effects of ketamine’.
In his candid memoir titled ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing’, Perry openly discussed his firsthand experience with the lethal drug ketamine, recounting his struggles with its daily consumption. The confirmation of his cause of death highlighted the grave seriousness of his drug struggles documented in his memoir.
Perry was catapulted to stardom at the age of 24 when he began immortalizing the character of Chandler Bing on ‘Friends’. The immensely popular sitcom consistently topped television ratings throughout its decade-long stint on NBC, sharing the limelight with fellow stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.
The sudden loss of Perry, an integral part of the ‘Friends’ entourage, left a deep void that his co-stars deeply felt. Shortly after the news of his death made headlines, his former castmates expressed their grief. They shared in a heartfelt statement, ‘We are truly shattered by Matthew’s untimely departure.’
The statement from the ‘Friends’ collective continued, ‘It is difficult to articulate the range of emotions we’re experiencing at this moment, but for now, we need some time to grieve and absorb this unimaginable loss. Our prayers go out to Matthew’s family, his close friends, and his admirers worldwide who are sharing in this profound grief with us’.
The tragic parting of Matthew Perry brought forth heartrending grief from those who knew and loved him, demonstrating the immense impact he had on their lives. However, it also shed light on the critical issue of drug abuse, sparking conversations around the importance of mental health care and substance abuse rehabilitation.
Perry’s life, while marked with undeniable professional highs, was also beset by privat struggles. His experience serves as a poignant reminder that success does not always equate to happiness and underlines the importance of mental well-being in addition to professional success.
Through his memorable roles and vibrant persona, Matthew Perry left an indelible mark on the world – the heartfelt tributes he continues to receive stand as a testament to his lasting legacy. His sudden death serves as a stark reminder of the silent battles many face, marking a sombre end to a life that was filled with laughter on screen.