Matthew Perry Reflected on "Ups and Downs" in His Life One Year Before His Death

One year before Matthew Perry's sudden death at age 54, the Friends star told E! News that he experienced some "real up and downs" in life, as detailed in his memoir.

By Lindsay Weinberg Oct 29, 2023 2:49 AMTags
Watch: ‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Dead at 54

Just one year before his tragic death, Matthew Perry felt proud to be able to share his life story.

The Friends alum—who died at age 54 in an apparent drowning at his Los Angeles home Oct. 28—released his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing in November 2022. And amid recounting his rise to fame on the NBC sitcom, he gave insight into his decades-long sobriety journey. 

In the book, Perry recalled battling drug and alcohol abuse since his teens, sharing he spent $7 million trying to get clean over the years. At the time of publication, he was 18 months sober.

"There's been some real up and downs in my life," Perry told E! News following the memoir's release, "and this is a lot about the downs, but the further down you go, the more people you can help."

The Fools Rush In actor also shared why it meant so much to him that readers "took the story into their hearts." 

The Most Shocking Revelations From Matthew Perry's Memoir

"People have just loved it," he said. "I shied away from nothing and I told the truth and the biggest thing was, the goal was, to help people and I know of a lot of people already who have been helped by it."

In fact, Perry noted, "We've already heard about five different people that have read it and then checked into rehab the next day."

Ultimately, knowing that his words inspired others to get sober truly made him "feel great."

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

A law enforcement source confirmed to NBC News Oct. 28 that Perry—who played Chandler Bing on Friends from 1994 to 2004—had died and that authorities had been dispatched to the scene for a water rescue. The source added that there was no apparent foul play.

David Livingston/Getty Images

Following the loss, the official Friends Instagram account shared a heartfelt tribute to the actor.

"We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry's passing," the message read. "He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans."

Perry never married but got engaged to producer Molly Hurwitz in 2020, though they split seven months later. He is survived by his family, including his actor dad John Bennett Perry; his mom Suzanne Perry, a journalist and political staffer; and his stepdad Keith Morrison, a correspondent for Dateline NBC.

Look back on Perry's life in photos:


The Boys Will Be Boys star poses for a photo while at the Limelight in New York City.


The Sydney actor takes a break while on the set of the CBS series in Los Angeles, California.


The Friends star sits by the well-known fountain that serves as the backdrop for the show's opening sequence.


The Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing author attends the Scream premiere in Los Angeles.


Perry poses while on the set of Friends as his beloved character Chandler Bing.


The 17 Again star attends the Los Angeles premiere of The Grinch.


The actor hits the red carpet for the premiere of The Whole Ten Yards.


The Mr. Sunshine star attends the Entertainment Weekly and Matrix Men upfront party.


 The Odd Couple actor hangs out backstage at an event in celebration of the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards.


Perry poses for a photo while at the play The End Of Longing.


The American-Canadian actor was front and center at The Circle premiere in New York City.


Perry attends the 2022 GQ Men of the Year party.


Six months prior to his passing, the Almost Heroes star discussed his memoir while on stage at the 2023 Los Angeles Times Festival.