Matthew Perry, who died at age 54 according to reports, will always be loved and remembered for his iconic role as Chandler Bing on Friends. If that wasn’t enough, he has a permanent spot in our hearts after appearing in our favorite movies growing up, like 17 Again and Fools Rush In.
Matthew always made us laugh (so hard we even cried, sometimes) during his 10 season-run on Friends. Whether he was yelling at Ross Geller to “shut up” during the famous “pivot” scene or not being able to make a whip noise (“whoop-ah!”), it’s hard not to smile while he’s on screen.
Matthew scored the role of a lifetime on the sitcom in 1994 and earned an Emmy nomination for his work on Friends in 2002. The actor knew he was the right person for the job, going so far as to say he totally embodied the character.
“It was as if someone had followed me around for a year, stealing my jokes, copying my mannerisms, photocopying my world-weary yet witty view of life,” Matthew wrote in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. “It wasn’t that I thought I could play ‘Chandler’; I was Chandler.”
In addition to his success on Friends, Matthew continued to charm in other leading roles. He starred alongside Bruce Willis in 2000’s The Whole Nine Yards, which is how Willis ended up playing Jennifer Aniston’s love interest during season 6. The Pulp Fiction star lost a bet to Matthew, which is how fans got lucky enough to meet Paul — a.k.a. Elizabeth’s dad. We are eternally grateful.
In more recent years, Matthew made us laugh and melted our hearts as Mike O’Donnell in 17 Again. His inability to pronounce Naomi will forever be tattooed in our brains.
Behind the scenes, Matthew struggled in his personal life and battled addiction. He never gave up on sobriety, and in his book, he thanked his friends and family for the years of support, calling them the “one thing (he) got right.”
“I’ve surrendered, but to the winning side, not the losing,” he revealed in his book. “I’m no longer mired in an impossible battle with drugs and alcohol. I no longer feel the need to automatically light up a cigarette to go with my morning coffee.”
Despite his struggles, Perry had a lot of love in his life. He was in an on again, off again relationship with Molly Hurwitz from 2018 to 2021, with the pair being engaged at one point. His longest relationship was with Mean Girls actress Lizzy Caplan. They split in 2012 after six years together, and Matthew reflected on the regrets he had over their uncoupling in Friends, Lovers, and The Big Terrible Thing.
His highest-profile relationship was perhaps with actress Julia Roberts, whom he dated for a few months in 1996. “I was not enough; I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unloveable,” Matthew reflected in his memoir. “So instead of facing the inevitable agony of losing her, I broke up with the beautiful and brilliant Julia Roberts.”
Matthew’s career and personal life have kept people talking over the years, but he will be remembered for bringing joy and making people laugh. Below are just a few of his most iconic and hilarious moments throughout his decades-long career.
The One With the Blackout
We all remember when Chandler got stuck in an ATM vestibule with (real life) model Jill Goodacre during a New York City blackout during season 1. It was a rare episode where Matthew got to lead multiple scenes on his own, and he did not disappoint.
Matthew and Julia Roberts proved their off-screen chemistry translated to TV. Their characters briefly dated on “The One After the Superbowl” and Chandler is left naked in a restaurant bathroom.
Mike O’Donnell standing in the elevator after being fired while Wendy celebrates her new promotion was iconic.
The One With the Halloween Party
Could Chandler BE any funnier in his pink bunny suit?
The One With the Monkey
Chandler gets his wish after nagging his friends for a New Year’s Eve kiss, and we’re still laughing over his reaction.
Whole Nine Yards
Matthew’s comedic timing with Bruce Willis is *chef’s kiss.*
The One With the Proposal
Chandler and Monica’s engagement actually makes us believe in love again.
Fools Rush In
Matthew played the charming Alex Whitman whose meet-cute with Isabel Fuentes (Salma Hayek) will give you all the feels.