On Saturday night, the celebrity world was rocked following the news that actor Matthew Perry had died at age 54.
The star is best known for his character Chandler Bing on the hit TV series Friends, which aired from 1994 to 2004 for a total of 236 episodes. Since news of Matthew’s death broke, social media has been flooded with tributes that are largely centered on this role.
But as much as Matthew is known and loved for his decadelong and Emmy-nominated performance as Chandler, he previously expressed his wishes that he’d be remembered for something much more important to him after he died.
In his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew wrote, per People, “You can track the trajectory of my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season — when I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills. When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.”
But despite the struggles that plagued Matthew for most of his lifetime, he dedicated himself to trying to help others so that they wouldn’t have to suffer the same way that he did.
And Matthew doubled down on this stance in another quote: “When I die, I know people will talk about 'Friends, Friends, Friends.' And I’m glad of that, happy I’ve done some solid work as an actor, as well as given people multiple chances to make fun of my struggles on the World Wide Web…
“But when I die,” he went on, “as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if 'Friends' were listed far behind the things I did to try and help other people. I know it won’t happen, but it would be nice.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.