Yesterday, it was announced that Matthew Perry had proposed to his girlfriend. But, as the floods of congratulations flood in, many people can’t help but notice one thing…
Friends star Matthew Perry was once one of TV’s most loved stars.
For a decade, he played the hilarious Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom Friends – a show that catapulted him and his fellow castmates to stardom.
In 2002, for instance, he bagged an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
He’s even had some more small-screen success away from Friends…
Includes the likes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine, and Go On.
Behind closed doors, his private life was secretly falling apart.
Perry’s real-life story has actually been extremely tragic.
And act as proof that money really doesn’t buy you happiness.
His father, John Bennett Perry, was an actor, and it wasn’t long before Perry developed a passion for the career path too.
The star bagged a supporting role opposite star River Phoenix in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (1988), however, the movie failed to turn the heads of critics or viewers.
In September 1987, Perry starred in his first sitcom, Second Chance.
The show centered on a man who dies and gets a chance to go back to mentor a younger version of himself (played by Perry).
Including programs like Empty Nest and Growing Pains.
In 1993, Perry tried again for sitcom success with Home Free.
But sadly, after a few months, the show was canceled.
The star soon found the perfect project with a leading role in a new sitcom about a group of friends in New York City.
After debuting in September 1994, Friends would go on to become one of the most successful sitcoms of all time.
Of course, Perry played the sarcastic Chandler Bing, who shared an apartment with an aspiring actor named Joey.
And the show, which ran for an entire decade, still remains just as popular today.
During his years on Friends, Perry tackled several film projects with his newfound fame.
The actor went on to starred in several comedies, including Fools Rush In (1997), Almost Heroes (1998), and Three to Tango.
Perry did manage to find some commercial success with The Whole Nine Yards (2000), starring alongside Bruce Willis and Amanda Peet.
Even after Friends closed its doors, Perry continued to keep his face on the small screen.
And, in 2011, even had another stab at sitcom success with the short-lived Mr. Sunshine.
The following year, he returned to the small screen in Go On…
The show ended up surviving for an entire season before getting the chop.
Perry finally found another winner with the 2015 revival of The Odd Couple.
Despite mixed reviews, audiences were won over by Perry through the show’s 3-season run.
Friends was undoubtedly his most lucrative gig.
Money, fame, starring in one of the most popular shows in history.
Perry’s private life has been in tatters.
And his initial spiral began all the way back in 1997.
But, sadly, the actor became addicted to prescribed Vicodin.
“I did and I felt better than I ever felt in my entire life. I had a big problem with pills and alcohol, and I couldn’t stop,” he told the magazine.
Things were further complicated by the immense success of Friends…
“I was on Friends from age twenty-four to thirty-four,” Perry said.
“I was in the white-hot flame of fame. The 6 of us were just everywhere all the time. From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem like I had it all.”
And he was secretly battling alcoholism.
“It was going on before Friends, but it’s a progressive disease. I wasn’t a massive party guy. I wasn’t a bull-in-a-china-shop kind of drinker.”
According to People, he stayed twenty-eight days at Minnesota’s Hazelden Foundation rehabilitation center.
“I don’t think there’s anything in the world that I can’t face, having faced that,” he said. “That was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me. You get a whole new respect for yourself and life when you go through something that difficult.”
He returned to rehab a second time 2001, as per ABC News.
“Matthew has every intention of completing his treatment so that he can continue his dream of entertaining people and making them laugh,” his publicist said in a statement at the time. “He appreciates everyone’s concern and thanks them for respecting his privacy.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Perry’s second trip caught NBC off guard as Friends was in production…
However, network officials at the time refused to disclose if his treatment affected the filming schedule.
In between his first and second trips to rehab, the actor ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks with acute pancreatitis which resulted in him losing twenty pounds.
“In my case, it was hard living and drinking hard and eating poorly,” he told Us Weekly. “You play, you pay. But there were no pills involved. I learned my lesson at Hazelden.”
But, in 2011, that all changed.
But he insisted he wasn’t in the grips of a relapse and was simply being proactive.
“I’m making plans to go away for a month to focus on my sobriety and to continue my life in recovery,” he said at the time. “Please enjoy making fun of me on the world wide web.”
In an interview with the BBC, the star left fans shocked when he admitted to being unable to remember an entire 3 years of Friends.
“Oh, my goodness,” he said. “I think the answer is, I don’t remember 3 years of it. So none of those … somewhere between season 3 and 6.”
“I couldn’t stop. Eventually things got so bad that I couldn’t hide it, and then everybody knew,” he revealed.
“I was never high at work,” he said. “I was painfully hungover.”
The beach compound known as The Perry House gained 2 years of success, but, in 2015, the program hit a bump in the road — thanks to finances.
“That was a Malibu beach house, and it was too expensive to run and the business didn’t really work,” Perry later explained to The Hollywood Reporter.
His repeated claims of sobriety wereot questioned in November 2017 when a p*rn star told the Daily Mail that Perry allegedly tried to hit her up for pills.
And he spends a lot of his time being an advocate for others recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
“My life has a lot more meaning now that I try to help people,” Perry told The Hill.
As Perry has confirmed he’s gotten engaged!
“I decided to get engaged,” he told People. “Luckily, I happened to be dating the greatest woman on the face of the planet at this time.”
She looks an awful lot like Perry’s co-star, Courteney Cox.
What do you think?