Away from the glitz and the glamour of his Friends-induced fame, Matthew Perry's story is incredibly tragic.
But it seems things are finally looking up for the star, as he's now engaged!
Friends star Matthew Perry was once one of TV's most loved stars.
via: Getty ImagesFor a decade, he played the hilarious Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom Friends - a show that catapulted him and his fellow castmates to stardom.
He hasn't fallen short of accolades, either.
via: Getty ImagesIn 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...
via: Getty ImagesIncludes the likes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine, and Go On.
While there's no doubt Perry has become hugely well off and successful...
via: Getty ImagesBehind closed doors, his private life was secretly falling apart.
In between the glitz, glamour, and red carpets...
via: Getty ImagesPerry's real-life story has actually been extremely tragic.
His off-screen troubles have spanned decades...
via: Getty ImagesAnd act as proof that money really doesn't buy you happiness.
Now, the star had an early introduction to the world of acting...
via: Getty ImagesHis father, John Bennett Perry, was an actor, and it wasn't long before Perry developed a passion for the career path too.
Perry landed his first film role while still in high school.
via: Getty ImagesThe 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.
Although, it quickly became clear that his talents lay in a specific area...
via: Getty Images... sitcoms.
In September 1987, Perry starred in his first sitcom, Second Chance.
via: Getty ImagesThe show centered on a man who dies and gets a chance to go back to mentor a younger version of himself (played by Perry).
After the show ended, the star landed a series of small parts and guest appearances.
via: Getty ImagesIncluding programs like Empty Nest and Growing Pains.
In 1993, Perry tried again for sitcom success with Home Free.
via: Getty ImagesBut sadly, after a few months, the show was canceled.
But, soon after, his luck would change.
via: Getty ImagesThe 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.
via: Getty ImagesOf course, Perry played the sarcastic Chandler Bing, who shared an apartment with an aspiring actor named Joey.
The world fell in love with Chandler, Joey, Ross, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe.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.
While none of these films particularly struck a chord with critics...
via: Getty ImagesPerry 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.
via: Getty ImagesAnd, 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...
via: imdbThe 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.
via: imdbDespite mixed reviews, audiences were won over by Perry through the show's 3-season run.
But there's no doubt he'll always be best known as Chandler Bing.Friends was undoubtedly his most lucrative gig.
Perry really does appear to have it all...
via: Getty ImagesMoney, fame, starring in one of the most popular shows in history.
But, behind closed doors...
via: Getty ImagesPerry's private life has been in tatters.
His issues have spanned over decades.
via: Getty ImagesAnd his initial spiral began all the way back in 1997.
According to People, the star had suffered a jet ski accident...
via: Getty ImagesBut, sadly, the actor became addicted to prescribed Vicodin.
"'Here, take this,'" he later recalled the doctors telling him.
via: Getty Images"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...
via: Getty Images"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."
But, in reality, Perry was the loneliest he'd ever been.
via: Getty ImagesAnd he was secretly battling alcoholism.
"It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism."
via: Getty Images"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."
In 1997, Perry made his first trip to rehab to try to combat his pill habit.
via: Getty ImagesAccording to People, he stayed twenty-eight days at Minnesota's Hazelden Foundation rehabilitation center.
The following year, he opened up to the magazine about his stay:
via: Getty Images"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."
But sadly, despite a stint in rehab, his troubles were far from over.
via: Getty ImagesHe 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...
via: Getty ImagesHowever, network officials at the time refused to disclose if his treatment affected the filming schedule.
Perry's physical health also started to decline.
via: Getty ImagesIn 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.
The condition is reportedly brought on by both alcohol abuse and prescription drug abuse.
via: Getty Images"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."
Following his release from the hospital, Perry crashed his Porsche into an empty house.
via: Getty ImagesThough he was uninjured and neither drugs nor alcohol were found in his system at the time.
"The irony was terrible," he recalled to Us Weekly.
via: Getty Images"I was going to hang with my father at his place outside L.A. I made the first corner around my house on these really narrow streets, saw a courier van in the middle, swerved to the right and — well, I don't really know what happened — I crashed into this porch."
Perry managed to stay out of rehab for a number of years after his second stay.
via: Getty ImagesBut, in 2011, that all changed.
Once again, the star returned to rehab...
via: Getty ImagesBut 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."
But his addiction has cost him something more precious...
via: Getty ImagesIn an interview with the BBC, the star left fans shocked when he admitted to being unable to remember an entire 3 years of Friends.
When asked what his least favorite episode was, Perry made the confession.
via: Getty Images"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."
Perry also told People in 2013 that his struggles were hard to mask at the time.
via: Getty Images"I couldn't stop. Eventually things got so bad that I couldn't hide it, and then everybody knew," he revealed.
But, the star says he never used drugs or abused alcohol while on set.
via: Getty Images"I was never high at work," he said. "I was painfully hungover."
Perry went on to turn his house into a rehab facility.
via: Getty ImagesThe 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.
As a result, Perry sold the 5,500-square-foot home for $10.65 million.
via: Getty Images"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.
Although, his years of addiction have caught up with him at times.
via: Getty ImagesHis 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.
Maddy O'Reilly, the adult entertainer in question, claimed to have previously hooked up with Perry in his Hollywood Hills home.
Perry never publicly responded to the allegation...
via: Getty ImagesAnd there was good reason for this.
Firstly, O'Reilly claimed the whole text exchange started on an unverified Instagram account.
via: Getty ImagesOn top of that, which is suspicious in itself, she claimed Perry initially asked her out to dinner, canceled on her at the last minute, then texted her a few more times before the supposed request for pills.
It doesn't take a genius to come to the conclusion she was likely catfished.
via: Getty ImagesBut it was certainly some attention Perry could do without.
Away from his addiction, Perry has been dealt some tough blows in other areas of his life.
via: Getty ImagesFor instance, in April 2017, the actor took to social media to imply that he had been blindsided by the sudden end of the sitcom The Odd Couple.
At the time, the actor tweeted this:
via: Getty Images"My face on the Odd Couple stage door has been painted over with green paint. I think it's safe to assume that we have been canceled. #subtle."
Despite this, Perry's co-star Thomas Lennon already spilled the beans a month prior.
via: Getty ImagesTelling the site that the show's ratings weren't looking great and that everyone would have been surprised if it had returned.
There's of course no way of knowing if Perry truly had no idea...
via: Getty ImagesBut either way, it's not the best news, regardless of how it's delivered.
Despite all this, Perry has made a real effort to turn his life around.
via: Getty ImagesAnd 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.