After Matthew Perry’s tragic death on October 28, a resurfaced interview from six months ago is shedding new light on what the Friends actor hoped his legacy would be, and how he wanted to be remembered. “As a guy who lived life, loved well, lived well, and helped people,” the iconic actor told the Los Angeles Times during an April 2023 interview. “That running into me was a good thing, and not something bad.”
He also addressed the topic as he was promoting his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. “The best thing about me, bar none, is if somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say yes and follow up and do it,” he said in November of 2022 during a Q with Tom Power sit-down interview. “It’s the best thing.”
The Fools Rush In star added that he didn’t want his legendary sitcom to be the first thing people thought of when he died “And I’ve said this for a long time; when I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” he explained. “I want that [helping people to stop drinking] to be the first thing that’s mentioned, and I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.”
Matthew was reportedly found unresponsive in a hot tub at his L.A. home on Saturday at the age of 54. Just a year before his death, he dropped revelation after revelation in his memoir, which also detailed his battle with addiction and subsequent health issues — including a ruptured colon due to opioid use.
“The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” he wrote in an excerpt. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”
Matthew also confessed that he went to rehab 15 times in an attempt to recover. “It’s important, but if you lose your sobriety, it doesn’t mean you lose all that time and education,” he wrote. “Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes. You know everything you knew before, as long as you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot.”