Update (11/3/23 9:16 a.m. EST): People close to Matthew Perry established a foundation in the late actor’s honor to help others struggling with substance abuse. A website for the organization has been set up, and people can donate. “The Matthew Perry Foundation is the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction. It will honor his legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible,” the foundation’s mission reads.
Original: Matthew Perry was planning on starting an organization to help others battling addiction, according to a report from TMZ. The Friends star had reportedly been working to set up a foundation to help people struggling with substance abuse in the months prior to his death, insiders revealed to the outlet. Before his death at 54, Matthew had been very open about his struggles with addiction.
While Matthew was still in the early stages of setting it up, people close to him told the outlet that they wanted to honor his memory by going through with his plan. They said that they’d name the foundation after him to honor his legacy.
The Fools Rush In actor detailed his battles with addiction in his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, which was released in 2022. In an interview promoting the book, Matthew opened up about wanting to help others struggling with substance abuse issues. “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 a November 2022 interview on Q with Tom Power.
In that interview, he said he’d hoped that helping others get clean would be his legacy. “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 died at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 28. He was found in his jacuzzi after an apparent drowning. Following his passing, his Friends co-stars released a joint statement, mourning his passing. “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” they told People. “For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”