Matthew Perry’s Family Says They Want to ‘Honor’ His ‘Legacy’ With Foundation to Help Others

The actor's family spoke out about what they hope to accomplish with the Matthew Perry Foundation, which was launched just days after his tragic death.

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Matthew Perry
Image Credit: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Matthew Perry‘s family addressed their goals in launching the Matthew Perry Foundation, in new comments ahead of Giving Tuesday. “It is important to us, as a family, to honor Matthew’s legacy,” his family said in a statement to PEOPLE on November 27. “The potential that the Matthew Perry Foundation has to help those suffering from this disease is something we are proud to bring to the world.” The Friends icon had battled with addiction for most of his adult life, addressing the topic repeatedly in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

Matthew’s famous stepdad, Dateline reporter Keith Morrison, took to Twitter (X) on November 27 to promote the mission of the foundation, as well. “This is not the sort of thing I commonly do, this pitch. But this year is different,” he wrote in the heartfelt tweet. “And tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. Do what you can; he would have been grateful.

Matthew Perry and family
Matthew with his sister, Maria, dad, John Bennett Perry, and stepmom, Debbie, at the premiere of ‘Fools Rush In’ in 1997. (Bei/Shutterstock)

His parents, who include Keith, mom Suzanne Langford, dad John Bennett Perry, and stepmom Debbie Boyle, initially released a statement on Matthew’s tragic death on October 29 — just a day after he was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home at the age of 54. “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother,” they told PEOPLE in the statement. “Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”

The foundation was launched on November 3, as “the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction,” the mission statement on the official site reads. “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.”

Matthew’s poignant quote is also included on the site’s main page. “When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned – I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” the quote reads, alongside an endearing black and white portrait of the actor. “And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that. Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”