Matthew Perry – The Friends And Loneliness Of Bing

Matthew Perry – The Friends And Loneliness Of Bing

Matthew Perry – The Friends And Loneliness Of Bing

Matthew Perry’s death on 28 th October 2023 shocked one and all. For many of us who grew up on the daily half-hour staple of comedy and romance of ‘Friends’, Perry’s death felt personal almost as if a friend of ours had passed away.

Matthew Perry commonly known as ‘Matty’ or as his character Chandler Bing was one of the most loved and revered actors in the world. Very few know that behind the razor-sharp wit and the biting comebacks was a man who struggled daily with his own reality. Matthew Perry, the son of actor John Bennet Perry and press secretary to PM Pierre Trudeau, Suzzanne Marie Morrison lead a life enviable to all, yet hid behind a veil shrouded in what can best be termed as a troubled life.

Perry, became a household name and an international sensation as Chandler Bing, the witty roommate and then one of the most romantic stars of our times. His camaraderie with Matt Le Blanc and romantic chemistry with Courteney Cox became a cultural phenomenon in all pop-culture studies.

Even today our internet feeds are inundated with Chandler Bing’s one-liners and jokes. But behind the stardom of Friends was a man deeply troubled.


In his memoir’s Perry has spoken about his personal battles with drugs, painkillers and alcoholism, A man who dated Julia Roberts died a lonely death

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In his memoir’s Perry has spoken about his personal battles with drugs, painkillers and alcoholism. A man who dated Julia Roberts and Yasmin Bleeth in the 90s, however died a lonely death by reported drowning in his bathtub. His memoir states how he had a ‘hail mary’ 5-6 years ago as his colon burst due to the overuse of drugs and prescribed medicines. For those who followed Friends would have noticed how his character underwent several weight changes. He gained and lost weight drastically over the course of 10 years due to his several rehab stints. His memoir mentions of self- inflicted injuries.

His fans would be in disbelief to know that this man known for his comic timing and ‘sarcasm’ was struggling with what we now know as the stardom syndrome. The stardom syndrome has taken far too many loved icons and celebrities from us. Be it Robin Williams or Heath Ledger, there is a price to pay for adulation and stardom. Matthew, once said that he does not remember the filming of seasons 3 to 6 of Friends. Isn’t it ironic that these were the very seasons that affirmed his superstardom and his talent as a funny guy? But he wasn’t just the wise-cracking Chandler Bing as always.

He took the role of Mike Kresteva in The Good Wife and gave Alicia many sleepless nights with his sheer menacing and evil portrayal of a lawyer. He no longer had the Chandler-hangover and had stepped into a diametrically opposite character. He appeared in movies such as Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards and even did the reprise of the show ‘The Odd Couple’.

However, the dizzying heights of his role of Chandler Bing were unmatched. He couldn’t replicate the same fandom and perhaps that may have been a contributing factor to his deteriorating mental health.


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Friends became the most talked about and most watched series on the planet. Every platform was writing listicles and analytical pieces about it. The internet was panning it while the millennials were defending it. Nevertheless, it became the most talked and watched shows in the history of television. People kept on asking for a sequel/reprise, however cast members like Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox had found success outside of the show. It didn’t seem like either of them were keen for a reprise. However, the cast agreed for a reunion in 2021 which again became the most watched telecast as the world was still reeling under the pandemic. This reunion however opened up the discussion on Matthew Perry’s health. The fans were concerned about his appearance, where he seemed like a shadow of his former self. Even interviews and red-carpet appearances that followed the reunion made it obvious that Perry was struggling with health issues.

His autobiography confirmed that he indeed had a touch-and-go situation not too long ago and he is still trying to make sense of his existential crisis. It is said the actor paid over 9 million dollars on his addiction. He has had several surgeries; prolonged rehab stays and therapy sessions. He was said to have even gone to Alcoholics Anonymous.

At the end of the day, Perry lived a lonely life. Back in the 90s, he provided the much-needed warmth and comfort to women all over the world, who were tired of seeing the toxic masculine male characters on the television. Chandler Bing was a romantic at heart and the boy-next-door. He was vulnerable, kind and open to accepting love. Women yearned for a relationship like that of Chandler and Monica. Chandler raised the bar for women all over when it came to dating and being in a relationship.

Even today Matthew Perry and Courtney Cox’s Chandler and Monica are the most loved couple of all times. Even more than David Schwimmer’s Ross and Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel.

The makers of Friends who made Ross and Rachel as the central love story, claim that it were Chandler and Monica who kept their stoves burning for few seasons.

Perhaps, Chandler was an extension and the alter-ego of Matthew Perry. Matthew, was said to have improvised on some punchlines and jokes on the show. Maybe, he did want a happy ending like Chandler, surrounded by loved ones and family. Yet, he died a lonely death. Lisa Kudrow has given a statement that she would want to adopt his dog. Jennifer Aniston who used to check up on him during his struggle with addiction and rehab is yet to talk about his death. What we wish is, reach out to your loved ones before it is too late. For a man who loved to make everyone laugh and fall in love died from the lack of it. So long, Chandler Bing.

We will miss you.



About Aparnna Hajirnis

Aparnna Hajirnis

A film, cinema and a performing arts enthusiast. Loves fashion and brands and is perpetually curious about psychology, law and policy. tweets at FuschiaScribe More By Aparnna Hajirnis

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