Hope Heals: Matthew Perry's legacy - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Hope Heals: Matthew Perry's legacy


Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

No matter what else happens in 2023, to me it will always be the year that Mathew Perry died.

There are very few celebrity deaths that have hit me hard, Betty White being the last. With Perry, it is another feeling entirely.

I struggle with depression and anxiety, and that fostered my deep love of comedy. Watching “Friends” never failed to put an honest smile on my face.

I know it’s not everyone’s favorite, but it has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s cheesy and predictable, but it was a home away from home for me.

I grew to love each character for their different quirks, but Chandler, played by Matthew Perry, will always be my favorite.

He was hilarious and endlessly energetic. He had an infectious personality. I know that his lines were written for him, but no one else could have brought that character to life like Perry did.

I don’t love Perry because he was famous, I got the chance to love him because of his fame. I have lost a parent to addiction, and Perry's advocacy for those struggling with substance abuse will always mean a lot to me.

He admits to not even remembering taping certain seasons of “Friends” because he was taking over 55 Vicodin a day. He had said that he could hardly watch “Friends” because of how bad he looked to himself.

He weighed, reportedly, less than 130 pounds during that period of his life. Ironically, it was the same friendships that we all thought were scripted that saved his life.

From there, with help, he began walking the road to recovery and spreading the message of hope as best he could.

Perry has said time and time again he wants to be remembered not for his insanely successful acting career, but for the fact that he has used his platform to urge people into recovery.

He has written a few books, inclouding an autobiography titled, “Friends, Lovers and the Big, Terrible Thing.” I haven’t had the chance to read it, and it is on my wish list, but I have done enough research on Perry over the years to know he was a phenomenal person both on and off the screen.

Yet, I find myself watching my favorite clips of “Friends” and wishing that I could thank him for that first. He was brave enough to show himself to the whole world, and his light pulled me out from some very dark places.

Art means so much to so many and as artists, I don’t think we will ever understand the reach our art will have, and that’s what I love about it.

You could scribble a note on a bathroom wall that changes a life 15 years later. You are just shooting a flare into the night sky, hoping someone somewhere will see it.

An article headline read: “Mathew Perry is no more.” I disagree. His art and those who love it will keep him alive until humanity itself ends.

R.I.P. Matthew Perry.



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