Matthew Perry Foundation set up in late Friends star’s name to help addicts

Matthew Perry Foundation set up in late Friends star’s name to help addicts

A foundation has been set up in the name of late actor Matthew Perry to help those struggling with addiction.

Perry, who was best known for playing Chandler in TV sitcom Friends, died on Saturday at the age of 54.

The star battled addictions to alcohol and drugs for much of his life.

A statement from the Matthew Perry Foundation said it was “the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction”.

It added: “In the spirit of Matthew Perry’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction, we embark on a journey to honor his legacy by establishing the Matthew Perry Foundation, 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 website also features one of Perry’s quotes, which has been widely circulated since his death.

“When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” he said last year. “I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.”

It also has another quote from his 2022 memoir: “Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”

A spokesman for the National Philanthropic Trust, which provides frameworks to help not-for-profit organisations raise money, confirmed it was managing the new fund.

Perry was found dead in a hot tub in his Los Angeles home. A post mortem examination was inconclusive and officials are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman said she spoke to him two weeks ago and he was “in a really good place, which is why this seems so unfair”.

She told NBC’s Today show: “He wanted to help other addicts and it gave him purpose.”

Friends co-creator David Crane agreed that helping other addicts “absolutely became his purpose, his reason for being”.

Perry turned his $10m Malibu beach compound into Perry House, a men’s sober living facility, in 2012, and the project received an award from the White House the following year.

He sold it two years later but said he was still committed to providing services for recovering addicts.

Others paying tribute in recent days have included fellow actor Hank Azaria, who said Perry had been like a “brother” and helped him stop drinking.

In a video posted on Instagram, he said: “The night I went into AA, Matthew brought me in.

“The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together and he was such a great… I got to tell him this. As a sober person he was so caring and giving and wise and he totally helped me get sober.”

In a joint statement released on Monday, Perry’s five Friends co-stars said they were “all so utterly devastated” by the news of his death. (BBC)

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