Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry
A man dressed in dark blue raises his hand. He wrinkles his face, as if trying to remember something.
Perry at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards in 2010.
Born Matthew Langford Perry
August 19, 1969 (1969-08-19) (age 42)
Williamstown, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director, writer, producer
Years active 1988–present

Matthew Langford Perry (born August 19, 1969) is a Canadian-American actor and comedian, best known for his Emmy-nominated role as Chandler Bing on the popular, long-running NBC television sitcom Friends. He also received acclaim for his portrayal of Ron Clark in the television movie The Ron Clark Story, accompanied by another Emmy nomination as well as a Golden Globe nomination.[1] [2] Perry also starred in the short-lived series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and has appeared in a number of films, including Fools Rush In (1997), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), and 17 Again (2009).[3] In 2010 he expanded his resume to include both video games and voiceover work when he voiced Benny in the role-playing game Fallout: New Vegas. [4]

Most recently, Perry was the co-creator, co-writer, executive producer and star of the short-lived ABC sitcom Mr. Sunshine, which ran from February to March 2011.[5]


Early life

Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. His mother, Suzanne Jane Louise Morrison (née Langford), is a Canadian journalist and former press secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and his father, John Bennett Perry, is an American actor and former model.[6][7] His parents divorced before his first birthday and his mother subsequently married Keith Morrison, a broadcast journalist.[7] Perry was raised by his mother in Ottawa, Ontario, and was enrolled at Rockcliffe Park Public School and Ashbury College.[7] While growing up he took a keen interest in tennis and became a top-ranked junior player.[7]



Matthew Perry moved from Ottawa to Los Angeles to pursue acting. For high school, he attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks. While at Buckley, Perry was featured as George Gibbs in Our Town and appeared as a junior in a production of The Miracle Worker. Patty Duke attended and praised the young Perry's convincing role as Helen's brother Jimmy. He was also featured in The Sound of Music as a junior. In his senior year, director Tim Hillman had planned a production of "The Elephant Man" specifically to feature Perry as John Merrick along with Vanessa Smith, and future Les Misérables star Lisa Capps. He then got his professional break at age 18. On being cast in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon with River Phoenix, Perry withdrew from Elephant Man and ended his high school acting career. Perry also pursued improv comedy at the LA Connection in Sherman Oaks while still in high school, quickly becoming a featured performer. [8]

After some guest appearances in late 1980s television, it was his intention to enroll at the University of Southern California, but when he was offered the lead role of Chazz Russell in Second Chance he became noticed on the acting scene. Perry originally starred alongside Kiel Martin when the series premiered in 1987, but after 13 episodes the format changed: Second Chance became Boys Will Be Boys, Perry was elevated to top-billing status, and the plots re-focused on the adventures of Chazz and his teenage friends. Despite the shift, the show ran for only one season. When it concluded, Perry stayed in Los Angeles and made guest appearance on the television program Growing Pains in which he portrayed Carol's boyfriend who dies from injuries in the hospital sustained in a drunk driving accident. [9]


Perry departing rehearsal for the 1995 Emmy Awards.

In 1991, Perry made a guest appearance on Beverly Hills, 90210 as Roger Azarian. In the midst of his many continuing guest roles on TV, Perry was a regular on the 1990 CBS sitcom Sydney, playing the younger brother of Valerie Bertinelli's title character. Three years later, he landed his second TV starring role on the ABC sitcom Home Free, which only lasted 13 episodes in the spring of 1993. By then, Perry was making his mark, and was instantly cast in a new dramatic pilot titled LAX 2194. The project was slow to take off, so as a backup option, he attempted to secure an audition for the pilot Six of One, later to be known as Friends, by Marta Kauffman and David Crane, both of whom he had worked with on Dream On. However, due to previous commitments to the pilot LAX 2194, he was not initially considered for an audition. When he did eventually get a reading, he landed the part he is best known for, the role of Chandler Bing. [10]

The program was hugely successful and Perry, along with his co-stars, gained wide renown among television viewers. The program also earned him Emmy nominations in 2002 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series along with Matt LeBlanc, but he lost to Ray Romano. As well as his successful career on Friends, Perry has appeared in films such as Fools Rush In (alongside father John Bennett Perry and Salma Hayek), Almost Heroes, Three to Tango, The Whole Nine Yards (alongside Bruce Willis) and its sequel The Whole Ten Yards, and Serving Sara. [11]


While known primarily for his comic roles, Perry has carved out a career in drama as well, particularly in his portrayal of Associate White House Counsel Joe Quincy in Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing. His three appearances in that series (twice in the fourth season and once in the fifth) earned him two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2003 and 2004. Perry is referred to in the show prior to his guest appearance - Donna Moss seeks him out (off screen) in the episode "20 Hours in LA." He also appeared as attorney Todd Merrick in two episodes near the end of Ally McBeals five season run, including a 2-hour special intended to revive the legal comedy-drama. [12]

After Friends wrapped up, Perry made his directorial debut in an episode of the 4th season of the American comedy-drama Scrubs (in which he also guest starred as "Murray Marks", an operator of a small airport's traffic control team. Murray is asked to donate a kidney to his father Gregory played by Perry's real father). [13]

He starred in the TNT movie, The Ron Clark Story which premiered August 13, 2006. Perry played small town teacher Ron Clark who relocates to the toughest class in the country. Perry received a Golden Globe nomination as well as an Emmy nomination for his performance.

Perry at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

In 2006-2007, Perry appeared in Aaron Sorkin's drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Perry played Matt Albie alongside Bradley Whitford's Danny Tripp, a writer-director duo brought in to help save a failing sketch show. Perry's character was considered to be substantially based on Sorkin's own personal experiences, particularly in television.[14]

In 2006 he began filming Numb, a film based on a man suffering from depersonalization disorder. The film's tentative release date was pushed back several times, but was finally released to DVD on May 13, 2008. He also appeared in David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago in London.[15] In 2009 he starred in the film 17 Again playing the older Mike O'Donnell.

Showtime has passed on a pilot called The End of Steve, a dark comedy starring, written and produced by Perry and Peter Tolan.[16]

Perry's new comedy pilot ended up in the hands of ABC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The deal for the untitled comedy is said to include penalties if the pilot doesn't make it to series, almost guaranteeing that the project will get a green light, THR reports. It is based on an original idea by Perry, and will be written by Perry as well as Alex Barnow and Marc Firek, who have both signed as executive producers. Thomas Schlamme is in talks to direct.[17] The new pilot is called Mr. Sunshine.[18] In January 2010, it was announced that ABC has greenlit Mr. Sunshine. It was also revealed that the project is a single-camera sitcom starring Perry as a man who has a minor identity crisis on his 40th birthday. The venture comes from Sony TV and Jamie Tarses' Fanfare Productions.[19] The series was canceled by ABC after nine episodes.[20] [21]

Personal life

Perry reportedly had relationships with Julia Roberts and Yasmine Bleeth and was dating fashion student Rachel Dunn until 2005.[22][23] Despite looking for a long-term relationship, in 2009 Perry said he did not know why he was still single.[24]

Perry holds dual Canadian-American citizenship.[25] He is a fan of the Ottawa Senators, the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox.[26][27]

Perry did a 28-day program in 1997 for a Vicodin addiction. Matthew Perry's weight fluctuated drastically over the next few years and once dropped down to 145 pounds (66 kg). He lost 20 pounds in 2000 due to pancreatitis.[28] Perry again entered rehab in February 2001 to treat an addiction to opioids (specifically vicodin and methadone), amphetamines and alcohol.[29][30][31] Perry was in Dallas filming Serving Sara with Elizabeth Hurley when he had such severe stomach pains that he called a local doctor, who advised rehab. Perry flew to Los Angeles and checked into Marina del Rey's Daniel Freeman Hospital. Perry's publicist Lisa Kasteler confirmed his rehab stay.[29]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, AA Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon Fred Roberts Credited as Matthew L. Perry
1989 She's Out of Control Timothy Credited as Matthew L. Perry
1994 Getting In Randall Burns
1997 Fools Rush In Alex Whitman
1998 Almost Heroes Leslie Edwards
1999 Three to Tango Oscar Novak
2000 Whole Nine Yards, TheThe Whole Nine Yards Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky
2000 Disney's The Kid Mr. Vivian Uncredited
2002 Serving Sara Joe Tyler
2004 Whole Ten Yards, TheThe Whole Ten Yards Oz
2005 Hoosiers II: Senior Year Coach Norman Dale Jr.
2006 Ron Clark Story, TheThe Ron Clark Story Ron Clark
2007 Numb Hudson Executive producer
2008 Birds of America Morrie Tanager
2009 17 Again Adult Mike O'Donnell


Year Title Role Notes
1979 240-Robert Arthur Episode 1.6: "Bank Job"
1983 Not Necessarily the News Bob Episode 1.10: "Audrie in Love"
1985 Charles in Charge Ed Stanley Episode 1.20: "The Wrong Guy"
Credited as Matthew L. Perry
1986 Silver Spoons Davey Episode 5.6: "Rick Moves Out"
1987–88 Second Chance Chazz Russell Appeared in 21 episodes
1988 Dance 'Til Dawn Roger TV film
1988 Just the Ten of Us Ed Episode 2.4: "The Dinner Test"; credited as Matthew L. Perry
1988 Highway to Heaven David Hastings Episode 5.2: "Hello and Farewell"
1989 Empty Nest Bill aged 18 Episode 1.21: "A Life in the Day"
1989 Growing Pains Sandy Appeared in 3 episodes
1990 Sydney Billy Kells Appeared in 13 episodes
1990 Who's the Boss? Benjamin Dawson Episode 7.8: "Roomies"
1990 Call Me Anna Desi Arnaz, Jr. TV film
1991 Beverly Hills, 90210 Roger Azarian Episode 1.18: "April Is the Cruelest Month"
1992 Sibs Unknown Episode 1.18: "What Makes Lily Run?"
1992 Dream On Alex Episode 3.23: "To the Moon, Alex!"
1993 Home Free Matt Bailey Appeared in 13 episodes
1993 Deadly Relations George Westerfield TV film
1994 L.A.X. 2194 Blaine Pilot
1994 Parallel Lives Willie Morrison TV film
1994–04 Friends Chandler Bing
1995 John Larroquette Show, TheThe John Larroquette Show Steven Episode 2.21: "Rachel Redux"
1995 Caroline in the City Chandler Bing Episode 1.6: "Caroline and the Folks"
2001 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons Ultrahouse Matthew Perry voice option Episode 13.1: "Treehouse of Horror XII"
2002 Ally McBeal Attorney Todd Merrick Episodes 5.16 and 5.17: "Love Is All Around" Parts 1 and 2
2003 West Wing, TheThe West Wing Joe Quincy Appeared in 3 episodes
2004 Scrubs Murray Marks Episode 4.11: "My Unicorn"; also director
2006 Ron Clark Story, TheThe Ron Clark Story Ron Clark Television film
2006–07 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Matt Albie Appeared in 21 episodes
2011 Mr. Sunshine Ben Co-creator
2011 Childrens Hospital [32] Himself Episode 3.3: "The Black Doctor" (cameo)

Video games

Year Videogame Role Notes
2010 Fallout: New Vegas Benny Voice Actor

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1996 American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a TV Series - with David Schwimmer Friends Nominated
1999 - 2004 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - with rest of main cast Friends Nominated
2000 TV Guide Awards Editor's Choice - with whole cast along with Jane Sibbett and John Christopher Allen Friends Won
2002 Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Friends Nominated
2002 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Television Actor Friends Nominated
2003 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series The West Wing Nominated
2004 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series The West Wing Nominated
2004 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor - Comedy Friends Won
2006 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Nominated
2006 TV Land Awards Most Wonderful Wedding - with Courteney Cox Friends Nominated
2007 Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie The Ron Clark Story Nominated
2007 Golden Globes Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television The Ron Clark Story Nominated
2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries The Ron Clark Story Nominated


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  5. ^ Gorman, Bill (December 6, 2010). "ABC's 'Mr. Sunshine' Will Bump 'Cougar Town'; Plus Dates For 'Happy Endings' & 'Off The Map'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Matthew Perry Biography (1969-)". Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d Kennedy, Dana (August 18, 2002). "The Fame He Craved Came, but It Wasn't Enough". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ By (January 26, 2006). "''Variety'' announces Matthew Perry in ''Studio 60''". Variety. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Perry debuts in tame Perversity". BBC News. May 15, 2003. Retrieved September 10, 2007. 
  16. ^ Showtime picks up 'End of Steve' Oct. 13, 2008 By DANIEL FRANKEL, Variety
  17. ^ Adam Bryant. "Matthew Perry Comedy Lands at ABC". 
  18. ^ "Twitter / matthew perry: Abc officially greenlit my". Twitter. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  19. ^ "ABC picks up Matthew Perry comedy pilot". Wednesday, January 13, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ Updated: 'V' Cancelled; 'Brothers & Sisters,' 'Mr. Sunshine,' 'Detroit 187,' 'Off The Map,' 'No Ordinary Family' Cancelled Too - May 13, 2011
  21. ^,people,entertainment,matthew-perry-new-show-mr-sunshine-gets-panned-friends-allison-janney
  22. ^ Hello "Matthew Perry" Retrieved October 22, 2010
  23. ^ Stars We Love "Matthew Perry splits with girlfriend Rachel Dunn June 28, 2005 Retrieved October 22, 2010
  24. ^ Matthew Perry (May 18, 2009). "Matthew Perry: How do you feel about being single?". MailOnline. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  25. ^ John Buccigross. "This blog should tell you Sens, Ducks on very different paths". ESPN. Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  26. ^ Frankel, Daniel, (Thursday, June 7, 2007). "Emmy Contender: Matthew Perry" Variety.
  27. ^ "Matthew Perry Recalls 1988 Legends Celebrity Challenge Hockey Game at Boston Garden (Video)", Wednesday, February 23, 2011
  28. ^ Smolowe, Jill (March 12, 2001). "Show Stopper - Substance Abuse, Friends, Rocky Road Rehab, Matthew Perry". People.,,20133850,00.html. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  29. ^ a b Ann Oldenburg. "Addiction to Vicodin: Matthew Perry's Painful Story". USA Today via Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  30. ^ Richard Corlliss and Jeffrey Ressner (March 19, 2001). "Who's Feeling No Pain?". Time Magazine.,9171,999472,00.html. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Friends Star Perry Enters Rehab". CBS News. February 26, 2001. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Childrens Hospital 'The Black Doctor' Review". daemon's tv. June 17, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 

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