A week after the death of Friends actor Matthew Perry, those close to him have announced the formation of the Matthew Perry Foundation, a charity devoted to helping those struggling with substance abuse.
In a statement shared with ET, officials said that the organization will follow in Perry’s footsteps and continue his life’s mission of helping others dealing with addiction, which he said was “paramount” to him before his death.
“The Matthew Perry Foundation is the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction,” the statement read.
“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,” the statement announcing the foundation declared.
The actor was a passionate advocate for drug and alcohol recovery programs throughout his life, having battled substance abuse for the majority of his own life.
In an interview with the New York Times in November 2022, Perry said he “probably spent $9 million or something” over the course of several decades in an effort to get sober and went to rehab some 15 times.
Throughout the years that he battled addiction, Perry endured pneumonia, an exploded colon, two weeks in a coma, nine months with a colostomy bag and more than a dozen stomach surgeries, he told the Times.
His devotion to helping others with the same addiction he faced prompted him to at one point open a sober living home at his former Malibu mansion, dubbed the Perry House.
“Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down,” Perry once said.
Anyone interested in contributing to the newly announced Matthew Perry Foundation can do so HERE.
In late October, ET reported that Perry was working to create a foundation before his untimely death that would similarly help addicts find a pathway to recovery. It’s unclear how far along in the process he was when he died.
Prior to his tragic drowning at his Los Angeles home on Oct. 28, Perry had shared that while Friends may have been what he was best known for, it wasn’t what he hoped people would most remember him for.
In a November 2022 interview on the Q with Tom Power podcast, the actor who portrayed Chandler Bing for 10 years said he would like to be remembered for who he was as a person and those he assisted.
“I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker,” Perry told the audience during the live taping.
In the same sit-down, the Go On star said his proudest accomplishment is not the show that skyrocketed him to fame in the 1990s and early 2000s, but the fellow recovering drug addicts and alcoholics who he has been able to help through their journeys.
“The best thing about me, bar none, is if somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking. Can you help me?’ I can say yes and follow up and do it,” Perry said. “And I’ve said this for a long time: when I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned — I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.”
“And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people,” Perry said of how he hopes people talk about him after his death. “That’s what I want.”