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Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry
Perry speaking about drug courts at think-tank Policy Exchange in December 2013
Born Matthew Langford Perry
(1969-08-19) August 19, 1969
Williamstown, Massachusetts, U.S.
Citizenship Canadian, American (dual)
Alma mater The Buckley School
Occupation Actor, director, writer, producer
Years active 1979–present
Known for Friends (Chandler Bing)
Parent(s) John Bennett Perry (father)
Suzanne Perry (mother)
Keith Morrison (stepfather)

Matthew Langford Perry (born August 19, 1969)[1] is a Canadian-American actor and writer. He is mostly known for his role as Chandler Bing on the long-running NBC television sitcom Friends, as well as his portrayal of Ron Clark in the 2006 television movie The Ron Clark Story.[2][3] Along with starring in the short-lived television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Perry has appeared in a number of films, including Fools Rush In (1997), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), and 17 Again (2009).[4] In 2010, he expanded his résumé to include both video games and voiceover work when he voiced Benny in the role-playing game Fallout: New Vegas.[5]

Perry was the co-creator, co-writer, executive producer and star of the ABC sitcom Mr. Sunshine, which ran from February to April 2011.[6] In August 2012, Perry began starring as Ryan King, a sportscaster, on the NBC sitcom Go On. The series was canceled on May 10, 2013.[7]

Perry co-created and stars in the 2015 CBS sitcom The Odd Couple portraying Oscar Madison.[8] On May 11, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season.[9]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • 1980s 2.1
    • 1990s 2.2
    • 2000s 2.3
    • 2010s 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Matthew Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts.[1] His mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison (née Langford), is a Canadian journalist and former press secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and his father, John Bennett Perry (born 1941), is an American actor and former model.[10][11][12] His parents divorced before his first birthday and his mother subsequently married Keith Morrison, a broadcast journalist.[11] Perry was raised by his mother in Ottawa, Ontario, and was enrolled at Rockcliffe Park Public School and Ashbury College.[11] While growing up, he took a keen interest in tennis and became a top-ranked junior player.[11]



Perry moved from Ottawa to Los Angeles to pursue acting and attended 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.[13]

After some guest appearances in mid-1980s television, it was his intention to enroll at the University of Southern California before he was offered the lead role of Chazz Russell in Second Chance, and 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 a 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.[13]


Perry departing rehearsal for the 1995 Emmy Awards.

In the midst of his many continuing guest roles on TV, Perry was cast as a regular on the 1990 CBS sitcom Sydney, playing the younger brother of Valerie Bertinelli's title character. In 1991, he made a guest appearance on Beverly Hills, 90210 as Roger Azarian. Perry landed his next TV starring role on the ABC sitcom Home Free, which aired only 11 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 back-up 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, because of 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.[13]

The program was hugely successful and Perry, along with his co-stars, gained wide renown among television viewers. The program also earned him Emmy[14] 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.[13]


Perry at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

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 McBeal's five-season run, including a 2-hour special intended to revive the legal comedy-drama.[13]

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.

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.[15]

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.[16] In 2009, he starred in the film 17 Again playing the older Mike O'Donnell.

In 2008, Perry starred in the offbeat film Birds of America as Morrie Tanager, an uptight man who has to deal with his siblings.

Showtime passed on a pilot called The End of Steve, a dark comedy starring, written and produced by Perry and Peter Tolan.[17]


Perry in a 2011 video talking about the National Drug Control Policy program

Perry's new comedy pilot, Mr. Sunshine, based on Perry's original idea, was bought by ABC.[18][19] Perry was set to portray a middle-aged man with an identity crisis.[20] ABC canceled the series after nine episodes.[21][22]

On March 1, 2012, it was reported that Perry had signed on to star on the NBC comedy pilot Go On, written and produced by former Friends writer/producer Scott Silveri.[23] The project was picked up to series in May 2012. Perry portrays Ryan King, a charming yet irreverent sportscaster who tries to move on after the death of his wife through the help of mandatory therapy sessions. The pilot aired on August 8, 2012, as a "sneak preview" after the 2012 Summer Olympics.[24] The series premiered on September 11, 2012.[25] On October 2, 2012, NBC ordered a full season of 22 episodes.[26] The series was canceled by NBC in May 2013, shortly after the conclusion of its first season.

In 2012, Perry guest-starred on the critically acclaimed CBS drama The Good Wife, as attorney Mike Kresteva. In 2013, he reprised his role in the fourth season.[27]

In 2014, Perry made his British TV debut in the one-off comedy program The Dog Thrower, which aired on May 1 as part of Sky Arts' Playhouse Presents strand. In the strand, Perry portrayed "a charismatic man" who enchanted onlookers by throwing his dog in the air. The strand included eight standalone comedy and drama programmes. The Dog Thrower also starred Tim Key, and was written by author and journalist Jon Ronson, who also made his directorial debut.[28]

Since February 19, 2015, Perry stars in, co-writes, and executive-produces The Odd Couple. The multi-camera comedy airs on CBS. Perry plays Oscar Madison, a known slob; the role of his clean-freak roomie Felix Unger is played by Thomas Lennon, who had previously worked with Perry on 17 Again (as Ned Gold, Mike O'Donnell's (Matthew Perry) friend) and on Friends (as Joey's (Matt LeBlanc) identical hand twin).[8][29]

Personal life

Perry dated actress Julia Roberts from 1995-1996, Lauren Graham in 2003, and Lizzy Caplan from 2006[30][31] to 2012.[32]

Perry holds dual American-Canadian citizenship.[33]

Perry completed a 28-day program in 1997 for a Vicodin addiction. His weight fluctuated drastically over the next few years and once dropped down to 145 pounds (66 kg). He lost 20 pounds in 2000 because of pancreatitis.[34] Perry again entered rehab in February 2001 to treat an addiction to opioids (specifically vicodin and methadone), amphetamines and alcohol.[35][36][37] Perry was in Dallas, Texas, 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.[35]

In 2011, as a celebrity spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Perry went to Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress in support of funding for drug courts.[38]

Perry received a Champion of Recovery award in May 2013 from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for opening Perry House, a sober living home situated in his former mansion in Malibu, California.[39]


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, AA Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon Fred Roberts
1989 She's Out of Control Timothy
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
Disney's The Kid Mr. Vivian Uncredited
2002 Serving Sara Joe Tyler
2004 Whole Ten Yards, TheThe Whole Ten Yards Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky
2005 Hoosiers II: Senior Year Coach Norman Dale Jr. Short film
2007 Numb Hudson Also executive producer
2008 Birds of America Morrie Tanager
2009 17 Again Adult Mike O'Donnell
Year Title Role Notes
1979 240-Robert Arthur Episode: "Bank Job"
1983 Not Necessarily the News Bob Episode: "Audrie in Love"
1985 Charles in Charge Ed Stanley Episode: "The Wrong Guy"
1986 Silver Spoons Davey Episode: "Rick Moves Out"
1987–1988 Second Chance Chazz Russell Main cast; 21 episodes
1988 Just the Ten of Us Ed Episode: "The Dinner Test"
Highway to Heaven David Hastings 2 episodes
Dance 'til Dawn Roger Television film
1989 Growing Pains Sandy 3 episodes
Empty Nest Bill aged 18 Episode: "A Life in the Day"
1990 Sydney Billy Kells Main cast; 13 episodes
Who's the Boss? Benjamin Dawson Episode: "Roomies"
Call Me Anna Desi Arnaz, Jr. Television film
1991 Beverly Hills, 90210 Roger Azarian Episode: "April Is the Cruelest Month"
1992 Sibs N/A Episode: "What Makes Lily Run?"
Dream On Alex Farmer Episode: "To the Moon, Alex!"
1993 Deadly Relations George Westerfield Television film
Home Free Matt Bailey Main cast; 13 episodes
1994 Parallel Lives Willie Morrison Television film
1994–2004 Friends Chandler Bing Main cast; 236 episodes
1995 John Larroquette Show, TheThe John Larroquette Show Steven Episode: "Rachel Redux"
Caroline in the City Chandler Bing Episode: "Caroline and the Folks"
1997 Saturday Night Live Himself Host; episode: "Matthew Perry/Oasis"
2001 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons Ultrahouse 3000's Matthew Perry voice Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XII"
2002 Ally McBeal Attorney Todd Merrick 2 episodes
2003 West Wing, TheThe West Wing Joe Quincy 3 episodes
2004 Scrubs Murray Marks Episode: "My Unicorn"; also director
2006 Ron Clark Story, TheThe Ron Clark Story Ron Clark Television film
2006–2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Matt Albie Main cast; 22 episodes
2011 Mr. Sunshine Ben Donovan Main cast and co-creator; 13 episodes
Childrens Hospital Himself Episode: "The Black Doctor"
2012–2013 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Mike Kresteva 4 episodes (1 uncredited)
Go On Ryan King Main cast; 22 episodes
2013 Hollywood Game Night Himself Episode: "The One with the Friends"
2014 Cougar Town Sam Episode: "Like a Diamond"
Dog Thrower, TheThe Dog Thrower The charismatic man One-off episode
2015 Web Therapy Tyler Bishop (aka Tyler Levin) Episode: "Lies and Alibis"
2015–present The Odd Couple Oscar Madison Main cast; also Writer and Executive Producer; 12 episodes
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Fallout: New Vegas Benny Voice

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - with rest of main cast Friends Won
1996 American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a TV Series - with David Schwimmer Nominated
1998 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2000 TV Guide Awards Editor's Choice - with whole cast along with Jane Sibbett and John Christopher Allen Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2002 Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Television Actor
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2003 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series The West Wing
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Friends
2004 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series The West Wing
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
TV Land Awards Most Wonderful Wedding - with Courteney Cox Friends
2007 Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie The Ron Clark Story
Golden Globes Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries


  1. ^ a b "Matthew Perry".  
  2. ^ "Matthew Perry - Awards & Nominations - MSN Movies". Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Matthew Perry Credits | Movies, TV Shows". Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Matthew Perry". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Fallout: New Vegas Voice Cast Includes Matthew Perry, Wayne Newton, Zach Levi". August 10, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 10, 2013). Go On' Canceled by NBC After One Season"'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Friends star Matthew Perry set for Odd Couple reboot". 
  9. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 11, 2015). The Good Wife', 'Hawaii Five-0', 'Person of Interest' & Many More Renewed by CBS"'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Matthew Perry Biography (1969-)". Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d Kennedy, Dana (August 18, 2002). "The Fame He Craved Came, but It Wasn't Enough".  
  12. ^ "Mr. and Mrs. John Bennett Perry".  
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Matthew Perry Biography - Yahoo! Movies". August 19, 1969. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Matthew Perry". Television Academy. 
  15. ^ 'Variety'' announces Matthew Perry in ''Studio 60''"'". Variety. January 26, 2006. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  16. ^ Smith, Neil (May 15, 2003). "Perry debuts in tame Perversity". BBC News. Retrieved September 10, 2007. 
  17. ^ Showtime picks up 'End of Steve' October 13, 2008 By DANIEL FRANKEL, Variety
  18. ^ Adam Bryant. "Matthew Perry Comedy Lands at ABC". 
  19. ^ "Twitter / matthew perry: Abc officially greenlit my". Twitter. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ "ABC picks up Matthew Perry comedy pilot". January 13, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Updated: 'V' Cancelled; 'Brothers & Sisters,' 'Mr. Sunshine,' 'Detroit 187,' 'Off The Map,' 'No Ordinary Family' Cancelled Too - May 13, 2011". May 13, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Matthew Perry’s new show Mr Sunshine gets panned | News | The Week UK". February 9, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  23. ^ Ausiello, Michael (March 1, 2012). "Scoop: Matthew Perry Returning to NBC as Star of Comedy Pilot Go On".  
  24. ^ Collins, Scott (August 9, 2012). "'"London Olympics: NBC draws crowd for Matthew Perry sitcom 'Go On.  
  25. ^ "NBC Fall 2012 Premiere Dates: 'Go On' Premieres Early, 'Community' Returns In October". Huffington Post. June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  26. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 2, 2012). "'"NBC Orders Full Seasons of 'Revolution', 'Go On' & 'The New Normal. TV By the Numbers. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  27. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "Matthew Perry Returning To ‘The Good Wife’ - Deadline". Deadline. 
  28. ^ "Former Friends star Matthew Perry to make UK TV debut". 
  29. ^ Ausiello, Michael. "The Odd Couple Pilot Scoop: Look Who's Playing the Felix to Matthew Perry's Oscar". Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  30. ^ "Matthew Perry's Student Body Hookup". November 16, 2006. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  31. ^ Fisher, Kelly (September 10, 2011). "Matthew Perry And Lizzy Caplan: Another Hollywood Odd Couple? (PHOTO)". Huffington Post. 
  32. ^ Takeda, Allison (October 18, 2013). """Matthew Perry, Lizzy Caplan Quietly Split, "Haven't Been Together for a Long Time. Us Weekly. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  33. ^ John Buccigross. "This blog should tell you Sens, Ducks on very different paths".  
  34. ^ Smolowe, Jill (March 12, 2001). "Show Stopper - Substance Abuse, Friends, Rocky Road Rehab, Matthew Perry". People. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  35. ^ a b Ann Oldenburg. "Addiction to Vicodin: Matthew Perry's Painful Story". USA Today via Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  36. ^ Richard Corlliss and Jeffrey Ressner (March 19, 2001). "Who's Feeling No Pain?". Time Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Friends Star Perry Enters Rehab".  
  38. ^ "Matthew Perry joins NADCP to ensure $86 million for Drug Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts". National Association of Drug Court Professionals. October 26, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Matthew Perry Says 'I Don't Think So' to 'Friends' Reunion".  

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