Actor Matthew Perry named the Disney star he wanted to play the younger version of himself in a movie about his life, sharing his hopes about the actor and the film with a friend only hours before his death.
Matthew Perry, best known for his role as the sarcastic and hilarious Chandler Bing on the NBC sitcom Friends was found dead in a hot tub at his home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles on October 28. Officers who arrived on the scene said no foul play was suspected in the 54-year-old’s death, which is being referred to as an “apparent drowning,” though an autopsy performed by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner yielded inconclusive results.
As such, the late actor’s cause of death has been ruled deferred as additional information is needed by the coroner before a more conclusive and definite cause of death can be determined. Part of that information will be gathered from toxicology results, the majority of which are pending as of the time of this post.
FOX News reported that an initial toxicology screening revealed neither fentanyl nor meth was found in Perry’s system at the time of his death.
Perry’s Fame and Personal Struggles
Matthew Perry’s life was heavily punctuated by Hollywood successes, as well as personal struggles and challenges–by his own admission.
Perry’s international recognition stems from the iconic role he played as Chandler Bing in NBC’s Friends from 1994 to 2004, but the late actor’s Hollywood resume was full of other credits in television and includes multiple film roles as well. Perry starred as fictional executive producer Matt Albie in the comedy-drama TV series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip by Aaron Sorkin (2006-2007) and played the role of manager Ben Donovan in the ABC series Mr. Sunshine (2011-2012).
Perry’s film credits include Fools Rush In (1997), Almost Heroes (1998), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Disney’s The Kid (2000), The Ron Clark Story (2006), and 17 Again (2009).
A Biopic Film About His Life
Perry was empathetic toward others suffering from drug addiction and took the initiative to help them achieve sobriety and peace in their lives. In 2013, he opened a foundation called Perry House, which he operated out of his own home in Malibu, using the mansion as a sober living facility for men.
In his memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry talked–in painstaking detail–about the challenges, medical complications, and illnesses he faced as a result of an all-consuming drug addiction. He said over the course of his lifetime up to that point, he had spent close to $9 million attempting to find sobriety.
But Perry reportedly had plans for a biopic about his life, and he had even decided which actor he wanted to play a younger version of him in the film.
Lunch with a Friend Hours Before His Death
Shortly after news broke about Perry’s unexpected death, TMZ published photos of the actor and a young woman having lunch at the Hotel Bel-Air on October 27, the day before the actor died at his Los Angeles home. The woman’s identity was initially a mystery, but her decision to speak out about her friendship with Matthew Perry solved it quickly.
Entertainment journalist and model Athenna Crosby says she and Perry enjoyed lunch together the day before his passing, but because Perry was “an extremely private person,” she felt conflicted about speaking publicly about him following news of his death. Crosby remembered her late friend with a tribute to him on Instagram that includes a slideshow reel of images of the late actor captioned with words of tribute and admiration. (Click here to see the reel.)
Perry’s Hopes for a Film About His Life
“[Matthew] was just looking forward to sharing more about his story and his recovery from addiction and really championing that cause to help more people,” Crosby added. “He was so optimistic and happy about everything that he wanted to do.”