Matthew Perry attends the premiere of the film “17 Again” in Los Angeles April 14, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten/File Photo
Matthew Perry’s loved ones have set up a charity in his name to help others battling addiction issues.
The ‘Friends’ actor—who passed away October 23 aged 54—spent years battling drug and alcohol addiction and he estimated he’d spent around $9 million on his efforts to get sober and now his lasting legacy will be The Matthew Perry Foundation, which will aim to provide others with the help they need to get clean.
A statement posted on the charity’s new website explained: “The Matthew Perry Foundation is the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction. It will honour 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 website also features a quote from Perry, which reads: “When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned—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. Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”
The foundation is sponsored and maintained by the National Philanthropic Trust, a public charity that provides philanthropic expertise to donors, foundations, and financial institutions. To support Perry’s namesake foundation, fans are being asked to make donations to the charity through the website.
Previous reports suggested Perry had been working on plans to launch his own charity prior to his death. ETOnline.com reported The actor was “working on expanding his work with people struggling with addiction through the creation of a foundation.”
The website added Perry was “focused on helping others battling the same addiction issues he faced throughout his life” but it was “unclear how far into the process of creating the foundation” he was at the time of his passing.
He had previously attempted to help others by turning his former home in Malibu, California into a sober living facility which was dubbed the Perry House, but it closed in 2015 due to high operating costs.
Perry has been open about his struggles with addiction, sharing the story of his battle to get sober in his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.
Speaking on the ‘Q with Tom Power’ podcast in November, 2022, Perry explained he was determined to use his experiences to help others. He said: “I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker.
“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.
“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.”