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Matthew Langford Perry (born August 19, 1969) is an Americomarker-Canadiamarker actor who played Chandler Bing on the NBC sitcom Friends for ten years between 1994 and 2004, earning a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2002. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in The Ron Clark Story.


Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusettsmarker, United Statesmarker. His mother, Suzanne Jane Louise Morrison (née Langford), is a Canadian journalist and former press secretary to Canadianmarker Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and his father, John Bennett Perry, is an American actor and former model. His parents divorced before his first birthday and his mother re-married to Keith Morrison, a broadcast journalist. Perry was raised by his mother in Ottawamarker, Ontario and was enrolled at Rockcliffe Park Public Schoolmarker and Lisgar Collegiate Institute, both of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. While growing up, he also took a keen interest in tennis and soon became a top-ranked junior player.

Substance abuse

Perry grew dependent on the pain killer Vicodin after a jetski accident which almost proved fatal, taking up to 20 to 30 pills a day. Following this episode he became an alcoholic and in 2000 was hospitalized with pancreatitis as a result of his addictions. He subsequently lost 20 pounds, thus appearing noticeably thinner during the seventh season of Friends. To overcome the problems with the abuse he entered a number of rehab clinics, including Promises in Malibumarker.



Perry moved from Ottawa to Los Angelesmarker 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.

After some guest appearances in late 1980s television, it was his intention to enroll at the University of Southern Californiamarker, 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 Angelesmarker and made guest appearance on the television program Growing Pains in which he portrayed Carol's boyfriend who dies in a drunk driving accident.


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 Sydneymarker, 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. In 1993, he also played the role of football manager in the classic "Rudy," wearing Buddy Holly glasses. 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.

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.


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 5-season run, including a 2-hour special intended to revive the legal comedy-drama.

After Friends wrapped up, Perry made his directorial debut in an episode of the 4th season of the American comedy-drama Scrubs (which he also guest starred in, 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).

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

In 2006–2007, Perry appeared in Aaron Sorkin's hour-long 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.

In 2006 he began filming Numb, a comedy drama about a chronically depressed writer. 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 Londonmarker. In 2009 he starred in the film 17 Again playing the older Zac Efron.

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

Perry stated on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show that he has got into a lot of writing, and wants to pursue that.

Matthew Perry's hotly sought-after 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. Thomas Schlamme is in talks to direct. It will be produced by Sony Pictures TV.

Personal life

Perry currently resides in Los Angeles, California and has been romantically linked to actress, Lauren Graham. The two have been very close friends for a long time and briefly dated back in 2002. They decided to try again when they appeared together at Ellen Degeneres's 50th birthday party in 2008.




Year Series 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.

1986 Silver Spoons Davey Episode 5.6: "Rick Moves Out"
1987-1988 Second Chance
(a/k/a Boys Will Be Boys)
Chazz Russell Main cast member; appeared in all 21 episodes
1988 Dance 'Til Dawn Roger TV film
Just the Ten of Us Ed Episode 2.4: "The Dinner Test"
Credited as Matthew L.

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"
Growing Pains Sandy Appeared in three episodes
1990 Sydney Billy Kells Appeared in 13 episodes
Who's the Boss? Benjamin Dawson Episode 7.8: "Roomies"
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?"
Dream On Alex Episode 3.23: "To the Moon, Alex!"
1993 Home Free Matt Bailey Main cast member; appeared in all 13 episodes
Deadly Relations George Westerfield TV film
1994 L.A.X. 2194 Blaine Pilot
Parallel Lives Willie Morrison TV film
1994-2004 Friends Chandler Bing Main cast member
1995 The John Larroquette Show Steven Episode 2.21: "Rachel Redux"
Caroline in the City Chandler Bing Episode 1.6: "Caroline and the Folks"
2001 The 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 The West Wing Joe Quincy Appeared in three episodes
2004 Scrubs Murray Marks Episode 4.11: "My Unicorn"; also director
2006 The Ron Clark Story Ron Clark TV film
2006-2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Matt Albie Appeared in all but one of the 22 episodes, The Disaster Show
2009 The End of Steve Steve Episode 1.1: "Pilot"
Co-creator and writer


Year Film Role Notes
1988 A 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 The Whole Nine Yards Nicholas 'Oz' Oseransky
The Kid Mr. Vivian Uncredited
2002 Serving Sara Joe Tyler
2004 The Whole Ten Yards Oz
2005 Hoosiers II: Senior Year Coach Norman Dale Jr.
2007 Numb Hudson Executive producer
2008 Birds of America Morrie Tanager
2009 17 Again Adult Mike O'Donnell


Emmy Awards

Golden Globes

American Comedy Awards

  • Nominated - Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a TV Series for Friends (1996) - with David Schwimmer

Kids' Choice Awards

  • Nominated - Favorite Television Actor for Friends (2002)

Satellite Awards

Screen Actors Guild Awards

TV Guide Awards

TV Land Awards

  • Nominated - Most Wonderful Wedding for Friends (2006) - with Courteney Cox

Teen Choice Awards

  • Won - Choice TV Actor - Comedy for Friends (2004)


  1. Matthew Perry Biography (1969-)
  2. rick perry Ancestries of Miscellaneous "Celebrities
  3. FILM; The Fame He Craved Came, but It Wasn't Enough New York Times
  4. Matthew Perry & Aaron Sorkin Joke About Drugs, Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna and Jed Dreben, People magazine, July 22, 2009.
  5. FILM; The Fame He Craved Came, but It Wasn't Enough, Dana Kennedy, New York Times, August 18, 2002.
  6. Matthew Perry Cleans Up, Slims Down, ABC News
  7. Variety announces Matthew Perry in Studio 60
  8. Showtime picks up 'End of Steve'Oct. 13, 2008 By DANIEL FRANKEL, Variety
  9. The Insider: Are Matthew Perry And Lauren Graham Dating Again?

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