Perry in December 2013
Matthew Langford Perry
August 19, 1969
|Lizzy Caplan (2006-2012)|
Matthew Langford Perry (born August 19, 1969) is an American-Canadian actor, comedian, executive producer, screenwriter, and playwright who gained worldwide recognition for his role as Chandler Bing on the NBC television sitcom Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004. Due to the vast popularity of the sitcom, Perry and the rest of the six-member main cast ensemble were each making $1 million per episode by 2002. 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), Almost Heroes (1998), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), and 17 Again (2009). In 2010, he expanded his resume to include both video games and voice-over work when he voiced Benny in the video game Fallout: New Vegas.
Perry was the co-creator, co-writer, executive producer, and star of the ABC sitcom Mr. Sunshine, which ran from February to April 2011. 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. Perry co-developed and starred in the CBS sitcom The Odd Couple portraying Oscar Madison from 2015 to 2017.
Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on August 19, 1969. His mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison (née Langford), is a Canadian journalist and former press secretary to former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His father, John Bennett Perry (born 1941), is an American actor and former model. His parents divorced before his first birthday and his mother subsequently married broadcast journalist Keith Morrison. He was raised by his mother in Ottawa, Ontario, and was enrolled at Ashbury College. While growing up, he took a keen interest in lawn tennis and became a top-ranked junior player.
When he was 15, Perry moved from Ottawa to Los Angeles to pursue acting and attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, graduating in 1987. He pursued improv comedy at the LA Connection in Sherman Oaks while still in high school.
He went on to play Chazz Russell in the TV series Second Chance. After 13 episodes, Second Chance became Boys Will Be Boys, with the plots refocused on the adventures of Chazz and his teenage friends. After the show's single season, Perry stayed in Los Angeles and made his screen debut in the 1988 film A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon. In 1989 Perry had a three-episode arc on the series Growing Pains, in which he portrayed Carol Seaver's boyfriend, who dies from injuries sustained in a drunk-driving accident.
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, followed by a sitcom pilot titled LAX 2194.
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 of Chandler Bing.
Friends was hugely successful, and Perry, along with his co-stars, gained wide recognition among television viewers. The program earned him an Emmy nomination in 2002 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, along with Matt LeBlanc, but the two lost to Ray Romano. Perry 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 five-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, 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).
He starred in the TNT movie, The Ron Clark Story also known as "The Triumph" 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.
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. 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.
Perry's new comedy pilot, Mr. Sunshine, based on Perry's original idea for the show, was bought by ABC. Perry was set to portray a middle-aged man with an identity crisis. ABC canceled the series after nine episodes.
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. The project was picked up to series in May 2012. Perry portrayed Ryan King, a 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. The series premiered on September 11, 2012. On October 2, 2012, NBC ordered a full season of 22 episodes. NBC canceled Go On in May 2013, shortly after the conclusion of its first season.
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. Perry portrayed "a charismatic man" who enchanted onlookers by throwing his dog in the air. From 2015 to 2017, Perry starred in, co-wrote, and served as executive producer of a revival of the sitcom The Odd Couple on CBS. Perry played Oscar Madison opposite Thomas Lennon as Felix Unger.
Perry played the lead role in a new production of his play The End of Longing, which premiered on February 11, 2016, at the Playhouse Theatre in London. The play transferred Off-Broadway to MCC Theater, which opened on June 5, 2017, with Jennifer Morrison.
Perry holds both Canadian and American citizenship.
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 (9.1 kg) in 2000 due to pancreatitis. He again entered rehab in February 2001 for addiction to Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines, and alcohol. He was filming Serving Sara in Texas when he suffered severe stomach pains, and flew to Los Angeles to check into Marina del Rey's Daniel Freeman Hospital. Perry's publicist, Lisa Kasteler, confirmed his rehab stay. Perry later revealed that due to his addiction issues he doesn't remember three years of his time on Friends, "somewhere between seasons three and six.
Perry is a fan of the Fallout video game series. On a 2009 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he gifted DeGeneres a copy of Fallout 3. This prompted game studio Bethesda to cast him in the next installment of the series, Fallout: New Vegas.
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.
In August 2018, it was reported that Perry had abdominal surgery to repair a gastrointestinal perforation. On September 15, 2018, he revealed in a tweet that he had spent 3 months recovering in the hospital, suggesting the surgery took place in June 2018.
|1988||A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon||Fred Roberts||Credited as Matthew L. Perry|
|1989||She's Out of Control||Timothy|
|Fat Man and Little Boy||Bomb Technician||Uncredited|
|1994||Getting In||Randal Burns|
|1997||Fools Rush In||Alex Whitman|
|1998||Almost Heroes||Leslie Edwards|
|1999||Three to Tango||Oscar Novak|
|2000||The Whole Nine Yards||Nichlolas "Oz" Oseransky|
|The Kid||Mr. Vivian||Cameo (uncredited)|
|2002||Serving Sara||Joe Tyler|
|2004||The Whole Ten Yards||Nicholaz "Oz" Oseransky|
|2007||Numb||Hudson Milbank||Also executive producer|
|2008||Birds of America||Morrie|
|2009||17 Again||Adult Mike O'Donnell|
|TBA||Don't Look Up||Filming|
Episode: "Bank Job"
|1983||Not Necessarily the News||Bob||Episode: "Audrie in Love"|
|1985||Charles in Charge||Ed||Episode: "The Wrong Guy"|
Credited as Matthew L. Perry
|1986||Silver Spoons||Davey||Episode: "Rick Moves Out"|
|1987||Morning Maggie||Bradley McAllister||Television movie|
Credited as Matthew L. Perry
|1987-1988||Boys Will be Boys||Chazz Russell||Series regular; 21 episodes (also known as Second Chance)|
|1988||Dance 'Til Dawn||Roger||Television movie|
|1988||Just the Ten of Us||Ed||Episode: "The Dinner Test"|
Credited as Matthew L. Perry
|1988||Highway to Heaven||David Hastings||2 episodes|
|1989||Empty Nest||Bill at 18||Episode: "A Life in the Day"|
|1989||Growing Pains||Sandy||Recurring role; 3 episodes|
|1990||Sydney||Billy Kells||Series regular; 13 episodes|
|1990||Who's the Boss?||Benjamin Dawson||Episode: "Roomies"|
|1990||Call Me Anna||Desi Arnaz Jr.||Television movie|
Credited as Matthew L. Perry
|1991||Beverly Hills, 90210||Roger Azarian||Episode: "April Is the Cruelest Month"|
|1992||Dream On||Alex Farmer||Episode: "To the Moon, Alex!"|
|1992||Sibs||Chas||Episode: "What Makes Lily Run?"|
|1993||Deadly Relations||George Westerfield||Television movie|
|1993||Home Free||Matt Bailey||Series regular; 13 episodes|
|1994||Parallel Lives||Willi Morrison||Television movie|
|1994||L.A.X. 2194||Blaine||Television movie|
|1994-2004||Friends||Chandler Bing||Main role; 236 episodes|
|1995||Caroline in the City||Episode: "Caroline and the Folks"|
|1995||The John Larroquette Show||Steven||Episode: "Rachel Redux"|
|1997||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: "Matthew Perry/Oasis"|
|2001||The Simpsons||Himself (voice)||Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XII"|
|2002||Ally McBeal||Todd Merrick||2 episodes|
|2003||The West Wing||Joe Quincy||Recurring role; 3 episodes|
|2004||Scrubs||Murray||Episode: "My Unicorn"|
|2005||Friday Night Lights Short Scene||Football Player||Television short|
|2006||The Ron Clark Story||Ron Clark||Television movie|
|2006-2007||Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip||Matt Albie||Series regular; 22 episodes|
|2008||The End of Steve||Steve Legend||Television movie; also executive producer/co-creator|
|2011||Childrens Hospital||Himself||Episode: "The Black Doctor"|
|2011||Mr. Sunshine||Ben Donovan||Series regular; 13 episodes|
Also creator/executive producer/writer
|2012-2013||The Good Wife||Mike Kresteva||Recurring role; 4 episodes|
|2012-2013||Go On||Ryan King||Series regular; 22 episodes|
Also executive producer
|2014||Cougar Town||Sam||Episode: "Like a Diamond"|
|2014||Playhouse Presents||The Charismatic Man||Episode: "The Dog Thrower"|
|2015||Web Therapy||Tyler Bishop||2 episodes|
|2015-2017||The Odd Couple||Oscar Madison||Series regular; 38 episodes|
Also executive producer/writer
|2017||The Good Fight||Mike Kresteva||Recurring role; 3 episodes|
|2017||The Kennedys: After Camelot||Ted Kennedy||Television miniseries; 4 episodes|
Also executive producer
|2021||The One Where They Got Back Together||Himself||Postponed due to COVID-19; HBO Max special; also executive producer|
|2003||Sexual Perversity in Chicago||Danny||Broadway play at West End theater in London, England|
|2016||The End of Longing||Jack||Off-Broadway play at Playhouse Theater in London, England|
|2010||Fallout: New Vegas||Benny|
|American Comedy Awards||1996||Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a Television Series||Friends||Nominated|
|Gold Derby Awards||2004||Comedy Lead Actor||Friends||Nominated|
|2005||Comedy Guest Actor||Scrubs||Nominated|
|2007||Television Movie/Miniseries Lead Actor||The Ron Clark Story||Won|
|2009||Television Movie/Miniseries Lead Actor of the Decade||The Ron Clark Story||Nominated|
|2012||Drama Guest Actor||The Good Wife||Won|
|2013||Drama Guest Actor||The Good Wife||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||2007||Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television||The Ron Clark Story||Nominated|
|Huading Awards||2013||Best Global Actor in a Television Series||Go On||Won|
|Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards||2002||Favorite Television Actor||Friends||Nominated|
|Online Film & Television Association Awards||1997||Best Supporting Actor in a Series||Friends||Nominated|
|1997||Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|1997||Best Ensemble in a Series||Friends||Nominated|
|1997||Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Won|
|1998||Best Supporting Actor in a Series||Friends||Nominated|
|1998||Best Ensemble in a Series||Friends||Nominated|
|1998||Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|1999||Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2000||Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2001||Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2003||Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series||The West Wing||Nominated|
|2007||Best Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||The Ron Clark Story||Nominated|
|2012||Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series||The Good Wife||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||2017||Favorite Comedic Television Actor||The Odd Couple||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||2002||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2003||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series||The West Wing||Nominated|
|2004||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series||The West Wing||Nominated|
|2007||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie||The Ron Clark Story||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||2006||Best Actor in a Series - Drama||Studio 60 in the Sunset Strip||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||1996||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Won|
|1999||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2000||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2001||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2002||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2003||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2004||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Friends||Nominated|
|2007||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries||The Ron Clark Story||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||2004||Choice TV Actor - Comedy||Friends||Nominated|
|TV Guide Awards||2000||Editor's Choice Award||Friends||Won|
|TV Land Awards||2006||Most Wonderful Wedding (shared with Courteney Cox)||Friends||Nominated|
Mr. Perry, whose parents divorced when he was a baby, was raised by his mother, Suzanne Morrison,
The marriage of Suzanne Marie Langford...