The Matthew Perry Foundation has been established to continue the actor’s commitment to helping others struggling with addiction.
The foundation said it will honor Perry’s “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 Friends star died at the age of 54 on Oct. 28 in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home, law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times at the time. The L.A. coroner’s office has not established the cause of death yet.
Perry had been open about his decades-long struggles with addictions to alcohol and opioids. In his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, released last year, the actor recalled how at the height of addiction, which was during his later years on the NBC sitcom, he was taking 55 Vicodin pills a day.
During promotions for his book, he told The New York Times that he had been sober for 18 months and had “probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober.” He seemed committed to his sobriety and wanted to help others struggling as well.
“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,” Perry previously said. “Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman said on the Today show that she spoke with Perry two weeks before his death, noting that “he was happy and chipper. He didn’t seem weighed down by anything. He was in a really good place.”
“He seemed better than I had seen in a while,” she added. “I was so thrilled to see that. He was emotionally in a good place. He looked good. He quit smoking. Yes, he was sober. He learned things throughout this and what he learned more than anything is that he wants to help other addicts, and it gave him purpose.”
The Matthew Perry Foundation is a donor-advised fund sponsored and maintained by National Philanthropic Trust.