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Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry

American actor
The basics
Occupation Television actor Actor Film director Writer Film producer
Country United States of America Canada
AKA Matthew Langford Perry
Date of birth Williamstown, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Father: John Bennett Perry
Height: 1.80975 m
Education Buckley School
Notable works Friends
Authority IMDB id NNDB id ISNI id VIAF id Library of congress id
The details

Matthew Langford Perry (born August 19, 1969) is a dual national Canadian-American actor, best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the long-running NBC television sitcom Friends, as well as his portrayal of Ron Clark in the 2006 television movie The Ron Clark Story.

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), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), and 17 Again (2009). In 2010, he expanded his résumé to include both video games and voiceover work when he voiced Benny in the role-playing 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 stars in the 2015 CBS sitcom The Odd Couple portraying Oscar Madison. On May 11, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season. On May 16, 2016, CBS renewed the show for a third season.

Early life

Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts. His mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison (née Langford), is a Canadian journalist and former press secretary to 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 Keith Morrison, a broadcast journalist.

Perry was raised by his mother in Ottawa, Ontario, and was enrolled at Rockcliffe Park Public School and Ashbury College. While growing up, he took a keen interest in 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. He made a 1989 guest appearance 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. By then, Perry was making his mark, and was instantly cast in a sitcom pilot titled LAX 2194.

Perry departing rehearsal for the 1995 Emmy Awards

The project was slow to take off, so as a back-up 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 of Chandler Bing.

Friends was hugely successful, and Perry, along with his co-stars, gained wide renown 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.


Perry in 2007

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 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.

Perry in 2010

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, 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. Go On was canceled by NBC in May 2013, shortly after the conclusion of its first season.

In 2012, Perry guest-starred on the critically acclaimed CBS drama The Good Wife, as attorney Mike Kresteva. In 2013, he reprised his role in the fourth 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. Since February 19, 2015, Perry has starred in, co-writes, and served as executive producer of a revival of the sitcom The Odd Couple on CBS. Perry plays 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.

In March 2017 Perry again reprised his role as attorney Mike Kresteva, in The Good Fight, a sequel show to the CBS drama The Good Wife.

Personal life

Perry in a 2011 video talking about the National Drug Control Policy program

Perry holds dual American-Canadian citizenship. He dated Julia Roberts from 1995 to 1996 and Lizzy Caplan from 2006 to 2012.

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 in 2000 due to pancreatitis. Perry again entered rehab in February 2001 to treat an addiction to opioids (specifically vicodin and methadone), amphetamines and alcohol. Perry was in Dallas, Texas filming Serving Sara with Elizabeth Hurley when he suffered severe stomach pains. Perry flew to Los Angeles and checked into Marina del Rey's Daniel Freeman Hospital. Perry's publicist, Lisa Kasteler, confirmed his rehab stay.

Perry is a fan of the Fallout video game series. On a 2009 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he gave DeGeneres a copy of Fallout 3. This prompted Bethesda, the company behind the game, to cast him in the next installment of the series Fallout: New Vegas.

In 2011, as a celebrity spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Perry went to Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress in support of funding for drug courts.

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.



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, AA Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon Fred Roberts
1989 She's Out of Control Timothy
1994 Getting In Randall Burns
1997 Fools Rush In Alex Whitman
1998 Almost Heroes Leslie Edwards
1999 Three to Tango Oscar Novak
2000 Whole Nine Yards, TheThe Whole Nine Yards Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky
2000 Disney's The Kid Mr. Vivian Uncredited cameo
2002 Serving Sara Joe Tyler
2004 Whole Ten Yards, TheThe Whole Ten Yards Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky
2005 Hoosiers II: Senior Year Coach Norman Dale Jr. Short film
2007 Numb Hudson Also executive producer
2008 Birds of America Morrie Tanager
2009 17 Again Adult Mike O'Donnell


Year Title Role Notes
1979 240-Robert Arthur Episode: "Bank Job"
1983 Not Necessarily the News Bob Episode: "Audrie in Love"
1985 Charles in Charge Ed Stanley Episode: "The Wrong Guy"
1986 Silver Spoons Davey Episode: "Rick Moves Out"
1987–1988 Second Chance Chazz Russell 21 episodes
1988 Just the Ten of Us Ed Episode: "The Dinner Test"
1988 Highway to Heaven David Hastings 2 episodes
1988 Dance 'til Dawn Roger Television film
1989 Growing Pains Sandy 3 episodes
1989 Empty Nest Bill aged 18 Episode: "A Life in the Day"
1990 Sydney Billy Kells Main cast; 13 episodes
1990 Who's the Boss? Benjamin Dawson Episode: "Roomies"
1991 Call Me Anna Desi Arnaz Jr. Television film
1991 Beverly Hills, 90210 Roger Azarian Episode: "April Is the Cruelest Month"
1992 Sibs N/A Episode: "What Makes Lily Run?"
1992 Dream On Alex Farmer Episode: "To the Moon, Alex!"
1993 Deadly Relations George Westerfield Television film
1993 Home Free Matt Bailey 13 episodes
1994 Parallel Lives Willie Morrison Television film
1994–2004 Friends Chandler Bing 236 episodes
1995 John Larroquette Show, TheThe John Larroquette Show Steven Episode: "Rachel Redux"
1995 Caroline in the City Chandler Bing Episode: "Caroline and the Folks"
1997 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Matthew Perry/Oasis"
2001 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons Ultrahouse 3000's Matthew Perry voice Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XII"
2002 Ally McBeal Attorney Todd Merrick 2 episodes
2003 West Wing, TheThe West Wing Joe Quincy 3 episodes
2004 Scrubs Murray Marks Episode: "My Unicorn"; also director
2006 Ron Clark Story, TheThe Ron Clark Story Ron Clark Television film
2006–2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Matt Albie 22 episodes
2008 The End of Steve Steve Legend Pilot; also creator and co-executive producer
2011 Mr. Sunshine Ben Donovan 13 episodes; also co-creator, writer and executive producer
2011 Childrens Hospital Himself Episode: "The Black Doctor"
2012–2013 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Mike Kresteva 4 episodes
2012–2013 Go On Ryan King 22 episodes; also co-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 38 episodes; also developer, writer and executive producer
2017 The Good Fight Mike Kresteva 3 episodes
2017 The Kennedys: After Camelot Ted Kennedy 2 episodes

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2010 Fallout: New Vegas Benny

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - with rest of main cast Friends Won
1996 American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a TV Series - with David Schwimmer Nominated
1998 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2000 TV Guide Awards Editor's Choice - with whole cast along with Jane Sibbett and John Christopher Allen Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2002 Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Television Actor
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2003 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series The West Wing
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Friends
2004 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series The West Wing
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor - Comedy Friends Nominated
2006 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Nominated
TV Land Awards Most Wonderful Wedding - with Courteney Cox Friends
2007 Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie The Ron Clark Story
Golden Globes Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic TV Actor The Odd Couple Nominated
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