Remembering Matthew Perry: Where to Watch His Best Films, Series & Diane Sawyer Interview
The world lost a dear friend when Matthew Perry passed away on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 at just 54. Early reports indicate that the Friends star died of drowning after suffering from cardiac arrest in his jacuzzi at his Los Angeles home. No signs of foul play or drugs were reported found at the scene. Perry, who had no children, is survived by his adoring parents and siblings, and millions of friends and fans, who turned to social media immediately to share their shock and heartbreak on the news.
Last year, Perry poured his own heart out in his memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. The first page of his book read: “Hi my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name, as my friends call me Mattie, and I should be dead.”
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He was referencing his near-death, five-month hospitalization in 2018 that was caused by addiction to alcohol and prescription meds. Instead of hiding his personal demons, the brilliant and humble Perry went public with his full story believing he had a greater calling — helping others struggling with addiction by sharing his story and the life-saving lessons he learned to reach sobriety. He did that in his book and in an intimate interview with Diane Sawyer (the special Matthew Perry — The Diane Sawyer Interview is available on Hulu).
At the end of Sawyer’s interview she asked Perry how will people know if he’s in trouble again, he said: “If I say, ‘I’m just going to chill alone at home tonight.’ Of if I say ‘I’m cured.’” And then he laughed, and added, also the word “Spume,” that was a lighthearted reference back to his book and the oddity of the word. His hard-earned sober life was finally at a good place.
Here we remember Perry for his amazing career, along with the laughter, humility, love and strength he shared with us all.
While we’re still not sure what job Chandler Bing ever had on Friends, his biting sarcasm and charm made him a favorite over the hit series’ 10-season run from 1994-2000. “It does surprise me that it’s gone on so long and people still love it,” Perry said about the series worldwide appeal and continued popularity decades later. His participation in the highly-anticipated Friends: The Reunion in 2021 on MAX was after his recovery and something he wouldn’t miss, despite just having dental surgery days prior. TBS is airing a marathon of the “Best of Chandler” all week long beginning Wednesday, Nov. 1. You can still stream the special and Friends on MAX.
Fools Rush In (1997)
Perry starred as Alex Whitman, a straight-laced corporate type from Manhattan, while Isabel Fuentes (Salma Hayek) is a fiery Mexican-American who believes in the power of destiny. Neither gave a thought to where a single night of passion would lead. When they meet three months later, she’s pregnant and they decide to get married. You can stream on Prime Video and Tubi.
The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
Perry made this film with his screen hero Bruce Willis (pictured above). Perry starred as Nicholas “Oz” Oseransky, a nice dentist living in suburban Montreal. His new next-door neighbor, Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski (Willis), is a hitman hiding out from a dangerous Chicago crime family. Despite their differences, Oz and Jimmy have one thing in common: Someone is trying to kill them both. He followed this film up with the 2004 sequel The Whole Ten Yards. You can stream The Whole Nine Yards on Prime Video (pay for rental) and stream The Whole Ten Yards on MAX.
Serving Sarah (2002)
Here Perry paired up with Elizabeth Hurley for this silly romcom. When Sara Moore (Hurley) is served divorce papers while she is in New York, she is stunned. Not about to lose her fortune, she makes a million-dollar offer to the process server, Joe Tyler (Perry), and the two set off on a wild, high-jinks-fueled trip across the country. where two set off on a wild, high-jinks-fueled trip across the country. You can watch and stream on STARZ or Hulu currently.
The Ron Clark Story (2006)
“I was actually kind of the class clown, to tell the truth,” Perry told us in a 2006 interview, about this TNT original film, where he plays an idealistic teacher in the inspirational film. “Any opportunity to distract from learning, I would make a joke and get myself into trouble. I was sort of a handful. In fact, in the sixth grade my desk was placed in the back of the room, facing the wall. I think that explains a lot about my life now.”
Perry gave an openhearted and uplifting performance as Clark, the energetic young teacher who left his small North Carolina hometown to work with at-risk students in a New York City public school. Using a combination of encouragement, innovative teaching methods and strict classroom discipline, Clark was able to make a refreshing difference in the lives of his teenage charges. You can stream on Peacock, Freevee and Tubi.
NBC’s bitter diatribe about a show that “used to be cutting-edge, political and social satire” but has been “lobotomized by a candy-assed broadcast network hellbent on doing nothing that might challenge their audience” was the premise for this dramady that followed a fictionalized late-night, floundering sketch comedy series called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It was a behind-the-scenes workings of television, all wrapped up with a dream team that included stars Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford and Amanda Peet, plus the Emmy-winning writing/producing of Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme. You can purchase the series through Apple TV.
17 Again (2009)
Here Perry shares this time-jumping role with Zac Efron. The laugher follows a former high-school basketball star, filled with regrets about the turns his life has taken, gets to go back to age 17 (Efron)— in the present — and is soon caught up in the adolescent problems of his own children. Leslie Mann stars as his wife. You can watch the film on TNT, TBS and truTV (log in to their website and sign in with your cable/satellite password).
Mr. Sunshine (2011)
The series, which premiered in February on ABC, starred Matthew Perry as the self-involved manager of a San Diego sports arena called The Sunshine Center. Andrea Anders played his love interest — whose interest seemed to be waning due to his noncommittal ways. The comedy was cancelled later that year. You can purchase series through Apple TV.
The Odd Couple (2015-17)
Perry’s last TV series, a sitcom reboot of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, had a few things going for it that his previous attempts did not. It had a solid foundation of well-known source material from the 1968 Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau film and the 1970s Tony Randall/Jack Klugman TV series. It had an incredibly simple premise. And it was on CBS, who gave it a plum premiere slot between The Big Bang Theory and the series finale of Two and a Half Men. Perry played slob sportswriter Oscar Madison, whose divorce forces him to live with his also-divorced fastidious photographer buddy Felix Unger (Thomas Lennon, 17 Again and Reno 911!). It was something of a dream role for Perry, who told us: “I was driving in my car one day and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to do The Odd Couple again? Wouldn’t it be nice to play Oscar Madison?’ And then I found out they were doing it at CBS, which is where I wanted to do it, because CBS is the place that can launch shows and actually people watch. So I wrote the pilot and it all came true. It’s one of those weird things where everything came true.” The series aired for three seasons. You can stream on Paramount+.
Ally McBeal (2002)
Perry played big shot lawyer Todd Merrick, for whom Ally (Calista Flockhart) developed feelings, for in two episodes in Season 5. The episode ‘Love Is All Around’ (pictured) originally aired April 15, 2002. You can stream on Disney+.
The West Wing (2003)
Perry played Republican lawyer Joe Perry in three episodes. He was nominated twice (in 2003 and 2004) for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work on the series. You can stream on MAX.
The Good Wife (2012-2013)
Perry played attorney Mike Kresteva, who became the Republican candidate for governor in the 2012 election against Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) in four episodes of The Good Wife, and then appeared in a handful of episodes on the series spinoff The Good Fight (in 2017). You can stream on Paramount+.
Cougar Town (2014)
Web Therapy (2015)
Lisa Kudrow‘s Showtime hit Web Therapy featured Perry in this Season 4, Episode 10, which aired on Jan. 14, 2015. The series is not available on Showtime’s streaming service, you can only rent or purchase on Amazon and/or Vudu.
The Kennedys After Camelot (2017)
In his final onscreen role, Perry played Ted Kennedy in this miniseries, based on the 2012 book After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family 1968 to the Present by J. Randy Taraborrelli and a follow-up to the 2011 miniseries The Kennedys. “This is the hardest job I’ve ever done, by far,” Perry told us at the time. “Little things helped, like having an amazing hair and makeup team and the prosthetics on, and putting a fat suit on and a white wig. The compression suit. At 38, apparently Ted was stockier and thinner than I am, so I had to wear this incredible compression suit — which, if you had to go to the bathroom, it was like an hour-and-a-half ordeal.” You can stream on Prime Video. You can also watch on Reelz on the following dates:
Sunday, November 19
The Kennedys-After Camelot Part 1 “Family Bonds” at 8am ET/ 5am PT
The Kennedys-After Camelot Part 2 “New Beginnings” at 10am ET/ 7am PT
Tuesday, November 21
The Kennedys-After Camelot Part 1 “Family Bonds” at 7am ET/ 4am PT
The Kennedys-After Camelot Part 2 “New Beginnings” at 9am ET/ 6am PT