The light at end of the tunnel. For years. Matthew PerryLaughs with his fans. He is best known for his role in Chandler Bing’s movie. FriendsPerry has never been shy about sharing his struggles on ‘The Perry Show’, which aired from 1994 through 2004.
“When [fame] happens, it’s kind of like Disneyland for a while. For me it lasted about eight months, this feeling of ‘I’ve made it, I’m thrilled, there’s no problem in the world.’ And then you realize that it doesn’t accomplish anything, it’s certainly not filling any holes in your life,” he told The New York TimesOne year after I got sober, 2002. “I didn’t get sober because I felt like it. I got sober because I was worried I was going to die the next day.”
He wrote in his profile that he was very similar to Chandler, in that he tried to hide behind the jokes. “It’s no accident that Chandler is a guy who is trying to deter his own human emotional feelings with laughter. That’s what I did for years,” Perry explained. “I’ve tried to palm myself off as being a jokester, kind of like hanging out with me is kind of like a vacation. But that could only take me so far.”
The Whole Nine Yards actor’s addiction began after a jet ski accident in 1997, when he became addicted to Vicodin. That eventually led to alcohol abuse — so much so that he was often hungover at work.
”I had this odd rule that I would never drink on a set,” the Serving SaraStar said. “But I went to work in extreme cases of hangover. It’s so horrible to feel that way and have to work and be funny on top of that.”
He was hospitalized in 2000 with pancreatitis from alcohol abuse. The West WingAn alum shared that she often shook and sweated on set after detox. The season 6 finale, “The One with the Proposal,” aired in May 2000. The season 7 premiere, “The One With Monica’s Thunder,” aired five months later. However, the story line picked up in the same day, causing fans to notice how much Perry’s appearance had changed during the hiatus.
He was able to ask for help in the following year, but he still had a long road ahead of him. Scroll down to see the complete timeline.