Morgan Fairchild, who played Chandler Bing’s mother Friendsremembers the late actor who portrayed him, Matthew Perry
ET’s Kevin Frazier sat down with Fairchild to reflect on the loved one’s death Friends actor. Fairchild shared her heartfelt memories of meeting Perry as a young child and later working with him on the hit television series.
Fairchild, who was performing in a play in Kansas City when she first heard of Perry’s death, described her initial reaction to the tragic news. “I first heard it when I was in the dressing room getting ready to go on stage Saturday night, and I saw it pop up on my phone,” she said.
“I tried to hide it from the other cast members because I knew they would be upset. I was angry, but you know, I had to go out and do a comedy. I’m sure Matthew felt that way a lot, so yeah, it was very depressing to watch. I hoped it was wrong.”
On Saturday, Perry died at the age of 54 at his home in Los Angeles, California.
Fairchild then reminisced about her relationship with Perry, highlighting the changes that naturally occur after a long-running show like Friends concludes. “I hadn’t spoken to him in a long time at that point. You know, once the show is over, as often happens, people go their separate ways and have different interests and things like that. I would run into him outside every now and then.” the town, and he was just such a nice person,” she said.
“He was a lovely person, and I was so proud of him because he had gotten through some of these tough times and turned around to try to help other people, which I think is kind of a legacy that he would like to be known for want to stand. Not only was he a friend, but he would be there for you, as the song goes, “I’ll be there for you,” she added.
Perry has been open about it for a long time his history of substance abuse. In 2022 he released a memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Great Terrible: A Memoirwhich detailed his rise to fame, his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, and his health problems.
“You know he was there for other people, and I think that was one of the great things about him, not only his great talent as an actor, especially as a comedian, his incredible timing, but also his giving nature, the fact that he always tried to give to other people. I think part of his great legacy will be the fact that he seemed to help so many people on the road to recovery,” Fairchild said.
The 73-year-old actress acknowledged the impact Perry had on people’s lives and shared some experiences from fans who reached out to her on social media. “Even since I’ve been online this morning, people have been DMing me on social media saying, ‘You know, he inspired me to get out. I never met him, but he inspired me to get sober,’ and he lets that legacy as well.”
Fairchild also spoke about her role as Chandler’s mother Friends and her first meeting with Perry on set. “It was a lot of fun that first day on set. Matthew came running over and said, ‘Oh, you won’t remember me, but I used to visit you on Flamingo Road And Falcon [Crest] with my father.’ I said, ‘Oh, who’s your dad?’ and he said, ‘John Bennett Perry.’ I said, ‘Oh my God, you’re that little kid I used to see on set.'”
Fairchild admits, “So we had a kind of familiar bond right away. I felt like I knew him better than I did at the time.”
Fairchild reminisced about one of her favorite scenes with Perry, noting how his creativity enhanced the show’s humor.
“One of my favorites is when he catches Ross and me kissing in the first episode of the first season. Just the look on his face, and we were thinking about what his reaction would be, because all the characters were still quite new at the time. I went on the show. It wasn’t an established hit yet, so people were still working on their characters and trying to figure out how to figure things out and stuff. So it was just fun to see him do that,” Fairchild said .
Fairchild concluded by celebrating Perry’s legacy and highlighting the joy he brought to people’s lives through his work and outreach efforts. She lovingly said, “You know, with Matthew, I think his legacy will be joy and the joy that he brought to other people through his work, but also through his reach, his willingness to be open about his problems, the joy that He brought that way into people’s lives.”
“And I’d just like to say, Matthew, life well lived,” she added. “Well done, well done, my son. Well done.’
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