1982 – Matthew revealed that he tasted alcohol for the first time at the age of 13
1994 – After spending his post-high school years on a string of American sitcoms, Matthew, 24, lands the role of Chandler Bing in Friends, which becomes an instant hit. He later told the New York Times of that period:
‘When [fame] happens, it looks like Disneyland for a while. For me it lasted about eight months, this feeling of ‘I’ve made it, I’m excited, there’s no problem in the world.’
“And then you realize it doesn’t pay off, it certainly doesn’t fill any gaps in your life.”
1997 – At the height of his success in the NBC sitcom, Matthew is injured in a jet ski accident. He is prescribed opioids to cope with the fame, and later recalls that he was the… no doubt prescribed pills: ‘I did and I felt better than I’ve ever felt in all my life. I had a big problem with pills and alcohol, and I couldn’t stop.’
He went to rehab that same year, but said, “You can’t have a drug problem for 30 years and expect it to be resolved in 28 days. Getting sober is very difficult.’
1998 – Despite his rehabilitation period, the actor continues to fight addiction and reveals ‘I don’t remember three years’ [the show]. Somewhere between seasons three and six… I was kind of off.’ At one point during his Friends career, he takes 55 Vicodin a day.
2001 Matt completes another stint in rehab for Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines, and alcohol addictions.
2003 – The TV star is sober for season nine of Friends, when he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Actor.
2004 – Friends wraps after ten seasons
2007 – He receives Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for his critically acclaimed role in the titular role of the TNT movie, The Ron Clark Story.
2011 – The actor goes to rehab for the third time, with a representative of the star saying it was to prevent a relapse. The actor said in a statement: “I’m making plans to go away for a month to focus on my sobriety and continue my life in recovery. Have fun making fun of me on the World Wide Web.”
In his role as spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Matthew goes to Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress in support of drug court funding.
2013 – He receives a Champion of Recovery award from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for opening Perry House, an austere residence in his former Malibu, California mansion
2015 – Matthew sells his house in Malibu and closes the rehabilitation center
2017 – A porn star reveals she fears Matthew has relapsed after the actor begged her to give him ’40/50′ prescription pills.
2018 – Matthew has abdominal surgery to repair a gastrointestinal perforation. He has now revealed that he had just a two percent chance of survival after his opioid addiction caused his colon to burst when he was 49, leaving him in a coma for two weeks and months in the hospital.
He has had to use an ostomy bag for nine months and has had a total of 14 surgeries on his abdomen over the years.
2021 – Tthe cast of Friends reunites on screen for the first time in 17 years. Concerns arise after Perry appears to screw up his speech in a promo for the reunion special.
Ben Winston, who directed Friends: The Reunion, said of those who commented on Perry’s performance on the HBO Max special: “He was great. People can just be rude sometimes. I wish they weren’t.
‘I loved working with him. He’s a brilliantly funny guy and I thought he had some great one-liners on the show. I just felt lucky and happy to be in his presence and pointing out something like this to him.”
2022 – Matthew gives his first all-encompassing interview in which he describes how his drug and alcohol addiction secretly nearly cost him his life.