The Matthew Perry Foundation, created by the actor’s team and maintained by the National Philanthropic Trust, is “the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction. It will honor his legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible,” the foundation said in its mission statement.
Perry had long been candid with his own battles with addictions, notably in his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. During his life, the actor also transformed his own Malibu home into Perry House, a men’s sober living facility for those struggling with substance abuse. Perry House operated for two years before it was closed in 2015.
Altogether, Perry said he “probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober,” Variety reported.
The foundation’s website also shared a quote by Perry that has resurfaced following his death at the age of 54. “When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned – I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that,” Perry said.
“Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”
In an interview with Today following Perry’s death, Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman said Perry “was emotionally in a good place. He looked good. He quit smoking. Yes, he was sober. He learned things throughout this and what he learned more than anything is that he wants to help other addicts, and it gave him purpose.”