Matthew Perry's memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," has once again climbed to the top of Amazon's Best Sellers list following the untimely death of the beloved actor at the age of 54. Originally released last November, the book quickly became a New York Times bestseller, recounting Perry's life, career, and his battle with addiction.
In an interview with PEOPLE for an October 2022 cover story, Perry expressed how writing the memoir came naturally to him. Despite the difficult content, Perry found a way to incorporate his signature sense of humor throughout the book. Before finding fame as Chandler Bing on "Friends," Perry aspired to be a professional tennis player but transitioned to acting and landed guest spots on shows like "Growing Pains" and "Charles in Charge." Perry revealed that during his time on the sitcom "Sydney," he developed strong feelings for his co-star Valerie Bertinelli. Additionally, he disclosed that his availability for the auditions of "Friends" was almost jeopardized by his commitment to another TV show called "L.A.X. 2194."
Perry's memoir also delves into his struggles with addiction, starting from his first encounter with alcohol at the age of 14. He detailed a particularly dark period when he was hospitalized for five months due to a ruptured colon caused by excessive use of prescription opioids after a skiing accident in 1997. Perry even fell into a two-month-long coma and had to rely on a colostomy bag. He opened up about his battle with addiction during the filming of "Friends," praising his supportive cast mates for understanding and patience, stating that the show ultimately saved him.
In the wake of Perry's passing, heartfelt tributes have poured in from friends, former cast mates, and fans. Hank Azaria, a longtime friend, expressed regret at never knowing what Perry's future career might have held. Actress Maggie Wheeler, who portrayed Chandler's on-screen love interest Janice, remarked on the many treasured moments she shared with Perry. Fans have also created a memorial outside the West Village building featured as Chandler's apartment building in the show.
Perry's dedication to helping others grappling with addiction is evident in his memoir. He shared with PEOPLE that he felt compelled to write and share his story to provide hope to those suffering similar struggles. Through his honest portrayal of the highs and lows, Perry aimed to make a difference in the lives of others.
"Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing" is available for purchase wherever books are sold. For those in need of support with substance abuse, the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP is available for assistance.