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Matthew Perry 'did not get joy or happiness' from working on Friends, George Clooney reveals
20 December 2023, 06:55
George Clooney has revealed Matthew Perry's work on Friends "didn't bring him joy or happiness or peace".
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The 62-year-old Hollywood legend said he had known the Chandler Bing actor since the latter was 16.
Perry, 54, was found dead at his Los Angeles home in October, sending stars and fans of Friends into grief.
His death was ruled as accidental from the acute effects of ketamine by a coroner last week, and the actor struggled with addiction throughout his life.
Clooney also appeared in an early episode of Friends, which propelled Perry and the likes of Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer to global stardom.
"He wasn’t happy. It didn't bring him joy or happiness or peace," Clooney, whose new film The Boys in the Boat is being released, told Deadline.
He revealed Perry had told him in his younger years that he wanted to get on a regular sitcom and described him as a "funny kid".
Clooney starred on ER, which came out alongside Friends in 1994, and described them as being "side-by-side on the soundstage".
He said: "And watching that go on on the lot — we were at Warner Brothers, we were there right next to each other — it was hard to watch because we didn't know what was going through him.
"We just knew that he wasn't happy and I had no idea he was doing what, 12 Vicodin a day and all the stuff he talked about, all that heartbreaking stuff.
"And it also just tells you that success and money and all those things, it doesn't just automatically bring you happiness. You have to be happy with yourself and your life."
The Los Angeles County medical examiner said drowning, coronary artery disease, and effects of buprenorphine - a medicine used to treat opioid use disorder - contributed to his death.
An autopsy report from the examiner said Perry was "receiving ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety" and had reportedly taken his most recent dose a week and a half before his death.
"The ketamine in his system at death could not be from that infusion therapy, since ketamine's half-life is three-to-four hours, or less," the report stated.
He was found in his swimming pool following reports of a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.