Teen’s Dying Wish Is to Meet the Cast Of Friends – But Matthew Perry Has Something Else In Mind
The former ‘Friends’ star was so much more than the guy who made us laugh.
Friends star Matthew Perry passed away suddenly on October 28, leaving behind millions of mourning fans.
The actor was just 54 years old when he died, but what he did with his short time here on Earth will always be remembered. Especially by those he touched with his generosity and time.
A Fan Remembers
Following news of Perry’s death, a fan named Melissa Reich shared a heartwarming story about the time he went above and beyond to give her an incredible Friends experience. In an Instagram post, the fan recalled how, when she was 17 years old, she had been diagnosed with end-stage ovarian cancer.
“As a result, I was granted a wish from Make-A-Wish Foundation and chose to meet the cast of Friends,” she recounted.
Initially, Reich was only allowed to watch the cast rehearse an episode. But when Perry found out, he changed the plan.
“He said that wasn’t good enough,” Reich recalled. “He told the producers to put me in the front row for the taping AND to put me in as an extra. And they did. After the scene, he and David Schwimmer both hugged me and told me how amazing I was.”
Reich eventually won her fight against the cancer, but she will always remember how kind Perry was to her that day.
“I could tell Matthew was a very kind and gentle soul. As I’ve grown, only rarely have I come across anyone like him.”Melissa Reich
“It was literally one of the most important and special moments in my life,” she continued. “I could tell Matthew was a very kind and gentle soul. As I’ve grown, only rarely have I come across anyone like him. So genuinely generous of spirit in only brief interaction….is a special gift. I’m devastated that he survived so much to leave this earth too soon. All I can say is I hope now he knows how special he truly was.”
A Celebrity Remembers
Someone else who remembered Perry for the generous guy he was is Hank Azaria. The actor and Simpsons star shared a video on Instagram that paid tribute to his departed friend. According to Azaria, Perry was the first friend he made when he got to Los Angeles.
“We were really more like brothers for a long time. We drank a lot together, we laughed a lot together, we were there for each other in the early days of our careers,” he recalled.
“I really loved him. A lot of us who were close to him felt like we lost him to drugs and alcohol a long time ago because — as he documented in his autobiography — there was so much suffering.”
Azaria revealed he had to pick up and put down Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing several times before he could get through it, because it was so hard for him to read. However, he also shared that Perry was key to his own recovery.
“The night I went into AA, Matthew brought me in. The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together.”Hank Azaria
“I’m a sober guy for 17 years, and I wanna say that, the night I went into AA, Matthew brought me in. The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together,” Azaria continued.
“He was so caring and giving and wise. And he totally helped me get sober. And I really wish he could’ve, you know, found the – found it in himself to stay with the silver life more consistently.”
A Life of Giving
In addition to being there for his friends and fans, Perry was intent on finding purpose following his well-documented struggles with addiction. That’s why he created the Perry House in Malibu, a sober living facility for men.
According to Friends casting director Leslie Litt, Perry helped her in a time of need as well. The woman recalled giving birth to a daughter who had special needs and required surgery. The baby didn’t survive the operation, and Litt wanted to start a fundraiser to benefit other children born into similar circumstances.
She recalled asking Perry to host the event, and he immediately agreed.
“We sold out the event, he did publicity, [and] it became an annual event,” Litt recalled, as per Men’s Journal. “I asked Matt every year, like getting up my nerve, ‘Will you host again?’” she continued.
“Matthew turned to me and said, ‘I know I won’t see you every day, but you don’t have to ask me anymore. I’m there for you. I will always host it.'”Leslie Litt
“This is the memory I’ll always have. During the very last episode of Friends, when the last scene was shot and everyone was on the floor hugging and crying, Matthew turned to me and said, ‘I know I won’t see you every day, but you don’t have to ask me anymore. I’m there for you. I will always host it.’”
How Matthew Perry Wanted to Be Remembered
Shortly after Perry died, many fans took to social media to share a particularly moving transcript from an interview he gave last year. In it, the actor recalled how he would like to be remembered when his time came.
“The best thing about me, bar none, is if somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say yes and follow up and do it,” he said during a Q with Tom Power interview.
“And I’ve said this for a long time; when I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned, and I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that,” he continued.
“I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker. And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.”Matthew Perry
A Lesson for Us All
Success means different things for different people, but as Perry proves, what we do with our time here on Earth is more than just how much money we make or how many people know who we are.
Perry grew famous for a role on a TV show, but with that fame came dark demons. He fought those demons by giving back and by helping others, and now people are coming out in droves to remember him for it.
It’s a gentle reminder to all of us that none of us are perfect. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still try to be good people. Give your time to worthy causes. Show up for your friends and loved ones when it matters. And remember that so long as you try to be a good person, that is what people will remember you for.
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