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Actor Matthew Perry played the role of Chandler Bing on the hit TV sitcom Friends from 1994 to 2004.
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The six actors proved to be a tight group both on- and off-screen. They banded together to renegotiate their contracts after Friends became a huge hit—a must-watch show for many Americans on Thursday nights. During the run of the show, however, Perry encountered some personal challenges. He battled addictions to alcohol and prescription medications.
Also during his years on Friends, Perry tackled several film projects. He starred in several comedies,
including Fools Rush In (1997) with Salma Hayek, Almost Heroes (1998) with Chris Farley and Three to Tango (1999) with Neve Campbell. While none of these films struck a chord with audiences or critics, Perry found some commercial success with The Whole Nine Yards (2000) with Bruce Willis and Amanda Peet. The film earned more than $57 million and spawning the 2004 sequel The Whole Ten Yards.
Perry’s film career may have been lackluster, but his series remained one of the top shows on television. During the later seasons of Friends, Chandler Bing developed a romantic relationship with Monica. The characters eventually married, adopted twins, and planned a move to the suburbs as the series came to an end in May 2004 after a decade on the air.
In his post-Friends career, Perry has taken on a range of roles. He starred in the 2006 television movie The Ron Clark Story about a southern teacher who moves to New York City to work with disadvantaged students. That same year, Perry returned to series television for Aaron Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. He played Matt Albie, a talented writer who returns the comedy show that made him famous. Bradley Whitford played his friend, collaborator, and the show’s producer. While it earned many positive reviews, the show was cancelled in 2007 because of low ratings.
Also in 2007, Perry starred as a screenwriter who tries to cure his depression to win over the woman he loves in the independent film Numb. He played the lead in another independent film Birds of America, which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.
Next up for Perry is a new series for the Showtime cable network called The End of Steve, which he created along with Peter Tolan. He stars as a seemingly likeable talk show host who presents a completely different persona off-camera. Sony Pictures TV co-president Zack Van Amburg told the Hollywood Reporter that “this role will show fans that he can be not only funny but also reach to some dark places.”
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