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Matthew Perry had anxiety: His 2021 admission he ‘felt like I was gonna die’ if the Friends live audience ‘didn’t laugh’ trends after his death at 54… as anti-anxiety pills were found at his home


Matthew Perry, who died last week from drowning in his hot tub, admitted two years ago that he had suffered from anxiety.

The anxiety came when he was trying to be as funny as can be in front of the live studio audience for Friends, which aired from 1994 until 2004.

The admission came up during the HBO Max Friends reunion with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer which aired in May 2021.

Trying to be ‘great’ gave made him extremely nervous.

And his costars at the reunion said they never had any idea he was suffering on set as he always delivered such a fabulous performance while seemingly at ease, they believed. 

He had anxiety: Matthew Perry, who died last week from drowning in his hot tub, admitted two years ago that he had suffered from anxiety. Seen in November 2022

He had anxiety: Matthew Perry, who died last week from drowning in his hot tub, admitted two years ago that he had suffered from anxiety. Seen in November 2022

Being honest: The anxiety came when he was trying to be as funny as can be in front of the live studio audience for Friends, which aired from 1994 until 2004. The admission came up during the HBO Max Friends reunion with Jennifer Aniston , Courteney Cox , Lisa Kudrow , Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer which aired in 2021

Being honest: The anxiety came when he was trying to be as funny as can be in front of the live studio audience for Friends, which aired from 1994 until 2004. The admission came up during the HBO Max Friends reunion with Jennifer Aniston , Courteney Cox , Lisa Kudrow , Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer which aired in 2021

‘To me, I felt like I was gonna die if they didn’t laugh,’ he revealed while on the Central Perk set.

‘And it’s not healthy for sure, but I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn’t laugh and I would sweat and just go into convulsions if I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get.’

Perry added: ‘I would freak out.’

His costar Lisa Kudrow was shocked to hear that.

She said that Perry was always such a cool cucumber. And he was one of the best on set, always delivering a line well as he played Chandler Bing.

Perry never said anything to his costars back then. ‘Oh yeah, I felt like that every single night,’ he said as he looked a bit embarrassed.

Perry died at his Los Angeles home on Saturday at the age of 54. 

The star had prescription drugs including anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills at his home at the time of his death – but no illegal medications, a police source claims.

The law enforcement mole told TMZ that the Friends star was also in possession of a prescription COPD drug.

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, with the meds found at Perry’s home usually used for people with emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

Perry was a smoker and had also battled an addiction to alcohol as well as opiates, but claimed to have been clean shortly before his suspected drowning death. 

Perry wanted to be remembered for helping fellow addicts.

The actor shared his wish in a November 2022 interview, which has resurfaced in the wake of his shock death.

So much pressure to dazzle: Trying to be 'great' gave made him extremely nervous

So much pressure to dazzle: Trying to be ‘great’ gave made him extremely nervous

Hard to be wonderful all the time: . And his costars at the reunion said they never had any idea he was suffering on set as he always delivered such a fabulous performance while seemingly at ease, they believed. Seen with Aniston

Hard to be wonderful all the time: . And his costars at the reunion said they never had any idea he was suffering on set as he always delivered such a fabulous performance while seemingly at ease, they believed. Seen with Aniston

Matthew – whose drug addictions almost killed him – told in the chat on the ‘Q With Tom Power’ podcast, which is being shared online by fans, about how he didn’t want his role as Chandler Bing in Friends to be his legacy: ‘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. That’s the best thing.

‘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.’

Matthew admitted he knew despite his wish that his power to help addicts would fall ‘far behind’ on his list of accomplishments when it came to being remembered by fans.

He added: ‘I know it won’t happen, but it would be nice.’

In 2013, Matthew turned his Malibu mansion into a sober living facility for men and named it ‘Perry’s House’.

Matthew also revealed he wrote a theatre production about his addiction battles.

He added: ‘I also wrote my play ‘The End of Longing’, which is a personal message to the world, an exaggerated form of me as a drunk.

‘I had something important to say to people like me, and to people who love people like me.”

Matthew’s memoir ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing: A Candid, Darkly Funny Book’ exposed his struggles with addictions – which got so severe that in 2018 at the age of 49 he suffered a gastrointestinal perforation as a result of his extreme opiate usage.

He was given just a two percent chance of living after being comatose for two weeks and the actor had to use a colostomy bag while his colon healed.

Matthew revealed that while his body was relying on the bag, he woke up covered in his own faeces ’50 to 60′ times throughout the five months he was hospitalized.

PICTURED- Remembering Matthew Perry: Memorial grows outside Friends house in West Village on Monday

PICTURED- Remembering Matthew Perry: Memorial grows outside Friends house in West Village on Monday

Matthew also joked viewers could now tell what drugs he was abusing by observing his varying appearance on Friends. He said in his book: 'You can track the trajectory for my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season. 'When I'm carrying weight, it's alcohol; when I'm skinny, it's pills; when I have a goatee, it's a lot of pills.' Seen in 2004

Matthew also joked viewers could now tell what drugs he was abusing by observing his varying appearance on Friends. He said in his book: ‘You can track the trajectory for my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season. ‘When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills; when I have a goatee, it’s a lot of pills.’ Seen in 2004

He said: ‘I had s*** all over my fave, all over my body, in the bed next door.

‘When it breaks, it breaks. You have to get nurses.’

He said at the peak of his addictions he was consuming about 55 Vicodin pills a day and weighed just 128 pounds.

Matthew also joked viewers could now tell what drugs he was abusing by observing his varying appearance on Friends.

He said in his book: ‘You can track the trajectory for my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season.

‘When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills; when I have a goatee, it’s a lot of pills.’



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