Matthew Perry, the renowned American actor and comedian, skyrocketed to global stardom with his incredible portrayal of Chandler Bing on the TV series Friends. Beyond his iconic role as the show’s jokester, Perry appeared in dozens of other successful shows and movies and even worked as an executive producer. But Perry was much more than just an actor, dabbling in writing and real estate investing. At the time of his death on October 28, 2023, Matthew Perry’s net worth was $120 million.

Matthew Perry’s legacy extends beyond the confines of Central Park. For instance, in the months preceding his death, he published his only book, a memoir depicting his life and career.

For those eager to learn more about Perry’s career and financial accomplishments, as well as the details of his net worth of $120 million, this article will give you all the data you need.

Matthew Perry’s Net Worth Breakdown:

Matthew Perry’s net worth at the time of his death was publicly disclosed, making it easy to pin down how much he was worth. Even so, the details of what he earned in his many television and theatre roles remain widely undisclosed, although we did find some information about his biggest roles and earnings over the years, as well as his real estate assets.

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
Friends earnings, 10 seasons $87+ million
Friends syndication royalties $10-20 million per year
Earnings from other TV and movie work Undisclosed
Addiction and recovery costs -$9 million
Real estate $11+ million
Book earnings Undisclosed
Total Net Worth $120 million

Matthew Perry Net Worth: Early Life and Education

Matthew Langford Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on August 19, 1969. His parents were John Bennett Perry, a model and actor, and Suzanne Morrison, the former secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and a journalist.

When Perry was only one year old, his parents divorced and he lived with his mother, Suzanne. He spent most of his childhood in Ottawa, Ontario, and briefly in Montreal and Toronto. Later, when he was 12, his mother married the Canadian broadcast journalist Keith Morrison. Perry had four younger siblings on his mother’s side from his stepfather as well as one younger paternal half-sister.

While living in Ottawa, young Matthew Perry studied at the Rockcliffe Park Public School, followed by his studies at Ashbury College, a boarding school. He was a troubled child who smoked, stole money, and earned poor grades. At one point, he even beat up Justin Trudeau, who would grow up to become the Canadian prime minister.

In his book, Perry would later attribute his childhood behavior to his feelings as a “family outsider”, saying:

I was so often on the outside looking in, still that kid up in the clouds on a flight to somewhere else, unaccompanied.

For the majority of his life, Matthew Perry struggled with addiction. His drinking habit started at the early age of 14 when he began drinking alcohol daily until he turned 18. Even though this was the beginning of his alcohol addiction, Perry was still very active, playing tennis for hours every day. His passion for tennis helped him develop skills that made him a top-ranked junior player in Canada with the option to turn this into a professional career.

matthew perry childhood
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Even though he had great prospects of becoming a professional tennis player in Canada, he moved away to live with his father in Los Angeles at the age of 15, where the competition for the sport was much bigger. At this point, he turned to acting as his career of choice, enrolling at Buckley School, a college preparatory institution based in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, where he graduated in 1987.

“Giving up tennis wasn’t really a decision I had to make,” the actor told Men’s Health magazine. “I was a very good tennis player in Ottawa, Canada — nationally ranked when I was, like, 13. Then I moved to Los Angeles when I was 15, and everyone in LA just killed me. I was pretty great in Canada. Not so much in Los Angeles. It was insane. I realized I wouldn’t be playing tennis for a living, so I went for acting.”

While in Los Angeles, he also took improvisational classes for comedy at LA Connection in Sherman Oaks, where he lived with his father’s family.

Matthew Perry’s Personal Life

Matthew Perry had dual citizenship from the United States and Canada. While he never married or fathered any children, he had high-profile relationships with several celebrities, including Yasmine Bleeth in 1995, Julia Roberts between 1995 and 1996, Lizzy Caplan between 2006 and 2012, and Molly Hurwitz from 2020 to 2021.

Matthew Perry Net Worth: Child Actor to Global Celebrity

Matthew Perry might be most widely known for his role as Chandler in Friends, the show that became a global cultural phenomenon in the 90s. However, his career is much more versatile and rich than only one show, having started acting as a child. Let’s see how his career progressed over the years.

Early Acting Career

Perry started acting as a child. His first role was a minor part in 1979 in 240-Robert. Shortly after this role, the child actor moved to Los Angeles and started auditioning for other roles, which eventually landed him guest appearances in the following shows:

  • Not Necessarily the News (1983)
  • Charles in Charge (1985)
  • Silver Spoons (1986)
matthew perry charles in charge
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Eventually, in 1987, after having played some minor roles, he started playing Chazz Russell in the TV show Second Chance, which was later renamed Boys Will Be Boys. He remained in this TV series for nearly two years before he made his film debut with A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon in 1988.

Climbing the Ranks in the Movie Industry

Matthew Perry’s first movie role was when he was only 19 years old, and it marked the beginning of a very successful Hollywood career. In 1989, a year after his film debut, he played in three episodes of Growing Pains, portraying Carol Seaver’s boyfriend Sandy, who died in a drunk driving accident in his third episode on the show.

Following this success, the now celebrity actor was cast as a regular on the CBS sitcom Sydney starting in 1990, where he played Valerie Bertinelli’s younger brother.

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A year later, he got an even more prominent role with his guest appearance on the famous Beverly Hills, 90210 show, playing Roger Azarian.

Before he became one of Friends’ cast members, Perry played the starring role in Home Free, the ABC sitcom that aired in 1993.

Matthew Perry and the TV Show Friends

In 1993, Perry committed to a pilot for a sitcom titled LAX 2194, set 200 years in the future in the baggage handling department at LAX Airport. This role prevented him from taking on a role that would change his life, the role of Chandler Bing on Six of One (later renamed Friends).

As luck would have it, the pilot for LAX 2194 fell through, which meant that the 24-year-old actor could audition for a part in Six of One, where he was cast as the now-famous Chandler Bing, becoming the youngest member of the show’s main cast.

matthew perry early friends
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No one knew how big the show would become so, even though he started the project, Perry didn’t focus entirely on Friends. After he was cast in the pilot for the show, he spent a “magical summer” performing with Gwyneth Paltrow at the Williamstown Theater Festival.

In addition to their role on the show, Perry and his co-star, Jennifer Aniston, appeared in a 60-minute-long promotional video for Windows 95 by Microsoft, which was released on August 1 on VHS.

Not long after the initial air date of the TV show, Friends became hugely successful, turning Matthew Perry and the other cast members into international celebrities. By 2002, the cast of the show, which included Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer, were earning an incredible $1 million per episode!

That same year, Friends earned Perry an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series award. He would later be nominated three more times – for his roles in The West Wing as Joe Quincy, and The Ron Clark Story as Ron Clark.

Friends ran between 1994 and 2004, following the lives of six friends living in New York. The show has double-episode reruns on TVNZ and was ranked “Popular on Neftlix” almost two decades after it ended, making it one of the most-watched shows of all time.

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Friends was so popular that the show’s final episode was watched by 52.5 million Americans. The show was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards over its run and was named the 24th best-written TV series of all time by Writers Guild of America in 2013, almost a decade after it wrapped.

Matthew Perry’s Earnings from Friends

When Friends was just starting, each cast member of the show earned $22,500 per episode, making for a total of $540,000 for the first season of the show.

In the second season, when the show was growing in popularity, the salaries of all cast members were boosted, though they were reportedly earning different sums ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 per episode, leading to a total of $480,000 to $960,000.

When the time came to renegotiate the contracts in the third season, when the show was a major hit in the US, the cast members Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, and Matthew Perry all agreed to negotiate as a group, asking for the same salary. Eventually, they were able to secure a deal for $75,000 per episode in season three of Friends, which equaled $1.8 million per actor for the season.

matthew perry chandler
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This wasn’t the only perk they negotiated in season three, though. The Friends co-stars negotiated for a percentage of the series’ profits in syndication, which added millions of dollars to their pockets every subsequent year, and the contract is still in place. At the time, the only other stars on TV who had ownership stakes in the shows they starred in were Bill Cosby and Jerry Seinfeld. The deal reportedly makes $10 to 20 million a year for each star.

Working as a team, the cast members continued to earn the same throughout the seasons, negotiating for bigger sums as Friends grew in fame. Here is what they earned in the remaining seasons:

  • Season four: $85,000 per episode – $2.04 million in total
  • Season five: $100,000 per episode – $2.5 million in total
  • Season six: $125,000 per episode – $3 million in total
  • Season seven: $750,000 per episode – $18 million in total
  • Season eight: $750,000 per episode – $18 million in total
  • Season nine: $1 million per episode – $24 million in total
  • Season ten: $1 million per episode – $17 million in total

In total, Matthew Perry earned over $87 million from Friends, pre-taxation.

Other Acting Roles

Friends lasted for ten seasons, but this wasn’t the only role Perry took on during that time. Whilst still working on Friends, he was cast in several other movies including:

  • Fools Rush In (1997)
  • Almost Heroes (1998)
  • Three to Tango (1999)
  • The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
  • The Whole Ten Yards (2004)
  • Serving Sara (2002)
  • The Ron Clark Story (2006)
matthew perry the ron clark story
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Perry also appeared in an episode of the fourth season of Scrubs in 2004, at the same time making his debut as a director, acting alongside his father. Furthermore, he took on the role of attorney Todd Merrick in two episodes of Ally McBeal.

Acting Career after Friends

Despite his struggles with addiction throughout his role in Friends, Perry remained very active in Hollywood, continuing his career with other successful roles. Between 2006 and 2007, the actor appeared in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Aaron Sorkin’s drama, playing Matt Albie.

In 2006, he also started acting in a movie describing the life of a man who suffered from depersonalization disorder titled Numb, but the release of this movie was postponed several times before its official release in May 2008.

In 2008, he got back on the movie scene by starring in an independent film called Birds of America.

At this point in his career, Matthew Perry was one of the most popular actors in Hollywood. In 2009, he played a 37-year-old man who transforms into a younger man after an accident, called 17 Again, marking yet another box-office success.

That same year, Perry was invited as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which he gladly accepted. While on her show, he presented DeGeneres with the Xbox 360 game console and a copy of Fallout 3, after which he was cast in Fallout: New Vegas by the game studio Obsidian Entertainment, doing the voice of Benny.

After this role, Perry was ready for a new challenge, coming up with an idea for a new comedy. His comedy pilot called Mr. Sunshine was acquired by ABC, and he played the lead role in the show for nine episodes before it was canceled in 2011.

This setback didn’t discourage the actor or prevent him from landing new roles. Not even a year later, he starred in Go On, an NBC comedy series written by Scott Silveri, the former Friends producer. In the series, Perry played Ryan King.

That same year, Perry was a guest star on the CBS drama The Good Wife, once again playing the role of an attorney, this time called Mike Kristeva.

In 2014, Matthew Perry made his debut on British television in the one-off comedy program The Dog Thrower, airing on May 1 on Playhouse Presents by Sky Arts.

Between 2015 and 2017, he was the co-writer, executive producer, and actor in a reboot of The Odd Couple, a sitcom that aired on CBS, playing Oscar Madison. The show was canceled by CBS after three seasons.

When the show was canceled, Perry was again ready for something new – in the form of something old. He once again took on the role of attorney Kresteva in The Good Fight, after which he took on the role of Ted Kennedy in the mini-series The Kennedys: After Camelot.

Perry’s final appearance on the small screens was in May of 2021 when he participated in the special episode of the show he was most popular for, Friends: The Reunion.

Theater Appearances

After his role in Numb and while waiting for the release of a movie, Matthew Perry made some theater appearances, acting on stage in London in Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet.

In 2016, he was the lead actor in the world premiere production of his written play The End of Longing, starting on February 11, 2016, at the Playhouse Theatre, London. The play had a rather limited run but was a success despite many mixed reviews. This led Perry to restructure it and turn it into a second off-Broadway production starring Jennifer Morrison, which took place on June 5, 2017.

However, his second attempt at the play received many poor reviews and it was mostly unsuccessful overall.

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Matthew Perry’s Addiction Battle

Matthew Perry struggled with addiction for most of his life. He became an alcoholic at the age of 14 and became addicted to Vicodin after a jet ski accident in 1997. His first rehab program was in 1997 at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, at a point where he took 55 Vicodin pills per day.

Despite the efforts of his friends and family, and even the co-stars on the show, Perry continued to struggle with his addictions. He often arrived on the Friends set with hangovers and used to shake excessively (a sign of alcohol withdrawal). In the last seasons of the TV show, he was high and drunk on set, and despite the castmates’ efforts to help and many rehab programs, he didn’t succeed in dealing with his addiction.

Fast forward to 2000, and Perry was admitted for alcohol-induced pancreatitis at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In 2001, he paused the production of Friends, as well as that of Serving Sara for two months when he entered in-patient rehabilitation. At the time, he was addicted to Vicodin, amphetamines, methadone, and alcohol.

The problems didn’t end here, though. In 2018, Perry was once again hospitalized and had a near-death experience when he had a gastrointestinal perforation due to opioid abuse. He spent two weeks in a coma with a 2% chance of surviving, but somehow got back on his feet, though he had to use a colostomy bag for nine months.

At one point, he had to have surgery and was given Propofol, which stopped his heart. He was reportedly dead for five minutes before being brought back. He ended up having eight of his ribs broken due to the cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

In his book, Matthew Perry mentioned that he had spent around $9 million on his addiction, rehab, therapy, and surgeries, and had attended 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings during his lifetime.

Matthew Perry’s Death

On October 28, 2023, the beloved actor passed in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home. He was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at 4:17 pm, aged only 54. His funeral took place at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

In December of the same year, it was revealed that Matthew Perry died due to “acute effects of ketamine.” The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner stated: “Drowning contributes due to the likelihood of submersion into the pool as he lapsed into unconsciousness; coronary artery disease contributes due to exacerbation of ketamine-induced myocardial effects on the heart.”

Who Inherits Perry’s Fortune?

Following the untimely death of the actor, it was discovered that his net worth stood at $120 million when he died. Charlie Douglas, a certified financial planner and the president of HH Legacy Investments in Atlanta, shared with CNBC that there are three ways where his residuals would go. The beneficiaries can include individuals, family members, and colleagues, and SAG-AFTRA would have contracts in which Perry could have listed beneficiaries.

Alternatively, Perry’s net worth could go to a trust and not to individuals, so the public might never really know who gets the $120 million Perry left behind. However, what we do know is that this number is subject to a heavy estate tax of up to 40%.

Matthew Perry’s Awards and Accolades

As a person with such a successful Hollywood career, it should come as no surprise that Perry has received many awards, nominations, and honorable mentions over the years. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • 2007: Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for The Ron Clark Story (nomination)
  • 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2021: Primetime Emmy nomination for Friends, The West Wing, The Ron Clark Story, and Friends: The Reunion, respectively
  • Eight Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations/awards for Friends (1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004) and The Ron Clark Story (2007)
  • 2000: TV Guide Award: Editor’s Choice for his role in the iconic sitcom Friends
  • 2013: Huading Award for Best Global Actor in a Television Series for Go On
  • 2016/7: People’s Choice Awards nominations for Favorite Comedic TV Actor
matthew perry receiving award
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Matthew Perry Net Worth: Other Ventures, Investments, and Assets

Matthew Perry has lived a very successful, yet controversial life. He discussed it in detail in his memoir, published in 2022. In addition to authorship, the famous Friends star has invested a fortune in real estate over the years, making profits from selling properties, and has donated a lot to philanthropic causes, mostly helping other addicts.

Perry’s Memoir

In October 2022, Matthew Perry published a memoir titled Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. The book became a New York Times and Amazon bestseller, giving solace to many following his death the following year.

Real Estate

Over the years, Perry became quite the season real estate investor. After the first season of Friends, he bought his first property in LA but later sold it in 2001 for $2 million. In 1999, he spent $3.2 million on a mansion in Beverly Hills, which he remodeled and then sold for $6.9 million in 2005.

The same year he sold his mansion, Perry spent $1.7 million on a condo in West Hollywood, which once belonged to Elton John. He also sold this property in 2014, making a large profit of $4 million.

In 2008, Perry spent $4.4 million for an LA home, which he sold for a similar price. In 2011, he spent $12 million on a Malibu property, which he sold for $13 million in 2021.

For two years, Perry turned his Malibu mansion into a sober living house, helping addicts by offering them holistic treatments.

“That was a Malibu beach house, and it was too expensive to run and the business didn’t work,” he shared with The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 after he had to close the sober-living house.

In 2017, Matthew Perry acquired a condo on the top floor of The Century for $20 million, which he sold for a $1.6 million profit the following year.

In 2020, he spent $6 million on a property in the Pacific Palisades. In June 2023, Perry purchased his last property, the mid-century house in Hollywood Hills worth $5 million. He died in his home in the Palisades area of Los Angeles.

matthew perry palisades home
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Philanthropy

In 2011, Perry was a celebrity spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals at the United States Congress, supporting the funding of drug courts.

Two years later, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy awarded him the Champion of Recovery award for opening the rehab center Perry House in his Malibu mansion.

Finally, during the pandemic, Perry launched an apparel line with the proceeds going to the World Health Organization’s relief fund for COVID-19. His apparel line was inspired by Friends.

What Can We Learn from Matthew Perry’s Story?

Matthew Perry’s life, success, and struggles offer countless valuable lessons. For starters, his journey from a troubled youth to becoming one of the most successful Hollywood actors shows us the power of talent. Despite facing challenges in his personal life, Perry pursued his passion for acting, leading him to global fame.

Perry’s struggles with addiction are a fierce reminder of the destructive nature of substance abuse. Despite his tremendous professional success, addiction posed massive challenges throughout Perry’s life and constantly impacted his health, relationships, and at times, his career.

His multiple attempts at rehab and his advocacy for addiction recovery highlight the importance of seeking help and support when one is facing personal struggles. Perry had been very open about his journey to sobriety in recent years, using his fame as a platform to raise awareness about addiction and tell people about the resources available for recovery.

Finally, Perry’s legacy extends beyond his acting career, including his advocacy work and philanthropic efforts. His contributions to addiction recovery demonstrate the lasting impact one can have beyond one’s professional achievements.