Matthew Perry’s versatility in both television and film makes him one of the most accomplished and credible actors today. Since the highly-rated, critically acclaimed series, Friends concluded, Perry has continued to captivate worldwide audiences with his diverse talents in a range of projects.
Perry most recently starred in and co-executive produced Go On, NBC’s highest rated comedy premiere to date. He starred as Ryan King, a recent widower and sports talk radio host ready to get back to work after the loss of his wife. The success of the show and Perry’s ability attracted guest star athletes including Shaun White, Misty May-Treanor, Terrell Owens and Jeremy Roenick.
In 2012, Perry guest starred on The Good Wife, as gubernatorial candidate Mike Kresteva and has since been invited to reprise the role for this upcoming season on CBS.
In 2011, Perry was the executive producer, co-writer, and star of the ABC show Mr. Sunshine. The show centered on a San Diego arena manager (Perry) who goes through a mid-life crisis when he turned 40. The series was based on an idea conceived by Perry, and also starred Allison Janney, Andrea Anders, James Lesure and Nate Torrence.
In April 2009, Perry starred in the Warner Bros. feature film, 17 Again, directed by Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) with Zac Efron and Michelle Trachtenberg. He also was seen in two independent films, Birds of America which screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and Numb, which screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.
Perry has received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for his starring role in TNT’s The Ron Clark Story which aired on August 13, 2006. Based on a true story, Perry stars as Ron Clark, a teacher who leaves his hometown in North Carolina to teach in one of New York City’s worst schools. Clark’s efforts and his students’ successes earned him Disney’s Teacher of the Year in 2002. The Ron Clark Story was TNT’s highest-rated original movie at the time.
In 2006, Perry returned to series television to star in Aaron Sorkin’s NBC drama, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, in a role that was written for him. In July 2005, Perry took his talents to the athletic arena as he hosted the 2005 ESPY Awards. The broadcast earned the highest rating to date in the then 12-year history of the ESPYs.
In 2004, Perry starred alongside Bruce Willis in the Warner Bros. film The Whole Ten Yards, the sequel to the box office hit The Whole Nine Yards, in which he also appeared. Perry received critical acclaim once again for his undeniably unique talent for physical comedy. He also received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Joe Quincy on The West Wing.
That same year Perry made his directorial debut with an episode of the off-beat hit comedy, Scrubs. Perry also guest-starred in the episode, playing the role of a man willing to donate a kidney to his ailing father until complications arise. The role of the ailing father was played by John Perry, Matthew’s real-life father.
Perry’s feature film debut was in 1988 in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, starring River Phoenix. In 1999, Perry starred with Neve Campbell, Dylan McDermott and Oliver Platt in Three to Tango. His other feature film credits include Almost Heroes, with the late Chris Farley and Eugene Levy; Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek; and Serving Sara with Elizabeth Hurley.
Off the screen, Perry reached one of his personal goals when he made his stage debut in London’s West End in the spring of 2003 in David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago. He co-starred alongside Minnie Driver, Hank Azaria and Kelly Reilley. A huge success, the play broke the record for the largest box-office advance for a West End show.
Born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Perry was raised in Ottawa, Canada. At age 15, he moved to Los Angeles to live with his father, actor John Bennett Perry. In addition to performing in several high school stage productions, he was an avid tennis player. He ranked number seventeen nationally in the junior singles category and number three in the doubles competition.
Matthew continues to support and host the annual gala for the Lili Claire Foundation which raises funds for those born with Williams Syndrome and other neurogenetic birth defects.