Fondly remembered for playing Chandler Bing on the popular TV sitcom Friends, Matthew Perry was once a promising tennis player. Born in Massachusetts, Perry moved to Ottawa, Canada at a young age to live with his mother, where he discovered his talent for tennis. He quickly rose through the ranks of Canadian junior tennis, becoming a top-ranked player by the age of 13.
However, Perry’s life took a different turn when he moved to Los Angeles at 15 years old to live with his father. In LA the standard of tennis was much higher than Canada and Perry struggled to compete. Matthew soon realized he wasn’t enough to make it as a professional. Perry began performing in high school stage productions and pursued his passion for acting.
Perry eventually decided to pursue a career in acting full-time. He was offered a leading role on the television series Boys Will Be Boys in 1987, and he jumped at the opportunity to begin his acting career. Perry quickly rose to fame with his portrayal of the lovable Chandler Bing on Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004.
While Perry gave up early on his dreams of playing tennis full-time, he still looks back on his time on the court with nostalgia. In an interview, he revealed that the mental toughness required for tennis helped him during his acting career, and continues to follow the sport closely. Perry has even played in a number of charity tennis tournaments over the years, demonstrating that his love for the sport has not waned.
In addition to his tennis career, Perry has continued to work as a producer and writer. He has also been open about his struggles with addiction and has used his platform to raise awareness about mental health issues. Despite the ups and downs of his personal life, Perry remains a beloved figure as Friends is still watched by millions every week.
On Friends, there is even an episode where Matthew used his racket skills to beat Mike at ping pong.