Matthew Perry was dedicated to 'helping others': Elizabeth Vargas

(NewsNation) — Even in the throes of addiction, Matthew Perry always made a point to make time for helping others.

That’s how NewsNation’s Elizabeth Vargas remembers the late “Friends” actor who died Saturday at the age of 54. Vargas was one of the last people to interview Perry a year ago, in a forum hosted by Penn Medicine Princeton Health to discuss his memoir.

“He told me in that interview or he told me backstage when we were talking, he said, ‘I have the disease of addiction, but I have it bad.’ He knew and was very honest about the fact that he had the worst case of this disease that I think a person can have and still live,” Vargas said Monday on “CUOMO,” reflecting on the interview.

Despite that, Vargas recalls Perry as someone who always strived to help others.

“He was dedicated to trying to help people because that’s how you recover, that’s how you get better is by reaching back (out) and helping others and talking to them,” Vargas said. “But he was very honest about how badly in the grip of this disease he was for almost all of his adult life.”

Leslie Litt, the casting director for “Friends,” knows all too well Perry’s generous nature. She told NewsNation on Sunday about Perry’s unwavering support during a difficult time in her life when her daughter faced a life-threatening condition. Perry’s immediate offer to help and his continuous involvement in her foundation’s fundraisers left an indelible mark on Litt.

The annual fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which Perry hosted for more than a decade, significantly impacted countless children with special needs.  

“I asked Matthew every year to host it. When the last scene of Friends was shot, and everyone was on the floor hugging and crying, Matthew turned to me and said, ‘I know I won’t see you every day, but you don’t have to ask me anymore. I’m there for you, I will always host it,’” Litt said.

NewsNation producer Damita Menezes contributed to this report.

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