While on screen he was making millions laugh on TV's biggest show, Matthew Perry was locked in a painful cycle of addiction, and a battle with demons that stemmed from a damaged childhood.

In 1986, after moving to Los Angeles, Matthew Perry was convinced fame would wash all his problems away.

"I yearned for it more than any other person on the face of the planet," he wrote in his candid memoir last year. "I needed it. It was the only thing that would fix me. I was certain of it."

Perry would eventually get his wish, becoming one of the six central stars of the most beloved sitcom of the past 30 years.

Stardom as the sharp-witted Chandler Bing on Friends also brought fortune - in the form of $1.1m an episode - and a string of glamorous girlfriends.

Yet behind the scenes, Perry's struggles to keep his personal life and health on the rails only seemed to grow.

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