Who Inherited Matthew Perry’s Money? Where His Residuals Will Go, Revealed

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After a solemn funeral the week after his tragic death, many fans are wondering who will inherit Matthew Perry’s income and Friends residuals.

Starting off as a child actor, Matthew Perry landed his first sitcom role on the show Second Chance (which later became Boys Will Be Boys) and went on to secure roles in series like Charles in Charge and Beverly Hills 90210. By 1988, he had already made his big screen debut in the film A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, where he starred alongside the late River Phoenix.

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Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

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‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing’ by Matthew Perry

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It was the role of Chandler Bing in the legendary sitcom Friends that really catapulted Perry to superstardom. Premiering on NBC in 1994, the show about six single New Yorkers navigating the complexities of adulthood quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Perry, who was only 25 years old when the series began, became a household name overnight alongside his fellow cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer. Lisa Kudrow played the eccentric Phoebe Buffay on the show, a masseuse and musician who would hang out with the gang at Central Perk.

Matthew Perry died on October 28, 2023, in his home in Los Angeles, California. So who will receive Matthew Perry’s inheritance and how much did he receive in Friends residuals?

How much were Matthew Perry’s Friends residuals?

How much were Matthew Perry’s Friends residuals? According to USA Today on the Warner Bros. tour, tour guides reported that the Friends cast each made $20 million a year. The show makes a whopping $1 billion each year for Warner Bros and the cast makes 2% of that syndication income.

What was Matthew Perry’s Friends salary?

What was Matthew Perry’s Friends salary? The Friends— which included Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer—made $1 million per episode for Seasons 9 and 10. Season 9 had 24 episodes, while Season 10 had 17 episodes, which meant that the cast made $41 million each for the last two seasons of the series. According to Parade, the Friends cast also makes $20 million per year each in residuals from the series.

Were we worth $1 million? To me, that’s such a strange question,” LeBlanc told The Huffington Post in 2015. “It’s like, well, that’s irrelevant. Are you worth it? How do you put a price on how funny something is? We were in a position to get it. If you’re in a position in any job, no matter what the job is—if you’re driving a milk truck or installing TVs or an upholsterer for a couch—if you’re in a position to get a raise and you don’t get it, you’re stupid. You know what I mean? We were in a position and we were able to pull it off. ‘Worth it’ has nothing to do with it.”

However, the Friends cast didn’t always make that much. According to a 1996 report by The New York Times, the Friends cast made around $20,000 per episode for Seasons 1 and 2 of the series, though the newspaper reported that some cast members’ salaries were “considerably higher.” According to Parade, those cast members were Schwimmer and Aniston, who made $40,000 per episode due to their characters’ Ross Geller and Rachel Green’s romance being a main storyline on the show.

Though the Friends cast demanded for their salaries to increase to $100,000 per episode each, as well as a percentage of the series’ profits in syndication, for Season 3 according to The New York Times, Parade reported that the cast landed on a deal for $75,000 per episode, which paid each of them $1.875 million for Season 3. The cast received another raise for $85,000 per episode for Season 4, which paid them each $2.125 million for the season. In Season 5, the Friends cast made $100,000 per episode, which resulted in $2.4 million each for the season. Season 6 paid them $125,000 per episode, which netted to $3.125 million for the season. The cast received a significant raise for Season 7 and 8 to $750,000 per episode, which equaled to $36 million each for both seasons.

In his 2022 book, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry recalled Schwimmer trying to negotiate more pay for him and the rest of the cast during Season 1 of Friends. “During that first year — David’s year — he showed up one day at my dressing room,” Perry wrote. “He had brought an original hangdog expression to his character and was just damn funny. He was also the first one of us to shoot a commercial, be on The Tonight Show, buy a house, get his own movie. He was the hot guy that first year, and rightly so. He had been hilarious.”

Perry claimed that Schwimmer told him, “When we renegotiate our contracts, we should do it as a team. We should all get paid the same amount.” Perry continued, “He was by far the one in the best position to negotiate. I could not believe what he was saying. Needless to say, I was thrilled. I was perfectly happy to take advantage of his generosity of spirit.” Perry credited Scwhimmer for getting the cast its $1-million-per-episode deal for the last two seasons of Friends. “It was a decision that proved to be extremely lucrative down the line,” Perry wrote.

Who will inherit Matthew Perry’s residuals?

According to Charlie Douglas, a certified financial planner and president of HH Legacy Investments in Atlanta, to CNBC, there are three ways where Matthew Perry’s residuals would have gone. SAG-AFTRA, which Perry was a member of, has contracts in which its members can list beneficiaries for residual payments upon death. The beneficiaries can range from individuals in family to colleagues and is a similar process as a 401k.

Matthew Perry’s residuals can also go to a trust rather than an individual. The trusts are private which in case the public may never know who inherits Perry’s income. If Matthew Perry did not list beneficiaries or went with a trust, the state law would determine his estate plan. The actor did not have a spouse or children before his death. In the case of the state of California, his parents will be the likely takers of royalties from acting roles, as well as other parts of his estate including his 2022 memoir.

Matthew Perry’s Net worth

What was Matthew Perry’s net worth? Matthew Perry’s net worth was $120 million at the time of his death, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Along with his salary from Friends, Matthew Perry’s net worth also included what he made from TV shows and movies like Ally McBeal, The West Wing, The Ron Clark Story, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

In an interview with People in 2022, Perry revealed that he would’ve traded his fame and fortune to avoid his struggle with addiction. “The fact that I would trade it all to not have this disease is true,” he said. “But I don’t belittle how fun the experience has been on Friends. And the money was amazing. Just the creative experience of being on the show probably saved my life.”

He continued, “When you’re making a million dollars a week, you can’t drink the 37th drink. You have to go home and go to sleep.… That was the greatest job in the world.”

He also told People about why he didn’t write a memoir about his struggles until 2022. “I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again,” he said. “I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober — and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction — to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people.”

In his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry revealed that he almost died at the age of 49 after he suffered from gastrointestinal perforation, which was caused by his colon bursting from opioid overuse. He spent two weeks in a coma and five months in a hospital and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months. “The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” he told People. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”

Perry revealed that his struggle with alcohol addiction started when he was first cast on Friends at the age of 24. “I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble,” he said. “But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something.’”

At one point in his life, Perry was taking 55 Vicodin a day and weighed just 128 pounds. “I didn’t know how to stop,” he said. “If the police came over to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,’ I’d start packing. I couldn’t stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older.”

Perry told that he’d been to rehab 15 times in his life. “I’m pretty healthy now,” he said at the time, “I’ve got to not go to the gym much more, because I don’t want to only be able to play superheroes. But no, I’m a pretty healthy guy right now.”

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