Matthew Perry was born to actor John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Perry Morrison (a former press secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau), who divorced before his first birthday. Perry was raised by his mother in Ottawa. While growing up in Ontario, Perry took a keen interest in tennis and soon became a top-ranked junior player.
While known primarily for his comedic (almost slapstick) acting, Perry has carved out a career in drama as well, particularly in his portrayal of Associate White House Counsel Joe Quincy in Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing. His three appearances in that series (twice in the fourth season and once in the fifth) earned him two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2003 and 2004.
After Friends wrapped up, Perry made his directorial debut in an episode of Bill Lawrence's sitcom Scrubs (which he also guest starred in, alongside his father).