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Why has the death of Matthew Perry affected so many of us so much?

Friends actor Matthew Perry died last month, and the public outpouring of grief has been huge. Why can celebrity deaths be so upsetting, asks Sara Novak

By Sara Novak

22 November 2023

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Michelle D’urbano. ©Warner Bros

I WAS in the eighth grade when Chandler Bing and Friends became a regular part of the NBC line-up. Even as a young teen, Friends helped me to imagine what my world would look like post-college, living in New York City surrounded by a quirky collection of friends who had my back through thick and thin.

Funny and handsome with a dash of self-deprecation, Chandler, played by Matthew Perry, was the type of boyfriend I hoped I would have. And even though I would never know Perry personally, it felt like we grew up together – me through my teenage…

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