Matthew Perry’s passing on October 28, 2023, marked a heartbreaking loss for the world. His family, including his father and stepfather, were seen arriving at his Los Angeles home following the tragic news. Perry’s mother, Suzanne Morrison, played a significant role in his life. She had a distinguished career as a press secretary to former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Perry, in his memoir, reflected on growing up with a working mother and the impact of her demanding job on their relationship.
Perry’s parents divorced when he was young, and he split his time between Los Angeles, where his father lived, and Ottawa, Canada, where his mother was based. Morrison’s demanding job sometimes meant she had to work around the clock. Perry fondly recalled a childhood memory of watching a movie with his mother, only to have it interrupted by a call from Prime Minister Trudeau.
Morrison remarried when Perry was 12, and he remembered the emotional moment of giving her away at her wedding. Despite being surrounded by stepparents and siblings, Perry often felt lonely growing up. He used humor as a coping mechanism during these challenging times.
Perry cherished the moments when he could make his mother laugh and ease the stress of her demanding career. He referred to himself as a “latchkey kid,” spending a great deal of time alone due to his mother’s busy schedule. As his mother’s family grew with her second marriage, Perry sometimes felt like an outsider. He loved his siblings but often felt disconnected from the family dynamic.
Despite his feelings of loneliness and displacement, Perry found solace in certain experiences. He recalled feeling terrified as a young child flying alone to visit his father, but seeing the lights upon landing provided a sense of safety. Views of the ocean or city lights always evoked a feeling of comfort for him.
Matthew Perry’s memoir provided a candid glimpse into his complex relationship with his mother and the impact of her career on his upbringing.