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Fifteen years ago, Matthew Perry’s face was still splashed across TV screens and newspapers almost every week. At that time, in 2004, he starred as one of the six lead characters on the hit series, Friends. Now, though, he’s hardly ever seen in public at all, and the reasons why are heartbreaking.

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It may be hard to believe that a star from Friends would disappear from the public eye so easily. For the show remains one of the most popular in television history and racked up 62 Emmy nominations during its decade-long run. On top of that, Perry’s co-stars – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer – continue to lead public-facing lives, at least in comparison to his.

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