Dateline's Keith Morrison has been married to Suzanne Perry for over 40 years
The Dateline correspondent tied the knot with Suzanne in 1981, a decade after her split with Matthew’s dad, John Bennett Perry. Keith had a close relationship with Matthew, who died on Oct. 28, 2023, and, along with Suzanne and other family members, was by his side during his more difficult times as he struggled with addiction.
"He's one of those people who always is the center of the room for a reason and it was so as a kid," Morrison told PEOPLE of his stepson in 2020. "He's an intense, talented, focused character. He's very bright. That was always the case as he was growing up."
After Matthew’s death, his family shared an exclusive statement with PEOPLE thanking fans for their outpouring of love for Matthew and expressing their pain over his “tragic” death.
"We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother," the family said. "Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend."
From her career in Canada to raising several children with Keith, here's everything to know about Suzanne Perry and her relationship with the Dateline correspondent.
She is Canadian
Suzanne spent the majority of her life and career in Canada, moving around between Montreal and Toronto. In his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew wrote that his mom was Miss Canadian University Snow Queen while attending the University of Toronto in 1966.
She worked as a press secretary for then-Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
Suzanne started her career as a journalist and TV anchor in Canada before becoming the press secretary for former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
"My mom's job therefore meant that she was away at work a lot — and I was left to compete with the ongoing concerns of a major Western democracy and its charismatic swordsman leader if I wanted a little attention," Matthew wrote in his memoir.
During that time, Matthew elaborated, he felt like a “latchkey kid” and started having “bad behavior.” “I got s----- grades, I started smoking, I beat up Pierre's son,” he wrote, referring to current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
She and Keith both had one child when they met
When Suzanne met Keith, she already had then-10-year-old Matthew. Keith also had his own son, Michael, from a previous relationship.
They married in 1981
Keith and Suzanne tied the knot two years after meeting when Keith was bouncing between jobs in Vancouver and Toronto. The family eventually moved to Ottawa, per Matthew’s memoir.
As he settled into life in a family of four, the Friends actor was just a normal teenage boy experimenting with relationships and growing his comedic bone.
"When he was 13, he developed quite a crush on a girl," Suzanne told PEOPLE in 1995. "They had a very intense relationship."
Then, one day, Matthew changed his mind about her. He left the girl in his room and went to his mother and confessed, "One minute I looked over at her and I liked her. The next minute I looked over at her and I didn't."
"Matthew," Suzanne responded, "this is the beginning of a long career."
They welcomed four children together
The couple welcomed four more children: Caitlin, Emily, Will and Madeline.
“There’s no describing what a wonder it is,” Keith told PEOPLE in 2020 of his wife and blended family. “When we’re all together, it’s just a brew that you could not mix no matter how hard you tried if you did it by hand.”
Caitlin was born in 1981, just after Keith and Suzanne got married. Matthew wrote in his memoir how he “instantly” loved Caitlin but felt on the outs with his family and struggled to belong.
"There was a family growing up around me, a family I didn't really feel part of ... That's when the bad behavior started," he wrote.
However, he said he owed his love for children to his younger siblings, whom he played with when they were growing up and who were by his side during his lowest moments.
“I think it’s because I was 10 years old when my sister Caitlin was born,” he wrote in his memoir. “Then came Emily, then Will, and then finally Madeline. I loved playing with them all, babysitting them, playing dumb games with them. There is no greater sound on the face of the planet than a child’s laughter.”
Suzanne and Keith supported Matthew during his addiction struggles
In 1997, Matthew developed a dependency on Vicodin after he was prescribed the pain medication following a jet ski accident. Four years later, during a low point in his decades-long struggle with addiction, Matthew called his parents from a Dallas hotel room, asking for their help to get him sober.
"I was in fear of losing my life," he told PEOPLE in 2002. "There's a moment of clarity where you have to prioritize your life. I listened to it."
Keith and Suzanne were by his side and got him into a rehabilitation facility following the call.
"It was scary. I didn't want to die," he said. "But I'm grateful for how bad it got. It only made me more adamant about trying to get better."
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.