Matthew Perry, the beloved actor renowned for his iconic portrayal of Chandler Bing on the hit show “Friends,” has passed away at the age of 54.
Authorities in Los Angeles are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Perry’s death. According to a law enforcement source, there are no suspicions of foul play at this time, but the incident remains under scrutiny by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.
Perry tragically lost his life in what appears to be a drowning accident at his residence in Los Angeles on a Saturday, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, citing sources within law enforcement.
Warner Bros. Television Group expressed their deep sorrow over Matthew Perry’s passing in a statement to CNN, describing him as an exceptionally talented actor and a cherished member of their family. His comedic brilliance left an indelible mark on the world, and his legacy will endure in the hearts of countless fans. This is an immensely heart-wrenching day, and their thoughts go out to his family, loved ones, and devoted fans.
The Los Angeles Fire Department received a 911 call at 4:07 p.m. reporting a water rescue emergency, though the specific body of water remains unspecified.
Matthew Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to an actor father and a journalist mother. After his parents’ separation, he moved to Ottawa, Canada, to live with his mother at a young age. During his upbringing, Perry pursued a passion for tennis and excelled as a top-ranked tennis player in Canada. Following in his father’s footsteps, he developed an interest in acting when he relocated to Los Angeles as a teenager.
Perry’s first credited role was a minor part in the 1979 drama series “240-Robert.” This marked the beginning of his journey in the entertainment industry, with subsequent roles in shows like “Charles in Charge,” “Silver Spoons,” and “The Tracey Ullman Show.” His first foray into film was in 1988 when he acted alongside River Phoenix in “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon,” during his high school years. A year prior to the film’s release, Perry starred in the sitcom “Second Chances,” later renamed “Boys Will Be Boys,” in which he portrayed a man who passes away and returns to guide his younger self, played by Perry.
Although the series failed to find a substantial audience, Perry continued to land roles in high-profile TV projects, including “Growing Pains,” “Who’s The Boss,” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
However, it was his role as the amiable and witty Chandler in the iconic TV series “Friends” in 1994 that catapulted him to fame. His portrayal of Chandler garnered him a Primetime Emmy nomination in 2002, and he received four more nominations for his work on the prestigious TV series, including two for his role as Joe Quincy on “The West Wing.”
On “Friends,” Perry starred alongside Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, and Lisa Kudrow, depicting the lives of a close-knit group of friends residing in New York City. This group became synonymous with NBC’s acclaimed “Must-See TV” lineup, attaining a level of fame rarely witnessed in the world of television and beyond.
Beyond the screen, the cast members formed close bonds, and together they negotiated to become some of the highest-paid actors on a television series at that time. The show contributed significantly to Perry’s career, leading to roles in major films such as “Fools Rush In” (1997), “Almost Heroes” (1998), and “The Whole Nine Yards” (2000).
In addition to “Friends,” Perry also starred in other TV series, including “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Mr. Sunshine,” and “The Odd Couple.”
In November 2022, Matthew Perry published a memoir titled “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.” In this revealing memoir, Perry candidly disclosed that his struggle with opioid addiction resulted in a severe colon rupture at the age of 49. Doctors had given him a mere two percent chance of survival, and he spent two weeks in a coma followed by several months in the hospital.
He underwent 14 surgeries to repair the extensive abdominal damage and shared that he had entered rehab 15 times over the years in an attempt to overcome his drug addiction. Perry marveled at his own resilience, remarking that he had the strength to bounce back from the torment and adversity he had faced. He left nothing out in his memoir, even though it was daunting to unveil all his secrets in a book.
Perry’s struggles with addiction were persistent, even during the peak of his career. He openly admitted to his battles, reflecting on the impact it had on his appearance and well-being.
Perry had been in a relationship with literary manager Molly Hurwitz, with whom he became engaged in 2020. Sadly, the engagement came to an end in 2021, and Perry expressed his well wishes for Molly in a statement at the time.
The official Instagram account of “Friends” posted a heartfelt tribute to Matthew Perry, expressing devastation over his passing and describing him as a true gift to everyone.
Maggie Wheeler, known for her role as Janice, Chandler’s on-again, off-again girlfriend on the show, expressed her grief on her Instagram, emphasizing the profound loss.
Selma Blair, who also appeared on “Friends,” referred to Perry as her “oldest boy friend” and shared her unconditional love for him, calling it a broken-hearted moment.
Michael Rapaport, who played Gary in four episodes of the show, remembered Perry as someone who was always nice, cool, chill, and immensely talented, highlighting his enduring impact on American culture.
Yvette Nicole Brown, Perry’s co-star in “The Odd Couple,” lamented the significant loss to the show’s family and the entire entertainment world, emphasizing that 54 was far too young for him to go.
Matthew Perry is survived by his parents.