Actor Matthew Perry, best known for his role as the witty Chandler Bing on the smash hit US television comedy Friends, passed away on Saturday at the age of 54, according to reports out of Los Angeles.
NBC, the network that aired Friends for 10 years, acknowledged his death in a statement issued on the social media platform X (previously known as Twitter).
The death of Matthew Perry has left NBC Entertainment “incredibly saddened,” they added. With his impeccable comic timing and witty wit, he made hundreds of millions of people throughout the world laugh. Many future generations will benefit from his work.
A hot tub or jacuzzi was alleged to be the location where the American-Canadian performer was discovered dead by the Los Angeles Times and TMZ, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.
NBC News claimed that Perry was discovered dead at his home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles from an apparent drowning, citing an anonymous representative of Perry and a law enforcement source.
A snapshot of Perry relaxing in a pool or jacuzzi at night was his last Instagram post on October 23. He captioned the image, “Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good?” Mattman here.
Perry’s most prominent role was as Chandler on Friends, which starred him with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow for a total of ten seasons (1994–2004) on the NBC network.
All six cast members became household names across the world because of their roles as friends and roommates in the series. Their characters frequently spent time together at “Central Perk,” a fictional Manhattan coffee shop.
One of the main plots concerned Chandler’s secret love affair with Cox’s character, Monica Geller, which the other four friends, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, and Ross, gradually uncovered. The two protagonists tie the knot at the end.
The cast reunited in 2021, 17 years after the series finale, for a highly anticipated reunion special that aired on HBO Max.
No one from the ensemble cast of what was once prime-time television’s most-viewed show in the United States was ever able to replicate the level of individual popularity or financial success they enjoyed as part of the show. When the show was at its peak, each actor reportedly got $1 million per episode.
Perry’s long-term battle with prescription medication and alcohol addiction was kept under wraps during much of the original run, but he revealed his ordeal in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.
Hello, my name is Matthew, although you may know me better by my other aliases. To my pals, I’m just Matty. And I ought to be dead,” Perry said at the book’s outset.
After 18 months of sobriety, Perry told the New York Times in October 2022, “I’ve probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober.” According to Perry’s autobiography, he was so drunk after filming the wedding episode for Chandler and Monica that he had to be driven back to rehab.
After Friends, Perry starred in three additional ill-fated network TV shows: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine, and Go On.
Other popular TV shows that he appeared on as a guest star or regular cast member were The West Wing, Ally McBeal, Scrubs, and Beverly Hills, 90210. The movies Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, Almost Heroes, and Three to Tango all featured him in some capacity.
Perry’s mother, a writer who worked as Pierre Trudeau’s press secretary, moved the family from Massachusetts to Ottawa after divorcing Perry’s father and marrying a Canadian TV host.
Canadian Prime Minister and Trudeau’s son Justin paid tribute to his childhood friend, calling his passing “shocking and saddening.” “I’ll never forget the schoolyard games we used to play, and I know people around the world are never going to forget the joy he brought them,” Trudeau said in X.
Perry was a top junior tennis player in the country before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue acting and improv comedy.