Friends star Matthew Perry dies aged 54

Actor behind wisecracking Chandler Bing found dead in hot tub at home

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Matthew Perry, one of the stars of TV sitcom Friends, was found dead at his home on Saturday. He was 54.

Perry's death was confirmed in a social media statement shared by NBC, the network that aired Friends.

"We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry," NBC Entertainment said on X, formerly known as Twitter. "He brought so much joy to hundreds of millions of people around the world with his pitch-perfect comedic timing and wry wit. His legacy will live on through countless generations."

Police sources told Los Angeles Times that Perry was found unconscious in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home by first responders. They were unable to revive him.

The Times and TMZ, which first reported the news, both said there were no signs of foul play, citing anonymous sources.

Perry was best known for portraying the wisecracking Chandler Bing on Friends, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. He starred in the sitcom opposite Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani and Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay.

Perry had battled for years with addiction to painkillers and alcohol and attended rehabilitation clinics on multiple occasions.

During a recent televised Friends reunion, Perry surprised his co-stars by admitting to having suffered severe anxiety “every night” during filming.

TMZ reported that no drugs were found at the scene on Saturday.

As well as Friends, Perry appeared in movies such as Fools Rush In and The Whole Nine Yards.

Tributes to Matthew Perry

"We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans," reads a joint post on the official Friends and Warner Brothers Instagram accounts, accompanying an image of the actor taken in the early years of the show.

At the time of writing, none of Perry's Friends co-stars had shared tributes of their own. However, the cast has remained close in the years since the show wrapped in 2004.

In the 2021 reunion special, Perry spoke about their bond, saying: "The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it. That was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long and that was it."

Maggie Wheeler – who played Janice, Chandler's recurring love interest in Friends – shared a tribute on Instagram, writing: " What a loss. The world will miss you Matthew Perry. The joy you brought to so many in your too short lifetime will live on. I feel so very blessed by every creative moment we shared."

Selma Blair, who made a guest appearance as Chandler's colleague Wendy in one episode of Friends, described Perry as her "oldest boyfriend".

"All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams," Blair wrote, sharing a recent image of herself with the actor.

Away from the Friends cast, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who went to primary school with Perry, shared a tribute to the actor on social media.

"Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening," he wrote. "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.

"Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved – and you will be missed."

Perry was born in the US, but moved to Canada with his mother, journalist Suzanne Morrison, as a child; his father is American actor and singer John Bennett Perry.

Morrison served as press secretary to former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, father of Justin Trudeau, while he was in office. Perry was raised primarily in Ottawa, where he attended Rockcliffe Park Public School at the same time as the future politician.

Actress Mira Sorvino described Perry as a "sweet, troubled soul" on X and reflected on his ability to make "everyone laugh with [his] singular wit".

Actress Octavia Spencer shared an image of Perry on Instagram with the tribute: "I’m incredibly saddened to hear of Matthew Perry’s passing today. His gift to the world will be remembered for ever. Sending love to Matthew’s family, friends, co-stars and millions of fans around the world."

– Agencies have contributed to this report

Updated: November 15, 2023, 8:37 AM