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Matthew Perry, who rose to fame in the 1990s for his role as Chandler Bing on the beloved sitcom Friends, has died at the age of 54.
The news was first reported by entertainment outlet TMZ which cited law enforcement sources saying Perry had died following a cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home. The Los Angeles Times, also citing law enforcement sources, reported Perry died in his hot tub around 4pm local time.
The LA Times reported that there was no sign of foul play, and that the Los Angeles Police Department’s robbery-homicide detectives were investigating the death.
Perry featured on Friends for 10 seasons, alongside Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc. He released a memoir in 2022, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in which he openly discussed his alcohol and drug dependence issues that overlapped with his time on Friends.
As Chandler, he played a sarcastic, insecure and neurotic roommate of Joey and Ross, played by LeBlanc and Schwimmer respectively. By the series’ end, Chandler is married to Cox’s Monica and they have a family, reflecting the journey of the core cast from single New Yorkers to married and starting families.
The series was one of television’s biggest hits and has taken on a new life – and found surprising popularity with younger fans – in recent years on streaming services.
The series ran from 1994 until 2004. A reunion special in 2021 was hosted by James Corden and fed into huge interest in seeing the cast together again, although the HBO Max reunion was the actors discussing the show and not a continuation of their characters’ storylines.
Perry also starred in the 1997 romantic comedy Fools Rush In alongside Salma Hayek, and had minor roles on Ally McBeal and The West Wing.
He was born in Massachussetts in 1969, but was raised in Ottawa, Canada. His mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison, was a press secretary to former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Perry attended school with his son Justin Trudeau – the current Canadian prime minister.
“Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening,” Trudeau said in a statement. “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”.
On Instagram the actress Selma Blair wrote: “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.”
The actor and comedian Tom Green posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Shocked and saddened to just hear about the passing of Matthew Perry in a tragic drowning. He is one of the many talented and incredible success stories from my hometown of Ottawa Canada. Rest in peace Matthew”.
The Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino said, also on X: “May you find peace and happiness in Heaven, making everyone laugh with your singular wit”.
Perry received one Emmy nomination for his Friends role and two more for appearances as an associate White House counsel on The West Wing.
Perry also had several notable film roles, starring opposite Salma Hayek in the rom-com “Fools Rush In” and opposite Bruce Willis in the the crime comedy “The Whole Nine Yards.”
More to come.
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