US actor Matthew Perry, renowned for his role as Chandler Bing in the iconic ’90s TV series Friends, has passed away at the age of 54. Perry was discovered dead at his Los Angeles residence, as reported by law enforcement sources in the US.
Friends, the beloved sitcom that followed the lives of six young friends in New York City, aired from 1994 to 2004. The show’s final episode became the most-watched TV episode of the 2000s in the US, with 52.5 million viewers.
According to reports by the LA Times and TMZ, which initially broke the news of Perry’s passing, the actor was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home.
Born in Massachusetts in 1969, Perry spent his childhood in Ottawa, Canada, where he attended elementary school with Justin Trudeau, who later became the Canadian prime minister. Trudeau expressed his shock and sadness over Perry’s passing and fondly remembered their schoolyard games.
Perry relocated to Los Angeles during his teenage years and began his acting career. He gained fame as Chandler Bing on Friends, a role known for his witty one-liners and childish antics with his roommate Joey Tribbiani. The show co-starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow and became one of the most successful sitcoms in television history. Perry’s portrayal of Chandler earned him an Emmy nomination in 2002.
Matthew Perry leaves behind a legacy of laughter and memorable moments from his time on Friends.
Despite reaching the pinnacle of fame through Friends, Matthew Perry grappled with addiction to painkillers and alcohol during his career. He sought rehabilitation multiple times to address these challenges.
In a 2016 interview with BBC Radio 2, Perry revealed that he couldn’t remember three years of filming the show due to issues related to alcohol and drugs. He also admitted to not watching the series because he associated it with his struggles. Perry remarked, “I could tell season by season, by how I looked. That’s why I don’t wanna watch it because that’s what I see. But I think I’m going to start to watch it because it’s been an incredible thing to watch it touch the hearts of different generations.”
The news of Perry’s passing left the entertainment world in Los Angeles and beyond in a state of shock. Entertainment reporter Sean Mandell described Perry as a pivotal figure in the success of Friends, a person “at the hub of the wheel.” Perry’s character, Chandler Bing, was celebrated for his witty humor, genuine warmth, and grounded portrayal.
Matthew Perry’s life and career are a reminder of the complexities and challenges faced by individuals even in the midst of great success.
Matthew Perry ventured into the world of film with appearances in movies like Fools Rush In, Almost Heroes, and the Whole Nine Yards. However, despite his efforts, he never encountered a screen project that could rival the immense success and fame he achieved through Friends.
In the realm of television, Perry found success once again. His portrayal of associate White House counsel Joe Quincy in Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing earned him two Emmy nominations for outstanding guest actor in a drama series in 2003 and 2004. Perry played the lead role in Sorkin’s subsequent series, Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. He went on to create, write, and produce his own show titled Mr. Sunshine, in which he also took on the lead character.
Matthew Perry’s final major television project, aside from the Friends reunion, was a TV reboot of The Odd Couple, which aired for three seasons. In 2017, Perry learned about the show’s cancellation when he arrived on set and saw his face on the stage door had been painted over with green paint.
Among his Friends co-stars, Maggie Wheeler, who portrayed Chandler’s troublesome ex-girlfriend Janice, was the first to publicly pay tribute to Matthew Perry. She expressed her gratitude for the joy he brought to many during his “too short lifetime.”
Morgan Fairchild, who played Perry’s on-screen mother and erotic novel writer Nora Bing, shared her heartbreak and described the loss of the brilliant young actor as a shock.
Actress Selma Blair, known for her role in Cruel Intentions, referred to Matthew Perry as her “oldest boyfriend” and expressed her unconditional love for him. She ended her tribute with “Sweet dreams, Matty.”
Matthew Perry’s last Instagram post, shared five days ago, featured a photo of himself in a hot tub, which now carries a haunting significance.
Just five days ago, the “Friends” actor posted on social media, sharing an image that seemed to be from a hot tub, along with an eerie caption: “Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good?”