Matthew Perry, best known for his role as Chandler Bing in the TV sitcom Friends, has died at the age of 54. He was found unresponsive in his LA home’s jacuzzi, with no signs of foul play or drugs found at the scene.
Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to an American actor father and a Canadian journalist mother, Perry spent his early years in Ottawa before moving to Los Angeles at age 15. He made minor appearances on television and movies before being cast as a regular on the CBS comedy Sydney in 1990. He later starred on 90210 and Home Free before auditioning for Friends. Perry collaborated with Dream On creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane on the HBO series.
Perry, the youngest member of Friends’s main cast, played Chandler Bing for 10 years and 10 seasons. The show’s success was a dream come true for Perry, who prayed for fame and wealth. By 2002, he and his castmates were earning upwards of $1 million per episode. However, Perry’s years were also marked by health issues, including alcoholism and opioid abuse. He detoxed over 65 times and spent $9 million trying to get sober over his lifetime. Perry has been clean for about 18 months by last autumn.
Perry’s 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, detailed his struggles with substance abuse, stating that it is a daily process of improvement, and his journey continues even after his death.
Warner Bros expressed deep sadness and condolences for the loss of Perry, stating that his comedic genius was felt globally and his legacy will continue to be felt by many. The statement read, “We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry.” Adding, “Matthew was an incredibly gifted actor and an indelible part of the Warner Bros. Television Group family. The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of so many. This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our love to his family, his loved ones, and all of his devoted fans.”