Matthew Perry died on Saturday at age 54. On Saturday, Perry was found unconscious in his hot tub at his Los Angeles home. First responders were unable to revive Perry, who is best known for his role as Chandler Bing on Friends.
According to Brian Humphrey, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department, first responders went to a home in Pacific Palisades around 4 p.m. Saturday after receiving a 911 call reporting that the actor was in a hot tub and not breathing. It is unknown who the caller was.
The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived at 4:07 p.m., and the Los Angeles Police Department arrived at 4:10 p.m., according to officials.
Authorities say Matthew Perry’s autopsy results are inconclusive, pending a toxicology report. A report released by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner deferred the cause of death, pending further toxicology results.
Medical examiner’s office stated that the body was ready for release to the family, even though an official conclusion is not expected for several weeks.
Perry’s Road to Fame
PICTURE: Matthew Perry. PHOTO: COURTESY OF: Matthew Perry’s Facebook page. Dated April 27, 2011.
Matthew Perry was born on August 19, 1969, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Canada was his home when he was growing up. In her early career, Suzanne Perry, his mother, was a Canadian beauty queen and a journalist before becoming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s press secretary. According to the news agency AFP, his father, John Bennett Perry, was an actor and model who appeared in Old Spice aftershave commercials.
He moved to Los Angeles in his teens to pursue a career as an actor. Perry appeared in popular shows such as Charles in Charge and Growing Pains as a guest star. In 1994, he landed his big break as Chandler Bing on Friends, an NBC sitcom about six friends in their twenties living in New York City. At age 24, he was the “last, and youngest, lead actor cast” for the show.
His character was the most sarcastic and quick-witted of the group, as well as the most awkward and insecure. In no time, he became a fan favorite. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Perry and his co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer earned $1 million per episode. From 1994 to 2004, the show aired for ten seasons.
Friends Stars Release Joint Statement
PICTURE: Cast of Friends (left to right): Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, and Matt LeBlanc. PHOTO: COURTESY OF: FRIENDS (TV Show) Facebook page. Dated December 5, 2013.
Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer have issued a joint statement.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew,” the five actors said. “We were more than just castmates.” The statement continued, “We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now, we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss. In time, we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
Warner Bros. Studios Releases Statement
“We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry,” Warner Bros Studios, the show’s production studio, said in a statement. Matthew was a phenomenal actor and an indelible member of the Warner Bros. Television Group family. His comedic genius was felt all over the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of many. This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our condolences to his family, loved ones, and devoted fans.”
Fans and Stars Have Been Paying Tribute to the Actor
Hank Azaria, who played Phoebe Buffay’s boyfriend David in several episodes of Friends, said Perry was like a “brother” to him.
In an Instagram video, he said, “Matthew was the first friend I made in Los Angeles when I moved there.” I was 21, and he was 16.
“We did a pilot together,” he added. “We became really good friends, and for a long time, we were more like brothers.”
Lindsay Posner, the director of Perry’s play The End Of Longing, which he wrote and starred in, paid tribute to him on BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
“He was always very, very warm and generous and keen to keep everyone entertained the whole time,” he added.
“He was very keen to be thought of as a serious actor, a comic actor.”
She continued, “I was a bit worried because he’d never done any stage acting before…but he’d honed his craft with Friends in front of a live audience for years and years, and it really showed. You couldn’t tell he’d never been on a London stage before.”
The play was an autobiographical examination of addiction.
Posner went on to say, “He said to me he would like to be remembered for helping people through the play… helping people to recover.”
Remembered for Fighting Addiction
Friends brought fame but couldn’t quell Perry’s personal demons. Matthew Perry made a million dollars per week starring in a network sitcom that became a cultural phenomenon — all while admittedly drowning in an addiction he battled for most of his life.
A traumatic childhood trapped Matthew Perry in a vicious cycle of addiction and demons while he made millions laugh on TV’s biggest show.
In 1997 and 2001, he opened up about his addiction and his search for treatment. In 2013, he spoke openly about his addiction to painkillers and alcohol during an interview on BBC Newsnight with journalist and anti-drug campaigner Peter Hitchens to discuss drug laws and addiction. He admitted that he had no recollection of filming three seasons of the show due to alcohol and drugs.
Perry also struggled for years with painkiller and alcohol addiction. According to People Magazine, he attended rehabilitation clinics on several occasions.
“From a recovery perspective, I mean I’m been a sober guy for 17 years,” said Azaria. “I want to say that the night I went into AA [Alcoholics Anonymous], Matthew brought me in.”
Azaria went on to say, “The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together, and he was such a great… I got to tell him this. As a sober person, he was so caring and giving and wise, and he totally helped me get sober.”
DOWNLOAD THE URBT NEWS APP Matthew Perry died on Saturday at age 54