At 54 years old, “Friends” star Matthew Perry, an Emmy-nominated actor whose charming, sardonic Chandler Bing was one of the most well-known and quotable characters on television, passed away.
The Los Angeles Times and celebrity website TMZ broke the initial word that the actor had been found dead at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, seemingly from a drowning. Both reports cited anonymous sources as confirming Perry’s death.
Additionally, the firm said in a statement, “Matthew became an incredibly gifted actor and a permanent member of the Warner Bros. Television Group family.” His witty brilliance created an influence on people all across the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of countless people. On this tragic day, we extend our sympathies to his family, loved ones, and all of his enthusiastic admirers.
“Publicists for Perry or other representatives were slow to respond to emails from The Associated Press for comment.
Officer Drake Madison of the Los Angeles Police Department responded to an AP inquiry about the police reply to the address that was given as Perry’s home by saying that the officers had gone to that block “for an inquiry into the death of a male in his 50s.”
After acting as a New York friend group alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer for ten seasons on “Friends,” Perry became one of Hollywood’s most well-known performers.
He portrayed Chandler, the witty, nervous, and insecure roommate of LeBlanc’s Joey and Ross’s close friend played by Schwimmer. He was always ready to chip in with a well-timed joke or remark like “Could this BE any more awkward?” during the antics on the show.
“Hello, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name,” Perry wrote at the start of his 2022 million-selling memoir, revealing his lengthy and well-documented battle with addiction. My pals refer to me as Matty. I ought to be dead, too.”
“Friends” won an Emmy for best comedy series in 2002 and aired from 1994 to 2004. In following seasons, the ensemble notably united to secure a pay of $1 million per episode for each member.
The journey of the main characters from single New Yorkers attempting to figure out their lives to several of them getting married and having children is reflected in Chandler’s marriage to Cox’s Monica by the “Friends” conclusion, in which they have a family.
One of the biggest blockbusters on television, the series has had a resurgence on streaming services in recent years, stunning even younger fans with its unexpected popularity.
In his biography “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry talked about his first reading of the “Friends” script.
It was as though someone had been following me for a whole year, photocopying my funny yet jaded outlook on life, stealing my jokes, and mimicking my mannerisms. I was particularly struck by one character: Chandler. It’s not that I felt I could ‘play’ Chandler. Chandler ‘was’ me.”
The battle Perry faced with addiction and his strong desire to win over viewers was unknown at the time.
“Friends was a big hit. I could not risk that. The script was fantastic. My co-actors were wonderful. The scripts were amazing. In his memoir, he stated, “I loved everything about the show, but I was struggling with my addictions, which only added to my sense of shame.” “I had a secret and no one could know.”
Feeling as though you’re going to die because people in person didn’t laugh isn’t good. However, there were moments when Perry could recite a line and the audience would not laugh, causing him to perspire and occasionally experience convulsions “If I didn’t laugh out loud when I was obligated with, I would lose my mind. That’s how I felt every single night. I was in a poor place because of this pressure. I was also aware of the six individuals producing that program; just one of them was ill.”
In his memoir, he wrote that Aniston confronted him about being drunk during the filming.
She had said to him once, “I know you’re drinking,” he remembered. In a “kind of weird but loving way,” she remarked, “We can smell it,” and the plural “we” hit Perry like a sledgehammer.
Lisa Kudrow wrote about Perry in the foreword to his memoir, calling him “whip-smart, charming, sweet, sensitive, very reasonable, and rational.” She said, “That guy, with everything he was battling, was still there.”
James Corden presented an HBO Max reunion special in 2021, which sparked a lot of curiosity in seeing the ensemble together again even though the program only featured the actors talking about the show and didn’t follow the plots of their individual characters.
In addition, Perry has a number of well-known film roles. She co-starred with Salma Hayek in the romantic comedy “Fools Rush In” and with Bruce Willis in the crime comedy “The Whole Nine Yards.”
After “Friends,” he continued to work, albeit never in a capacity that garnered him the same kind of recognition or attention.
He performed as Oscar for the two seasons of the 2015 CBS revival of “The Odd Couple“. His portrayal of Oscar Madison, the character made famous by Walter Matthau in the 1960s series, was described by him to the Associated Press as a “dream role.” In addition, he expressed amazement at how much he relished the opportunity to be shot again in front of a live audience.
“I was unaware of how much I had missed it until we shot the pilot episode and a studio audience was present. At that point, I thought, ‘Wow, I really like this.'” It’s good, this,” he added. “You go all out for the audience members. When there was a crowd there, my performance was never better.”
August 19, 1969, saw the birth of Perry in Williamstown, Massachusetts. His mother Suzanne worked as Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s press secretary and is married to “Dateline” correspondent Keith Morrison. His father is actor John Bennett Perry.