Matthew Perry, star of Friends and The West Wing, has died aged 54
The entertainment world is mourning the loss of Matthew Perry, renowned for his portrayal of Chandler Bing in the beloved sitcom ‘Friends.’ The Emmy-nominated actor, aged 54, was reportedly found dead due to an apparent drowning at his residence in Los Angeles on Saturday. Warner Bros, the production company behind ‘Friends’, expressed their grief, acknowledging Perry's unparalleled talent and his lasting impact on audiences worldwide.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, officers responded to a death investigation at the home of a man in his 50s, later identified as Perry. His portrayal of the sarcastic yet endearing Chandler alongside the ensemble cast of Friends, including Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox, established him as a prominent figure in Hollywood. The show, which ran from 1994 to 2004, remains a cultural phenomenon, drawing in new generations of fans through streaming platforms.
Perry's versatile career extended beyond ‘Friends’, earning him accolades for his appearances on ‘The West Wing’ and his roles in films such as ‘Fools Rush In’ and ‘The Whole Nine Yards’, where he starred alongside Salma Hayek and Bruce Willis, respectively. His contributions to the world of entertainment will be remembered fondly by his dedicated fan base and colleagues alike.
‘Friends’ co-stars Maggie Wheeler has remembered Matthew Perry for the joy he “brought to so many” following his “shock” death age 54. Wheeler, who played Perry’s on-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein during the early series of the TV show and often appeared to perform her catchphrase “Oh! My! God!”, paid tribute to Perry on Instagram.
“What a loss,” Wheeler captioned a picture of the pair. The world will miss you Matthew Perry. The joy you brought to so many in your too short lifetime will live on. I feel so very blessed by every creative moment we shared.”
Born in Massachusetts, Matthew Perry spent his formative years in Canada, where he attended school alongside Justin Trudeau, now the Prime Minister of Canada. Before achieving global stardom as Chandler Bing in Friends, Perry's early acting career included a role as Chazz Russell in 'Boys Will Be Boys 'and appearances in shows like 'Growing Pains.' Creator of Friends, Marta Kauffman, affirmed Perry's unparalleled embodiment of Chandler, emphasizing, "This was the only guy to play him," during the 2021 reunion special. Perry's portrayal of the quick-witted character seamlessly integrated elements of his own personality, with his signature sarcasm and wit leaving an indelible mark on the show's success.
Despite his rise to fame, Perry battled alcohol addiction, which came to light during the later seasons of Friends, leading to personal struggles and significant weight loss. In his 2022 memoir, 'Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing,' Perry candidly addressed his tumultuous journey, recounting his experiences with addiction and the multiple stints in rehab and therapy that followed.
Beyond 'Friends,' Perry's acting career extended to various films, including '17 Again' with Zac Efron, and earned acclaim for his role as Joe Quincy in 'The West Wing, securing two Emmy nominations. Additionally, Perry garnered an Emmy nomination for his performance in 'The Ron Clark Story', a movie centered on an innovative and passionate educa'tor.