‘Friends’ Cast Lead Tributes to Matthew Perry

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The cast of Friends (L-R): Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer (Photo via the program’s Facebook page)

Tributes are being made for Matthew Perry, who starred as Chandler Bing on the hugely successful TV sitcom, Friends. The actor, 54, was found dead October 28, 2023, at his Los Angeles home. TMZ reported that Perry was found in a jacuzzi there, after playing pickleball for two hours. In its report, the website reported that foul play was being ruled out; Perry apparently drowned. A personal assistant discovered the actor and called 911.

The popular series, created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane, and produced by Warner Bros. Television, spanned 236 episodes over 10 seasons on NBC, from 1994-2004, establishing the careers of its six stars including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Perry and David Schwimmer. After finishing eighth in its first season, Friends remained in the top five for each successive season throughout the rest for its lengthy run, attaining the overall number one spot in its eight season. By 2002, each of its six stars were reportedly earning $1 million per episode.

On Oct. 30, the five surviving stars issued a statement. “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew,” they wrote. “We were more than just castmates. 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.”

Perry had a well-documented battle with alcohol and drug addiction, said to be from abusing Vicodin after a jet-ski accident in 1997. He entered various rehab facilities over the year but was reportedly sober since May 2021.

The likable actor, born August 19, 1969, in Williamstown, Mass., was 24, the youngest of the series’ main cast when he was chosen for the role. He last posted on his Instagram—where he had nearly 8 million followers—on Oct. 23.

Perry co-starred in the 2000 crime comedy, The Whole Nine Yards. When the film’s lead, Bruce Willis, was diagnosed in 2022 with severe aphasia, Perry posted a note on Twitter. “Dear Bruce Willis,” he wrote. “I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through, but you’re still the coolest man I’ve met in my entire life. You will remain in my prayers for a long long time.”

Upon hearing the news of Perry’s death, Willis’ daughter, Rumer Willis, wrote, “When I was a kid and I was on set while he and my dad were doing whole nine and whole 10 yards he was so kind and funny and sweet with my sisters and me and I think his physical comedy and that movie still makes me laugh so much. I know he had many challenges in his life and brought a lot of joy to people. I hope he can rest peacefully.”

Actress Selma Blair wrote, “♥️. My oldest boy friend. All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams.”

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A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair)

From the concert stage in Las Vegas, Adele wrote, “He was so open with his struggles with addiction and sobriety, which I think is incredibly, incredibly brave. I just wanna say how much I love what he did for all of us.”

Related: Musicians we’ve lost in 2023

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