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Entertainment

Friends star Matthew Perry dies of apparent drowning at 54 | Ents & Arts News

today30/10/2023

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Matthew Perry, best known for his role on hit US sitcom Friends, has died of an apparent drowning at his home.

The actor was 54 years old.

A 911 call was received by Los Angeles Police at 4.07pm local time (12.07am UK time).

The incident at the star’s Pacific Palisades home in LA was treated as a water rescue, a police source said.

According to The LA Times and TMZ, Perry died in a hot tub or Jacuzzi.

There was no apparent foul play and no confirmed cause of death. An investigation is ongoing.

Perry was open about his past addictions to prescription drugs and alcohol.

Read more:
Matthew Perry obituary: ‘A true gift to us all’
Chandler Bing’s best jokes

Perry in 2022. Pic: AP
Image:
Perry in 2022. Pic: AP

He shot to fame for his role on 1990s sitcom Friends, alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer.

The hit show followed the close-knit group living in New York, with Perry playing Chandler Bing, who became known for his use of sarcastic one-liners.

Cast of Friends
Image:
The cast of Friends

The show ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, with a reunion special in 2021.

Around a year ago, Perry embarked on a press tour for the release of his memoir Friends, Lovers, And The Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.

He spoke about his battle with addiction – including a near-death experience in 2019 after his colon burst as a result of opioid use.

Matthew Perry with Friends co-stars Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston
Image:
The one where Chandler married Monica

Perry recalled one instance when Aniston confronted him about being inebriated while filming.

“I know you’re drinking,” he remembered her telling him.

“We can smell it,” she said in what Perry called a “kind of weird but loving way” – adding: “The plural ‘we’ hit me like a sledgehammer.”

Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler’s on-again-off-again girlfriend Janice Litman-Goralnik, was among those paying tributes.

Posting on social media, she wrote: “I feel so very blessed by every creative moment we shared.”

Actor and author Selma Blair also posted a tribute, with the caption: “My oldest friend.”

The star, who appeared in 1999 drama Cruel Intentions and film Legally Blonde, wrote that she was “broken-hearted” and loved Perry “unconditionally”.

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Fans lay flowers for Matthew Perry

In a statement, NBC Entertainment, which aired Friends, confirmed Perry’s death saying: “We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry. He brought so much joy to hundreds of millions of people around the world with his pitch-perfect comedic timing and wry wit. His legacy will live on through countless generations.”

Actor Octavia Spencer and presenter Piers Morgan also paid tribute to Perry, with Spencer writing: “His gift to the world will be remembered forever.”

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Aerial view of Matthew Perry’s home

Perry had several other notable film roles, starring opposite Salma Hayek in the 1997 romantic comedy Fools Rush In, and alongside Bruce Willis in the crime comedy The Whole Nine Yards in 2004.

In 2021, Perry appeared alongside his Friends co-stars for a reunion special.

Hosted by James Corden, the original cast members visited old sets, including the Central Perk coffee shop, re-enacted some scenes and discussed the continuation of their characters’ storylines.

Born in Massachusetts, Perry was raised in Ottawa, Canada and moved to LA to pursue an acting career at the age of 15 – joining the cast of Friends at the age of 24.

He received one Emmy nomination for his role as Chandler, and a further two for appearances on political drama television series The West Wing.



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