On Saturday, October 28, actor Matthew Perry died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 54. Best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the beloved TV show Friends, he was an icon of '90s television. In addition to bringing laughs to viewers around the world, Perry—who struggled with addiction throughout his life—was also committed to helping others become sober. He left an indelible mark on and off the screen.
Perry was born in Massachusetts to a Canadian journalist Suzanna Marie Morrison and American actor John Bennett Perry. After his parents' divorce, he grew up in Canada and even attended the same elementary school as future Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. Later, when Perry was 15, he relocated to los Angeles to live with his father and pursue acting. After several small roles in the '70s and '80s, he landed the part of Chandler Bing on Friends (then titled Six of One) at the age of 24. The show ran for an incredible 10 seasons, cementing Perry and his co-stars as comedy superstars.
The actor's mark on TV and pop culture is undeniable. As such, Perry's passing is a loss felt by many. The exact cause of his death is still unknown at this time. All that is confirmed is that he was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home. Prior to passing away, however, he shared his last Instagram post of him relaxing in a hot tub, accompanied by the caption, “Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good? I'm Mattman.” Numerous fans have shared their heartbreak over Perry's death in the comments of the post. “We all lost a Friend today,” one person sadly states. Another writes, “I survived very stressful times thanks to him and the rest of the gang. Feels like losing a friend, doesn't it?”
Despite the success of Friends, Perry struggled with alcohol and drug addiction for years, resulting in 14 stomach surgeries and multiple rehab attempts. In 2013, he opened the now-closed Perry House, a sober living facility for men. Perry himself was sober since 2021. “The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can't stop drinking, can you help me?' I can say ‘yes' and follow up and do it,” Perry said in 2022. “When I die, I don't want Friends to be the first thing that's mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that's mentioned. And I'm gonna live the rest of my life proving that.”
Friends star Matthew Perry died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 54.
He is best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the beloved '90s sitcom Friends.
Perry, who struggled with addiction and recovery throughout his life, was also known for opening a (now-closed) sober living facility for men in his home in Malibu.
His last Instagram post includes a photo of him in the hot tub where he would later be found unresponsive.
View this post on Instagram
People online have shared quotes by Perry expressing his desire to be known as more than an actor.
Matthew Perry portrayed one of the most well-known characters of all time but also helped others. He used his celebrity status to lobby Congress for more drug court funding and opened a rehab centre at his former mansion. What a remarkable legacy to leave behind. #MatthewPerry pic.twitter.com/6htbpxiWeK
— Neel Bhatt (@_Neelsreeldeel) October 29, 2023
How Matthew Perry wanted to be remembered. I think we can honour his wishes today. pic.twitter.com/JccrJOZfKQ
— All That Dazzles (@ATDazzles) October 29, 2023
Fellow actors and celebrities share their memories of Perry.
I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my “son”, Matthew Perry. The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock. I’m sending love & condolences to his friends & family, especially his dad, John Bennett Perry, who I worked with on Flamingo Road & Falcon Crest. #RIPMatthew pic.twitter.com/QWMsBVJEAr
— Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) October 29, 2023
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Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening. I’ll never forget the schoolyard games we used to play, and I know people around the world are never going to forget the joy he brought them. Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved – and you will be missed.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 29, 2023