Matthew Perry dies aged 54: Tributes pour in for 'colossal talent' after Friends star 'drowns in jacuzzi at home'

29 October 2023, 01:34 | Updated: 29 October 2023, 11:41

Tributes pour in after Friends star Matthew Perry dies aged 54 in 'suspected jacuzzi drowning'
Tributes pour in after Friends star Matthew Perry dies aged 54 in 'suspected jacuzzi drowning'. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kieran Kelly and Kit Heren

Friends star Matthew Perry has died aged 54 in a suspected drowning.

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Perry, who was best known for his role as Chandler Bing on Friends, died in a suspected drowning.

Emergency services rushed to Perry's home in Los Angeles following reports of a cardiac arrest.

The Los Angeles Times reported that authorities rushed to the scene at around 4pm on Saturday.

Perry had gone out with a friend to play pickleball - a sport similar to tennis but played on a smaller court - before sending his assistant out on an errand. He was said to have been found dead when they came home.

Foul play is not being considered and no drugs were found at the scene.

Fans and friends paid tribute to Perry, with some laying flowers outside the iconic Friends apartment building in New York.

Actor Matthew Perry
Actor Matthew Perry. Picture: Getty

Perry became a worldwide star after appearing in Friends, and was nominated for an Emmy. He starred in all 234 episodes across 10 seasons from 1994-2004.

He joined his co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer for a reunion special hosted by James Corden in 2021.

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Matthew Perry and co-star Matt LeBlanc
Matthew Perry and co-star Matt LeBlanc. Picture: Alamy

He also starred in 'Boys Will Be Boys,' 'Growing Pains,' 'Charles in Charge,' 'Sydney,' 'Beverly Hills, 90210,' 'Home Free,' and 'Ally McBeal'.

Perry also starred in a number of Hollywood movies, including '17 Again' and 'Fools Rush In'.

Fans from across the world have taken to social media to express their shock at Perry's death.

His memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, was released towards the end of last year.

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry. Picture: Alamy

In the book, Perry detailed that he spent weeks in a coma due to drug abuse. He also revealed that he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction while he starred on Friends.

"I loved everything about the show but I was struggling with my addictions which only added to my sense of shame," he wrote. "If I didn't get the laugh I was supposed to get I would freak out.

"I felt that every single night. This pressure left me in a bad place. I also knew of the six people making that show, only one of them was sick."

Friends and former co-workers said they were shocked by Perry's death.

Matthew Perry in June this year
Matthew Perry in June this year. Picture: Getty

Morgan Fairchild, who played Perry's on-screen mother Nora Bing in Friends, said: "I'm heartbroken about the untimely death of my 'son', Matthew Perry."

"The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock".

Maggie Wheeler, who played his former girlfriend Janice on the show, added: "What a loss.The world will miss you".

She said: "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".

Paget Brewster, who played recurring character Kathy on the show, said she was "so very sad" to hear about Perry's death/

"He was lovely to me on Friends and every time I saw him in the decades after. Please read his book. It was his legacy to help.

"He won’t rest in peace though. He’s already too busy making everyone laugh up there."

Warner Bros TV, which produced friends said: "We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry".

Matthew Perry and Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston
Matthew Perry and Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston. Picture: Getty

They said in a statement: "Matthew was an incredibly gifted actor and an indelible part of the Warner Bros. Television Group family.

"The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of so many. This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our love to his family, his loved ones, and all of his devoted fans."

A friend told MailOnline: "Everyone is in a total state of shock. People are crying on the phone and struggling to accept this news.

"It's no secret that he struggled with drugs and alcohol for years but the last time I spoke to him, which was within the last few weeks, he seemed to be in a good place.

Matthew Perry in 2016
Matthew Perry in 2016. Picture: Alamy

"He was upbeat and sounded sober and positive.

"He'd been to rehab 17 times and nearly died from opioid abuse but he was someone who was sincere about taking his life, and his sobriety, one day at a time.

"It's such tragic news. Everyone is praying he didn't relapse. Matt was a genuinely lovely guy. He was always the first to welcome newcomers to the group and would always volunteer to help and be of service.

"We are all struggling to come to terms with this terrible news."

Others from the world of showbiz also shared tributes to Perry on Sunday.

Actress Viola Davis said: ""Your book shifted so many close to my heart. The people no one sees and most throwaway. It was a gift. 

"Beyond the joy you brought to many, your heart reigned supreme. Rest well... know that you brought love."

British comedian Omid Djalili said: "Regardless of being aware of his demons with drink & drugs and despite the world facing humanitarian catastrophes & seismic challenges that threaten our very existence right now, it’s still a shock to wake up to news about the sad passing of a colossal talent like Matthew Perry."

Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison, known for his role as Neil in the popular British comedy, said: "Matthew Perry was a huge inspiration to me growing up.

"My friends & I would come into school having memorised his sarcastic one-liners, speech patterns, even Chandler's dance.

"He brought me so much joy & without knowing it he encouraged me to pursue acting. Thank you."

Matthew Perry with the Friends cast
Matthew Perry with the Friends cast. Picture: Getty

Born in 1969 in Massachusetts, Perry grew up in Ottawa in Canada, where his mother was a political speechwriter. His parents were separated.

He was a highly rated tennis player as a teenager, but moved to Los Angeles to be closer to his father, John Bennett Perry, who was also an actor.

There Perry began featuring in several successful TV shows before landing his iconic role in Friends.

He never got married, and although he was engaged to talent manager Molly Hurwitz, the relationship ended in 2021.

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