Matthew Perry, whose spotlight-grabbing performance as Chandler Bing — one of the six in a bunch of young New Yorkers in Friends, the '90s sitcom that has become much-loved across generations — made him one of the most popular faces on TV — passed away on the weekend. Perry, 54, was found dead in a bathtub in his Los Angeles home on Saturday evening and was unresponsive to first responders.Various
Various frames of Matthew Perry
His death was first reported by celebrity news website TMZ, which initially stated that there was no foul play involved. Los Angeles Times reported that no drugs were found at the scene.
However, Perry's lifelong battle with drug addiction is widely known, something that he also acknowledged in length in his November 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.
The Emmy-nominated actor played a host of roles on screens big and small, but it is as the zany and neurotic Chandler in the 10-season series Friends that he will best be remembered for. Initially a commitment phobe, Chandler uses humour as his defence mechanism and eventually ends up falling in love and marrying Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox).
"We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans," Warner Bros Television Group, the producer of Friends, said in a statement.
Perry played the character in all 10 seasons, amounting to a whopping 234 episodes. The gang of actors — also comprising Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer — have remained tight over the years, much after the iconic series ended, with the actors making a memorable reappearance in a Friends Special episode a few years ago. Worth the hype, the 100-minute episode was full of smiles, tears, good ol’ fun and so much nostalgia.
His role as White House counsel Joe Quincy in The West Wing earned Matthew Perry two Emmy Award nominations
But even while he remained Chandler to the world, Perry's struggle with addiction and drug abuse continued. In his memoir last year, he mentioned how he "had almost died at age 49" and was "grateful" for the second chance that life had given him. The telling memoir gives us the lowdown on the actor's life and career, which were marked by both astounding highs and heartbreaking lows.
His near-death experience a few years ago happened because of a gastrointestinal perforation brought on by a narcotic overdose. He spent nine months with a colostomy bag, two weeks in a coma and five months in hospital.
The memoir was an eye-opener, with Perry, who never married and didn't have children, baring it all. "I say in the book that if I did die, it would shock a lot of people but it wouldn't surprise anybody. And that's a very scary thing to be living with," he said in an interview with People magazine shortly before the release of the memoir. His struggle with addiction was well-known in Hollywood. Actor Mira Sorvino, in her condolence post on X early on Sunday, referred to Perry as "a troubled soul". In his memoir, Perry has spoken at length about his addiction and also mentioned that while all his Friends co-stars checked on him, it was Jennifer Aniston "who reached out the most".
He delivered quite a few shocking truths in his November 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing
Since Friends ended in 2004, Perry had quite a few acting stints, including big-screen comedies like The Whole Nine Yards and Fools Rush In. His time on TV was far more lucrative with roles in The Good Wife, The Odd Couple and The West Wing, with the last earning him two Emmy Award nominations.
He also received one Emmy nod for Friends. In his memoir, the actor narrated his feelings when he read the Friends script for the first time. "It was as if someone had followed me around for a year, stealing my jokes, copying my mannerisms, photocopying my world-weary yet witty view of life. One character in particular stood out to me: it wasn’t that I thought I could ‘play’ Chandler. I ‘was’ Chandler," he wrote. Chandler has gone on to become one of the most quotable characters on television. "I am not great at advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?" is one of the many Chandler quotes that continues to find its way to mugs, posters, T-shirts et al. Chandler's "I am going to die alone," feels telling today.
“I make jokes when I am uncomfortable”. As Chandler Bing on Friends and armed with many a quotable quote, Perry almost always played a version of himself
"We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans," @FriendsTV posted on X.
Rest in laughter, Matthew Perry.
“I say more dumb things before 9am than most people say all day.”
“When I first meet somebody it’s usually panic, anxiety, and a great deal of sweating.”
“I am not great at advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”
“It’s always better to lie than to have the complicated discussion.”
“I’m hopeless and awkward and desperate for love!”
“Should I use my invisibility to fight crime, or for evil?”
“Oh, that makes me feel so warm in my hollow, tin chest.”
“I tend to keep talking until somebody stops me.”
“Hi. I’m Chandler Bing. I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable.”
“Oh, man. In my next life, I’m coming back as a toilet brush!”
Matthew Perry (second from right) with his Friends co-stars Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc
MATTHEW IN LIFE
“There are two ways to go when you hit that crossroads in your life: There is the bad way when you sort of give up, and then there is the really hard way when you fight back. I went the hard way and came out of it okay. Now, I’m sitting here and doing great.”
“I would always be the kid that got in trouble in school, that’s for sure, for joking around.”
“If there’s a silence in a room I’ll try to fill it as soon as humanly possible.”
“I loved playing Chandler. I grew up playing that part.”
No one could have played Chandler Bing better than Matthew Perry because... Tell email@example.com