Publication date November 3, 2023
Matthew Perry, Chandler Bing on ‘Friends,’ Dies at 54
Matthew Perry, the beloved ‘Friends’ star who brought so much joy to people's lives, died suddenly at 54.
Source: Rolling Stone
As a lifelong show fan, I was devastated to hear the news. Perry's portrayal of Chandler Bing was one of the reasons why the show was so successful. He was funny, charming, and relatable.
The hit '90s TV sitcom ‘Friends,’ which is about six young friends living in New York City, aired from 1994 until 2004. Its final episode is the most-watched TV episode of the 2000s, with 52.5 million in the US.
Law enforcement told US media, the actor was found dead at his home in Los Angeles. According to the LA Times and TMZ, which first reported that Perry had died, he was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his house.
A spokesperson from the Los Angeles Fire Department told the BBC that first responders went to an address in the Pacific Palisades area, regarding a "water emergency" of an unknown type, but did not name Perry.
Warner Bros, which produced the long-running loved show described Perry as a "true gift to us all".
On that note, in this post, we will remember Matthew Perry for the talented actor and comedian that he was. We will also look at how his death has impacted his fans and the world of entertainment.
‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to an actor father and a journalist mother. As a youngster when his parents split, Perry went to live with her mother in Ottawa, Canada.
Growing up, Matthew pursued his passion for tennis and he was a talented tennis player. He later became a top-ranked tennis player in Canada. But, like his father, Perry also developed an interest in acting after moving to Los Angeles when he was a teen to live with him.
In 1979, Perry’s first credited role was a small part in the drama series “240-Robert.” From there, other small parts came his way in shows including “Charles in Charge,” “Silver Spoons” and “The Tracey Ullman Show.”
His first film role was while Matthew was still in high school, played opposite River Phoenix in the 1988 film “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon.”
A year before when this film was released, Perry starred in the sitcom “Second Chances” which was later renamed as “Boys Will Be Boys”. The series is about a man who dies and returns to earth to mentor his younger self, played by Perry.
Unfortunately, the series failed to find its audience, but Matthew continued to land more high-profile roles in TV projects including “Growing Pains.” “Who’s The Boss” and Beverly Hills, 90210.”
Chandler ‘Friends’ Fame
But, it was his role as the affable and sarcastic Chandler on the sitcom “Friends” that made him famous.
The funny and quirky role earned Matthew a Primetime Emmy nomination in 2002. He also garnered four other nominations for the prestigious TV acting award, including two for his turn as Joe Quincy on “The West Wing.”
Matthew Perry, on ‘Friends,’ starred alongside Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, and Jennifer Aniston in the comedy about a tight-knit group of friends living in New York City.
The cast of Friends became icons of NBC's legendary "Must-See TV" lineup, achieving a level of fame unprecedented in television history.
Even on the off-screen, the actors became as close as their characters on the show and they also became some of the highest-paid actors on a television series at the time.
The show was clearly a stepping stone for Matthew as it helped bolster his career. He soon landed roles on the big screen in 1997’s “Fools Rush In,” “Almost Heroes” in 1998, and “The Whole Nine Yards” in 2000.
Aside from his best-known TV series, ‘Friends’, Perry also starred in “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “The Odd Couple,” and “Mr. Sunshine.”
Matthew Perry’s Memoir
Source: The New York Times
In his book, he revealed that his opioid abuse led to a colon rupture when he was 49. Doctors gave him a two percent chance of survival, and he was in a coma for two weeks followed by months more in the hospital.
Matthew required 14 surgeries to help repair all of the abdominal damage, and he admitted to having gone to rehab 15 times over the years to kick drug addiction.
“What I’m most surprised with is my resilience,” he told People, in reference to the book. “The way that I can bounce back from all of this torture and awfulness. Wanting to tell the story, even though it’s a little scary to tell all your secrets in a book, I didn’t leave anything out. Everything’s in there.”
Perry's story of addiction and recovery is one of courage and resilience. He was brutally honest about his struggles in his memoir, and he has inspired many people with his story.
Perry told CBS in an interview, “I was taking 55 Vicodin a day, I weighed 128 pounds, I was on Friends getting watched by 30 million people—and that’s why I can’t watch the show, ’cause I was brutally thin,”
“I didn’t watch the show, and haven’t watched the show, because I could go, ‘Drinking, opiates, drinking, cocaine, I could tell season by season, by how I looked. That’s why I don’t wanna watch it, because that’s what I see,” he added.
In his book he also wrote about his dating life, In 2018, Matthew began dating literary manager Molly Hurwitz, and the pair got engaged in 2020.
But they ended their engagement in 2021, with Matthew saying in a statement at the time, “Sometimes things just don’t work out and this is one of them. I wish Molly the best.”
It is a heartbroken moment for many people that Matthew Perry is dead. The verified Instagram account for “Friends” posted a heartfelt tribute to Matthew on Saturday night, writing, “We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all.”
Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler’s on-and-off girlfriend Janice on the show, wrote on her Instagram, “What a loss.”
“The world will miss you, Mathew Perry, 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,” she added.
Selma Blair, who also played a charterer on “Friends” called Matthew her “oldest boyfriend” on her Instagram account. She wrote, “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.”
Michael Rapaport, who played Gary's role in four episodes of the show, wrote on X that Perry was “Always so nice, cool, chill & talented.” He added, “You are a part of American Culture and will live on forever.”
Perry’s “Odd Couple” costar Yvette Nicole Brown paid tribute to her late friend on X, writing that the show’s “family suffered a great loss today. The entire entertainment world has.”
She also described Perry as “a sweetheart who deserved more peace in this life. 54 is too young to go.”