Matthew Perry, renowned for his role in “Friends,” was discovered lifeless in a hot tub at his Los Angeles residence on a Saturday. He was 54 years old.
Around 4 p.m., authorities arrived at his home after receiving the call, and they found him unresponsive. Sources, speaking anonymously due to the ongoing investigation, did not specify a cause of death. Although no drugs were found at the scene, prescription medications were reportedly found at the residence, prompting a toxicology examination as part of the inquiry. As of the time of reporting, a representative for Perry had not yet responded to The Times’ request for comment.
Los Angeles Police Capt. Scot Williams, who leads the Robbery Homicide Division investigating Perry’s demise, mentioned that the cause of death might remain uncertain for some time, but foul play is not currently suspected. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office will ultimately determine the cause of death, and their official finding was deferred pending further testing.
Warner Bros. Television Group, the producer of “Friends,” expressed profound sorrow at the loss of Matthew Perry. In their statement to The Times, they acknowledged his exceptional acting talent and his enduring impact on the world through his comedic genius. They offered condolences to his family, loved ones, and devoted fans.
NBC, the network that aired “Friends” for all ten seasons, also conveyed their deep sadness at Matthew Perry’s untimely passing. They praised his impeccable comedic timing and witty humor, noting that his legacy would endure through generations to come.
On a Saturday evening, the entrance to Blue Sail Drive, a luxurious street just off the Pacific Coast Highway, was cordoned off with bright yellow-and-black LAPD crime scene tape. Perched on a hill with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, it was an unlikely site for an unfolding tragedy.
Slightly past 7 p.m., with multiple helicopters buzzing overhead, Matthew Perry’s mother, Suzanne, and her husband, broadcaster Keith Morrison, arrived at the scene. Morrison chose not to make any statements. An LAPD officer stationed at the scene could provide no information, leaving those present in the dark.
Peter, a neighbor of Perry’s on Bluesail Drive, who preferred not to disclose his last name on that Saturday evening, recalled his brief encounter with the actor. He described Perry as “very pleasant” and a “nice guy.” As he waited for LAPD approval to pass through the police tape, he expressed his shock at the situation. Peter had seen Perry working on his house for a while and had seen no signs of trouble. He found the situation very sad.
Leo, another neighbor who also declined to share his full name, mentioned the arrival of an ambulance at Perry’s house earlier that day. However, he didn’t divulge whether paramedics attempted to resuscitate Perry or removed a body from the premises. Leo expressed his shock and sadness, describing Perry as one of his favorite actors and the funniest member of the “Friends” cast.
“I encountered him once, and he was very, very friendly, more so than I thought,” Leo said. He considered the situation a tragedy, especially considering Perry’s relatively young age. He was deeply saddened by the events.
Matthew Perry, born in 1969, was the son of actor John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Marie Langford, who had once served as the press secretary of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Perry grew up between Canada and Los Angeles following his parents’ separation when he was just one year old.
His journey in the entertainment industry began as a child actor, with guest appearances on shows like “Charles in Charge” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.” In the 1980s and early 1990s, he acted alongside River Phoenix in the film “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon.”
However, his breakthrough came when he landed a role in “Friends,” initially titled “Friends Like Us.” This sitcom about six single New Yorkers navigating adulthood debuted on NBC in 1994 and quickly became a cultural phenomenon. The show anchored NBC’s Thursday-night “Must-See TV” lineup and catapulted Perry and his co-stars to super-stardom. At its peak, the series drew more than 50 million live viewers, and the cast was earning over $1 million per episode by the time it concluded in 2004.
As Chandler Bing, the quick-witted and handsome roommate of Joey Tribbiani and later the love interest of Monica Geller, Perry stood out in an ensemble cast. His dry delivery gave rise to a memorable catchphrase, and he became an iconic part of the series. Beyond television, Perry became associated with major stars like Julia Roberts and appeared in notable films such as the 1997 romantic comedy “Fools Rush In” alongside Salma Hayek and the 2000 ensemble mob comedy “The Whole Nine Yards” with Bruce Willis.