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Friends star Matthew Perry dead age 54

"The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world," Warner Bros. said in a statement of the star

Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
ReporterLos Angeles
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Friends star Matthew Perry has died at the age 54. 

UPDATE: "We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry," Warner Bros. said in a statement given to HELLO! 

"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."

Matthew Perry arrives at the 9th Annual Dinner Benefiting the Lili Claire Foundation at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 14, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California© Getty
Matthew was known for his work on Friends

TMZ first published the news that the actor was found on Saturday October 28 in his jacuzzi by his assistant, who had been sent out on errands after Matthew had returned home from a game of pickleball.  The Los Angeles Times has also confirmed news of the actor's death and reported no drugs were found at the scene.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that officers responded to a call at the actor's address regarding the death of a male in his 50s, but did not confim the identity of the deceased.  

Representatives for Matthew have not yet responded to queries from HELLO!

Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay© NBC
Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, second left, with the cast of Friends

Matthew is most well known for his role as Chandler Bing in the comedy Friends which ran for 10 years between 1992 and 2002 but off-screen he battled with devastating addictions to alcohol and drugs.

One of his last pictures posted on Instagram saw the actor in his jacuzzi, as he continued to share lighthearted pics to his Instagram feed, jokingly referencing his 'Mattman" theme, and sharing a picture of a jack-o-lantern with a Batman carving and a sign that read 'Batman Plays Pickleball'.

Matthew Perry poses with his father John Bennett Perry© Instagram
Matthew posed with his father John

Another featured his beloved father and Friends co-star, John Bennett Perry. Captioning the snap, Matthew wrote: "Here is me, and my father John, both holding a beverage." 

Born August 19, 1969 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Matthew was raised by his mother in Ottawa, Ontario, and was educated at both the Rockcliffe Park Public School, alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and at Ashbury College. His mom, Suzanne Morrison, was a journalist and press secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin’s father, and his stepfather is Dateline‘s Keith Morrison. 

At the age of 15, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting, and made several appearances on various TV shows until he got his big break at the age of 23 for a new NBC comedy called Friends

Also starring Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc and Lisa Kudrow the show was a huge success and by its tenth season they were each making $1million per episode.  

In 2021 the six stars came together on the Warner Bros lot for the first time publicly in 19 years for a read-through, a chat about their time on the show and a game of Ross' Gellar's iconic quiz.

Get your first glimpse at the Friends reunion

However during his many years as Chandler Bing on the hit show, he was on and off the wagon with his addiction to alcohol, and the actor revealed that at one point he was down to 128 pounds and taking 55 Vicodin a day. 

"I didn't know how to stop," he said. "If the police came over to my house and said, 'If you drink tonight, we're going to take you to jail,' I'd start packing. I couldn't stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older."

Matthew and Courteney Cox in "The One with the Truth About London" from 2001© NBC
Matthew and Courteney Cox in "The One with the Truth About London" from 2001

A year ago he released his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in which he revealed he had almost died at the age of 49 when his colon burst from opioid overuse, leaving him spending weeks fighting for his life. 

What followed was five months in hospital and nine with a colostomy bag. 

Matthew admitted: "The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live. I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that's called a Hail Mary. No one survives that."

Matthew Perry poses at a photocall for "The End Of Longing", a new play which he wrote and stars in at The Playhouse Theatre in London© David M. Benett
Matthew Perry poses at a photocall for "The End Of Longing", a new play which he wrote and stars in at The Playhouse Theatre in London

"There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived," he added. 

"So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason."

He has been to rehab no fewer than 15 times and although he continues to battle the demons, he told People: "I'm pretty healthy now," and then joked: "I've got to not go to the gym much more, because I don't want to only be able to play superheroes. But no, I'm a pretty healthy guy right now."

He has always insisted, however, that his castmates, "were understanding, and they were patient," but ultimately he could only help himself. 

As well as Friends, he also appeared in The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and The Odd Couple, and his movie credits include Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, and 17 Again. 

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