Matthew Perry, ‘Friends’ Actor, Dies at 54

Matthew Perry, the Iconic Chandler Bing from ‘Friends’ has died at the age of 54. Explore the life, career, and struggles of the beloved actor, from his rise to fame to his candid battle with addiction, as we pay tribute to a television legend.

Matthew Perry Death
Friends star Matthew Perry dies at 54.

Matthew Perry, renowned for his portrayal of Chandler Bing on the beloved TV show “Friends,” tragically passed away in a drowning incident at his Los Angeles residence, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, citing law enforcement insiders. He was 54 years old.

This unfortunate incident did not raise suspicions of foul play, according to sources cited by the LA Times. The Los Angeles Fire Department received a distress call for a water rescue at 4:07 p.m., though the precise location remained unclear.

LAPD officer Drake Madison refrained from disclosing the victim’s identity but confirmed that officers were dispatched to an address matching Matthew Perry’s at 4:10 p.m. to investigate the death of a man in his 50s.

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An unnamed representative for Perry confirmed the actor’s passing to NBC, the network that broadcasted “Friends” throughout its 10-season run.

Matthew Perry’s journey began in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he was born to an actor father and a journalist mother. After his parents separated, Perry moved to Ottawa, Canada, to live with his mother during his childhood.

In his formative years, Perry initially pursued his passion for tennis and achieved recognition as a top-ranked tennis player in Canada. However, like his father, his interest in acting blossomed when he relocated to Los Angeles as a teenager.

Perry’s initial credited role was a minor part in the drama series “240-Robert” in 1979. He gradually garnered other small roles in shows such as “Charles in Charge,” “Silver Spoons,” and “The Tracey Ullman Show.”

While still in high school, Perry landed his first film role, appearing alongside River Phoenix in the 1988 film “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon.” A year prior to the film’s release, he starred in the sitcom “Second Chances,” later renamed “Boys Will Be Boys,” where he portrayed a man who dies and returns to earth to mentor his younger self.

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Although this series did not resonate with audiences, Perry continued to secure more prominent roles in TV projects like “Growing Pains,” “Who’s The Boss,” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

However, it was his role as the witty and sarcastic Chandler Bing in the iconic series “Friends” in 1994 that propelled him to stardom. This quirky character earned Perry a Primetime Emmy nomination in 2002 and four other nominations for the prestigious TV acting award, including two for his portrayal of Joe Quincy on “The West Wing.”

On “Friends,” Perry shared the screen with Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, and Lisa Kudrow in the humorous story of a close-knit group of friends residing in New York City. The group became fixtures of NBC’s “Must-See TV” lineup, attaining a level of fame rarely witnessed in television or beyond.

Off-screen, the actors developed a close bond akin to their on-screen characters and famously negotiated together to become some of the highest-paid actors on a television series during that period.

“Friends” bolstered Perry’s career, leading to roles in films such as “Fools Rush In” (1997), “Almost Heroes” (1998), and “The Whole Nine Yards” (2000).

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While “Friends” remains his most celebrated TV series, Perry also starred in other notable shows like “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Mr. Sunshine,” and “The Odd Couple.”

In November 2022, Perry published his memoir, titled “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.” In this candid account, he revealed how his life was profoundly impacted by a colon rupture resulting from his opioid addiction when he was 49.

Medical professionals gave him a mere two percent chance of survival, and he spent two weeks in a coma, followed by months of hospitalization. He underwent 14 surgeries to repair the extensive abdominal damage and disclosed his struggle with rehab, having sought treatment 15 times over the years in an effort to conquer his drug addiction.

Perry’s resilience in the face of adversity stood out, and he openly shared his experiences, stating, “What I’m most surprised with is my resilience.” He did not shy away from revealing his darkest secrets in the book, emphasizing that “Everything’s in there.”

In recent years, Perry was vocal about his battles with addiction, even during the pinnacle of his career. He once shared in a CBC 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.”

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Matthew Perry‘s personal life also made headlines. He started dating literary manager Molly Hurwitz in 2018, and the two got engaged in 2020. However, their engagement came to an end in 2021, with Perry stating, “Sometimes things just don’t work out, and this is one of them. I wish Molly the best.”

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