Matthew Perry, best known as Chandler Bing of smash hit sitcom 'Friends', dies at 54

AFP , Sunday 29 Oct 2023

Matthew Perry, one of the stars of smash hit TV sitcom Friends, was found dead at his home Saturday, US media reported. He was 54.

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry (Photo: AFP)

First responders found Perry unconscious in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home and were unable to revive him, law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times.

The LA Times and TMZ, which first reported the news, both said there were no signs of foul play, citing anonymous sources.

Perry was best known for his portrayal of the wise-cracking Chandler Bing on NBC's wildly popular "Friends," which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004.

Perry had battled for years with addiction to painkillers and alcohol, and attended rehabilitation clinics on multiple occasions.

In his memoir "Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing," published last year, Perry described going through detox 65 times, spending some $9 million in attempts to get sober.

Perry experienced health problems including a burst colon in 2018 due to his drug usage, which required a seven-hour surgery and the use of a colostomy bag for months after.

Perry dedicated the book to "all of the sufferers out there," and wrote in the prologue: "I should be dead."

TMZ reported that no drugs were found at the scene on Saturday. It said Perry was found by his assistant, who called 911.

Perry was born in Massachusetts to Canadian and American parents, and was raised in Canada before moving to Los Angeles.

As well as "Friends," Perry appeared in movies such as "Fools Rush In" and "The Whole Nine Yards."

"Friends" followed the lives of six New Yorkers navigating dating, careers and friendship.

Perry and his co-stars -- Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer -- negotiated $1 million each per episode by the end of their colossally popular and zeitgeist-setting 236-episode, 10-year run.

In a sign of the show's enduring appeal, the gang reportedly pocketed $2.5 million each for a reunion episode in 2021.

During that episode, Perry's slurred speech prompted concern among fans.

Perry also surprised his co-stars by admitting to having suffered severe anxiety "every night" during filming.

Perry's representatives did not immediately respond to AFP's request for comment.

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