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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Matthew Perry, ‘Friends’ Star, Dies at 54

Matthew Perry, celebrated for his role as Chandler Bing in the beloved sitcom “Friends,” has passed away at the age of 54. The news was confirmed by Captain Scot Williams of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide division. The exact cause of his death remains undetermined, and there are no signs of foul play.

On that fateful day, a distressing 911 call came in at 4:07 p.m. local time, initially reported as a water rescue, according to law enforcement sources. Responders promptly arrived at a residence in Pacific Palisades, but no individuals required hospitalization. Los Angeles police officers from the West L.A. Division were also present at the scene. Subsequently, the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, responsible for investigating high-profile crimes and celebrity cases, responded to the location, although it’s crucial to note that this remains a death investigation with no indications of foul play.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of Matthew Perry’s passing.

Matthew Perry was a household name to American television audiences, having appeared in over 200 episodes throughout all ten seasons of “Friends,” the iconic NBC series that followed the lives of a group of young professionals in Manhattan. Perry starred alongside other notable actors such as Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, and Lisa Kudrow. His character, Chandler Bing, was particularly cherished for his sardonic wit, and “Friends” has maintained its popularity over the decades, even captivating younger audiences in recent years.

Perry’s career extended beyond “Friends,” as he graced several other successful series, including “Boys Will Be Boys,” “Growing Pains,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “The West Wing,” and “Scrubs.” Although he was born in Ottawa, Canada, Perry shifted his focus from a promising tennis career in Canadian juniors to pursue acting when he relocated to Los Angeles at the age of 15. It was at the age of 24 that he joined the ensemble cast of “Friends.”

While “Friends” was his most defining role, Matthew Perry’s television career spanned nearly four decades, with his earliest credit dating back to 1979 when he appeared as a young child in an episode of the cop show “240-Robert,” according to IMDb. Over the years, he grappled with health problems, including a burst colon in 2018, attributed to his struggles with substance abuse, which necessitated multiple surgical interventions.

Warner Bros., the production company behind the long-running series, which found enduring love among new generations of viewers through global reruns, described Matthew Perry as a “true gift to us all.”

Entertainment reporter Sean Mandell expressed the prevailing shock in Los Angeles, with many struggling to believe Perry’s passing. He highlighted the enduring appeal of Chandler Bing’s character, who seamlessly blended sharp humor with genuine warmth.

Maggie Wheeler, who portrayed Chandler’s memorable ex-girlfriend Janice in “Friends,” was the first among Perry’s co-stars to publicly pay tribute to the actor. She conveyed that the joy Matthew Perry brought to so many lives during his “too short lifetime” will endure.

Morgan Fairchild, who played Perry’s on-screen mother and erotic novel writer Nora Bing, expressed her heartbreak over the untimely loss of her “son,” referring to Perry as a brilliant young actor.

Matthew Perry is survived by his parents, John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Perry, who separated when he was a baby, as well as five half-siblings. He never married and had no children, citing inspiration from his father, who was also an actor and made a guest appearance on “Friends” in 1997 as Mr. Burgin, the father of Rachel’s love interest, Josh.

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