Matthew Perry Dies: ‘Friends’ Star Was 54

Matthew Perry at the Disney ABC Television Group Summer 2010 Press Tour, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA. 08-01-10 — Photo by s_bukley/Deposit Photos

Tributes are pouring in for Friends actor Matthew Perry, who died Saturday, Oct. 28, in Los Angeles at age 54.

Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home in L.A.’s exclusive Pacific Palisades neighborhood around 4 p.m. local time, according to TMZ and the Los Angeles Times.

The actor’s personal assistant dialed 911, TMZ reported. Citing sources, the outlet said paramedics responded to a call regarding a cardiac arrest.

When first responders arrived, Perry appeared to have drowned. There were no drugs at the scene and there was no evidence of foul play, the outlet said.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating Perry’s death. Sources told the L.A. Times the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, which handles high-profile cases, also responded to the home.

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Friends aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004. (Credit: NBCUniversal)
Friends aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004. (Credit: NBCUniversal)

Both outlets published photos of yellow crime scene tape outside Perry’s house in the 18000 block of Blue Sail Drive. LAPD officers stood in the driveway and walked around the home.

The L.A. County coroner’s office will determine the cause of death.

As news spread that Perry had died, his friends and former colleagues remembered him on social media.

Yvette Nicole Brown and Wendell Pierce, who co-starred with Perry on the CBS remake of The Odd Couple, posted tributes on X (formerly Twitter).

“Our #OddCouple family suffered a great loss today. The entire entertainment world has. I am too sad about the news to say more than this: @mattyperry4 was a sweetheart who deserved more peace in this life. 54 is too young to go. We love you, Matty!” Brown shared.

“For 2 years Matthew Perry was my boss, my colleague, and a giving, kind, funny man. I pray and hope he is at peace,” Pierce wrote.

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Thomas Lennon, Wendell Pierce, Yvette Nicole Brown, Lindsay Sloan, Matthew Perry at the CBS, CW, Showtime Summer 2016 TCA Party, Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA 08-10-16 — Photo by s_bukley/Deposit Photos
The Odd Couple cast – Thomas Lennon, Wendell Pierce, Yvette Nicole Brown, Lindsay Sloan, Matthew Perry in 2016. (Creidt: S. Bukley/Deposit Photos)

Morgan Fairchild, who played Perry’s mom on Friends, said she’s devastated.

“I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my ‘son’ … The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock,” Fairchild shared in an Instagram Story.

Aisha Tyler, who had a multi-episode guest role on the NBC sitcom, remembered Perry for his “kindness and laughter.”

“He had a gentleness and generosity of spirit that was unparalleled. I learned how to tell a joke perfectly just by watching him work,” Tyler shared on Instagram. “And I will never forget the moment he leaned in, on my first night of taping Friends, to tell me warmly, ‘get ready for your life to change.’ Rest well, Matthew Perry. Thank you for the kindness and laughter.”

As of publication time, Perry’s Friends co-stars had not released public statements.

A tribute on the official Friends account on X read, “We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans.”

“He brought so much joy to hundreds of millions of people around the world with his pitch perfect comedic timing and wry wit,” NBC added. “His legacy will live on through countless generations.”

Warner Bros. Television, which produced Friends, said in a statement: “We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans.”

Perry landed his breakout role as the sarcastic Chandler Bing on Friends at age 24, and co-starred on the hit series over the duration of its run, from 1994-2004.

The former child actor had a history of substance abuse and detailed his struggles with opioid and alcohol addiction in his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

He said as his star rose, his alcohol addiction got worse. At one point,  things were so bad that his colon burst from opioid abuse and he spent two weeks in a coma.

“The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” Perry shared in the book. “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.”

He continued, “There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived. So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason.”

Perry said he wanted to help others by sharing his story.

The actor was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on Aug. 19, 1969, and graduated from high school in Los Angeles.

His father is actor John Bennett Perry. His mother, Suzanne Morrison, was a press secretary for Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and is married to Dateline correspondent Keith Morrison.

In addition to his breakout role on Friends, Perry had parts on the TV shows Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine, The Good Wife, Silver Spoons, Growing Pains, The West Wing, Ally McBeal, Scrubs, Charles in Charge, Beverly Hills, 90210, and other shows.

On the big screen, he had roles in the films Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, Parallel Lives, and Three to Tango.