According to multiple news outlets, actor Matthew Perry, best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the famous television program Friends, has died. He was 54 years old at the time.
According to the Los Angeles Times, celebrity website TMZ, and others, Perry was discovered dead in his Los Angeles home on Saturday, likely drowning.
At the age of 24, Perry was cast in the comedy Friends, which catapulted him to prominence. Throughout the show’s 10-season run, he played Chandler Bing, a character noted for his sardonic yet lovable personality who later fell in love with Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox).
In an interview with ABC News Nightline last year, Matthew Perry stated, “I liked playing Chandler, I liked the show, and I knew, This is your time in your life; remember this because this is the best time in your life.”
Perry, on the other hand, struggled with addiction behind the scenes. In his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” published last year, he described his decades-long battle with booze and pharmaceutical medicines. He chronicled his agonizing struggle with substance misuse in the book, which was dedicated to his fellow sufferers, including spending half of his life in therapy, an estimated 65 trips to rehab, and 14 operations.
“Whenever I’d hit something I didn’t want to deal with,” he told The New York Times last year, “I’d think about the people I could help, and it would buoy me up.”
Perry tried to hide his addiction on set and described his unhealthy relationships alongside his work.
“I felt like if they didn’t laugh live, I would die, and it wasn’t healthy for sure,” he wrote in his memoir. “But sometimes I’ll say a line and they don’t laugh, and I’ll start to sweat and just go into convulsions, and sometimes I’ll get a twinge and it’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, this is what dying is, this is what it’s like to die,’ and then I’ll say, ‘But it’s not dying, it’s just a twinge.'” However, it would be very convincing at the time.”
In the Nightline episode, his friend and co-star Lisa Kudrow said, “Matthew Perry always tried to make everyone happy.”
Perry was nominated for two Emmys for his role as Chandler, as well as two more for his dramatic turns, one for his guest appearance on The West Wing and another for his role as a White House lawyer in the TV movie The Ron Clark Story.
Perry was born in Massachusetts and raised in various parts of Canada as a result of his parent’s divorce, frequently relocating between their homes in Los Angeles and Montreal. He rose to national prominence as a junior tennis player in Canada.
Perry later found solace in pickleball, even constructing a court in his new home in Pacific Palisades.