Matthew Perry death: ‘devastated’ stars remember Friends actor after apparent drowning

Former colleagues and stars have paid tribute to Friends actor Matthew Perry, who died on Saturday night at his home in Los Angeles.

The 54-year-old actor, beloved for his performance in the hit sitcom as the sarcastic Chandler Bing, was found dead in an apparent drowning, his representative told NBC News. A Los Angeles fire department spokesperson confirmed first responders were called to Perry’s home in Pacific Palisades about a “water emergency”.

Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler’s girlfriend Janice in Friends, said the joy Perry brought to “so many” in his “too short lifetime will live on”.

“I feel so very blessed by every creative moment we shared,” she wrote on Instagram.

Morgan Fairchild, who played Chandler’s mother Nora Bing, said: “I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my ‘son’ … The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock.”

Matthew Perry in 2016.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who knew Perry as a boy when Perry’s mother worked as an aide to his father, Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, described his death was “shocking and saddening.”

“I’ll never forget the schoolyard games we used to play, and I know people around the world are never going to forget the joy he brought them. Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved – and you will be missed,” he said.

The actor Wendell Pierce, who starred alongside Perry in the remake of The Odd Couple, wrote on X: “Damn. For two years Matthew Perry was my boss, my colleague, and a giving, kind, funny man. I pray and hope he is at peace.”

The actor Selma Blair wrote on Instagram that Perry was “my oldest boy friend”.

“All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day,” Blair wrote. “I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams.”

Mira Sorvino, who starred with Perry in the 1994 movie Parallel Lives, wrote on X: “Oh no!!! Matthew Perry!! You sweet, troubled soul!! May you find peace and happiness in Heaven, making everyone laugh with your singular wit!!!”

Actor Paget Brewster, who played Chandler’s girlfriend Kathy in season four of Friends, wrote on X: “He was lovely to me on Friends and every time I saw him in the decades after. Please read his book. It was his legacy to help. He won’t rest in peace though. He’s already too busy making everyone laugh up there.”

Meredith Salenger, who starred in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon with Perry when he was 16, shared four photos of them together. “Matthew and I have known each other since [we] were 16 years old. Oh man. No words. Rest in peace sweet @MatthewPerry,” she said.

“What a tragic piece of news to read,” actor George Takei wrote. “My heart goes out to his loved ones and long time cast mates.”

Canadian-American comedian Tom Green wrote: “Shocked and saddened to just hear about the passing of Matthew Perry in a tragic drowning. He is one of the many talented and incredible success stories from my hometown of Ottawa Canada. Rest in peace Matthew.”

Broadcaster Piers Morgan called Perry “a great actor, but by his own admission, a very tormented guy. His recent autobiography about his addiction-ravaged life was one of the most powerful, honest and revealing I’ve ever read. Such sad news.”

Warner Bros Television Group, which produced Friends for its entire run from 1994 to 2004, said in a statement: “We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry. Matthew was an incredibly gifted actor and an indelible part of the Warner Bros Television Group family. The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of so many. This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our love to his family, his loved ones, and all of his devoted fans.”

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

The official Friends account on X, formerly known as Twitter, shared: “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.”