‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry dies at age 54, reports say

Actor Matthew Perry, renowned for his iconic portrayal of Chandler Bing on the beloved TV series Friends, has passed away at the age of 54, as reported by multiple media outlets. Perry was tragically found deceased due to an apparent drowning at his residence in Los Angeles over the weekend, as detailed by the Los Angeles Times, TMZ, and other sources.

Perry’s breakthrough came when he was cast in Friends at the tender age of 24. He captured our hearts as Chandler throughout the show’s remarkable ten-season journey, portraying a witty, commitment-phobic character who eventually found love in the arms of Monica Geller, played by Courteney Cox.

In a candid interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News Nightline last year, Perry reminisced, “I loved Chandler, I loved the show, and I also knew: Remember this, because it’s going to be the best time of your life.”

However, behind the scenes, Perry grappled with personal demons, primarily addiction. In his memoir, titled Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, published last year and dedicated to fellow addiction sufferers, he bravely shared the painful saga of his battle with substance abuse and the related health challenges. Perry disclosed that he had spent a significant portion of his life in rehab, undergone approximately 65 detoxifications, and endured 14 surgeries.

He revealed, “Whenever I bumped into something that I didn’t really want to share, I would think of the people that I would be helping, and it would keep me going,” in an interview with The New York Times last year.

During his time on the Friends set Perry strived to conceal his addiction struggles and divulged his unhealthy connection to his work. “I felt like I was gonna die if the live audience didn’t laugh, and that’s not healthy for sure,” he wrote in his memoir. “But I could sometimes say a line and the audience wouldn’t laugh, and I would sweat and sometimes go into convulsions. If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get, I would freak out. I felt that every single night. This pressure left me in a bad place. I also knew of the six people making that show, only one of them was sick,” he confessed.

In a heartfelt tribute, Perry’s close friend and co-star, Lisa Kudrow, once said, “Matthew Perry was always the one trying to keep everyone else happy.”

Perry’s talent garnered him an Emmy nomination for his role in Friends and two more for his compelling performance as an associate White House counsel in The West Wing.

Beyond his television success, Perry graced the silver screen in various films, including Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, 17 Again, and the TV series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Matthew Perry, originally hailing from Massachusetts, spent his formative years moving between various parts of Canada, shuttling between his parents’ homes in Los Angeles and Montreal. In Canada, he even achieved national recognition as a junior tennis player. In later years, the actor’s love for sports led him to pickleball, as reported by the Times, and he even had a court constructed at his new residence in the Pacific Palisades.

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