The celebrated actor, Matthew Perry, famed for his role as Chandler Bing in the iconic TV show ‘Friends,’ has passed away at age 54.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide division made the sad announcement, with Capt. Scot Williams confirming the news. At this moment, the cause of death remains undetermined and foul play is not suspected.
Earning recognition on American TV screens, Perry’s unforgettable role in ‘Friends’ spanned 10 seasons with over 200 episodes. The widely popular NBC sitcom revolved around the lives of young professionals in New York City. Perry’s co-stars included renowned actors such as Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, and Lisa Kudrow.
Chandler Bing, the character that Perry brought to life, was distinguished for his sarcastic humor and wit.
The fan favorite show ‘Friends,’ originally broadcast in 1994, continues to be cherished by newer generations even after many years of its original airing.
Beyond his iconic performance in ‘Friends,’ Perry’s career in television stretched across four decades. His first on-screen appearance dates back to 1979 when he featured on the police series ‘240-Robert,’ as per IMDb records. Perry was just 24 when he landed his career-defining role as Chandler Bing.
Perry continued to work on television during the 2010s. Notably, he starred in the 2011 ABC comedy ‘Mr. Sunshine,’ portraying Ben Donovan, the downcast and self-focusing manager of the Sunshine Center, a sports and entertainment hub in San Diego. He reveled in the character of Oscar Madison in a revamped version of ‘The Odd Couple,’ aired on CBS from 2015 to 2017, balance the role of Thomas Lennon’s Felix Unger.
Perry expressed his desire for stardom in a 2002 interview with The New York Times, explaining his burning aspiration for fame, wealth, and recognition. He admitted not being fully aware of the potential consequences of such a life.
Perry’s public and ongoing battle with addiction was a significant part of his life narrative. According to his own account, he spent over half of his life seeking help in treatment centers and sober living housing.
In a memoir published in the previous year titled, ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,’ Perry spoke openly about his struggles with substance abuse over the years.
Perry’s first stint in rehab occurred in 1997 following news reports stating his addiction to prescription painkillers. Additionally, he was admitted to hospital in 2000 for pancreatitis, a condition that can be a result of alcohol and drug misuse.
His struggles with substance abuse continued to yield health issues. In 2018, a series of complications arose, including pneumonia, a ruptured colon, and a short need for life support. His health declined to the extent that he was in a coma for two weeks, used a colostomy bag for nine months, and underwent numerous surgeries for stomach-related issues.
Fourteen years later, in a poignant moment for ‘Friends’ fans worldwide, Perry appeared sober at a reunion of the ever-popular sitcom’s cast. The show was a nostalgic return to memorably iconic sets such as the Central Perk coffee shop, where the cast shared stories from their old episodes.
The news of Perry’s death has been met with an outpouring of grief from fans worldwide and numerous tributes have been shared on multiple social media platforms.
Perry lived an inspiring yet challenging life, leaving a lasting legacy of sincere humor. Tributes from notable figures, including New York-based writer Brandon Lewis, British gastroenterologist Dr. John Leeds, and BTS band member RM, reflect the profound impact he had on their lives, and indeed on the lives of many others around the world.