Reports say that Matthew Perry, renowned for his portrayal of Chandler Bing in the popular TV sitcom Friends, has passed away at the age of 54.
According to NBC News and other US outlets, Matthew Perry reportedly drowned at his home in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. This information comes from sources, including a representative for the actor and law enforcement.
Following minor roles in Growing Pains, Beverly Hills 90210, and Dream On, Matthew Perry landed a significant part in the NBC sitcom Friends in 1994. The show, centered around six friends in New York City, swiftly became a cultural phenomenon, clinching numerous Emmys and achieving record-breaking ratings.
Perry, who was 24 when he joined the cast, remained a key figure throughout the show's 10 seasons. The series finale drew in over 52 million US viewers, making it the most-watched TV episode of the 2000s.
"People come up to me every day and say, 'Hey Chandler!' I don't respond to it," he shared in a 2014 interview. "If somebody says, 'Hi Matthew, I love your work', that's one thing. But if somebody goes 'Yo, Chandler', I don't like that. I'm tired of it. I'm not Chandler."
While working on Friends, Perry also took on film roles, starring in movies like Fools Rush In alongside Salma Hayek, Three to Tango with Neve Campbell, and The Whole Nine Yards with Bruce Willis.
In a 2002 interview with the New York Times, he admitted, "I wanted to be famous so badly. You want the attention, you want the bucks, and you want the best seat in the restaurant. I didn't think what the repercussions would be."
Perry's personal struggles with addiction began in 1997 after a jetski accident led to his reliance on pain medication. He disclosed not remembering three years of his time on Friends and spending over $9 million in his battle for sobriety.
"I was taking 55 Vicodin a day, I weighed 128lbs, I was on Friends getting watched by 30 million people – and that's why I can't watch the show because I was brutally thin," he revealed.
After Friends concluded in 2004, Perry's next leading role on the small screen was in Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which was canceled after one season. In 2009, he starred in the hit comedy 17 Again alongside Zac Efron and made guest appearances on both The Good Wife and The Good Fight.
Perry also headlined the one-season sitcom Go On and a three-season run of a remake of The Odd Couple. In 2016, he wrote and starred in the play The End of Longing, which premiered in the West End and later moved to Broadway.
His autobiography, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, became a bestseller in 2022. Described by The Guardian's Barbara Ellen as "harrowing and revealing about the juncture where extreme compound addiction collides with mega-celebrity," the book includes his reflection: "You have to get famous to know that it's not the answer. And nobody who is not famous will ever truly believe that."