Friends Cast and Celebrities Pay Tribute to Matthew Perry

Friends star Matthew Perry died at age 54, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed on Oct. 28. Citing law enforcement sources, multiple outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, reported that the Emmy-nominated actor drowned in a hot tub at his LA area home.

An LAPD spokesperson noted that Perry’s cause of death was not likely to be determined for some time. A day later, the Los Angeles coroner’s office updated Perry’s case online, saying his cause of death has been “deferred.” This typically means that an autopsy has been completed, but the examiner has requested additional investigation into his death.

In the hours after the news broke, shocked friends and co-stars paid tribute to Perry and his nearly four-decade career in television, during which he most famously portrayed Chandler Bing on NBC’s Friends for 10 seasons.

“We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry,” Warner Bros. Television Group, which produced Friends, said in a statement. “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.”

Friends Guest Stars Mourn Perry

As of publication, none of the core Friends cast — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow — had made a public statement. However, several of the Emmy-winning comedy’s guest stars shared memories of Perry on social media.

Maggie Wheeler, who starred as Chandler’s on-and-off girlfriend, Janice, wrote on Instagram, “What a loss. The world will miss you Mathew Perry. The joy you brought to so many in your too short lifetime will live on. I feel so very blessed by every creative moment we shared.”

Meanwhile, Morgan Fairchild, who played Perry’s onscreen mother, wrote, “I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my ‘son’, Matthew Perry. The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock.”

Kathleen Turner, who portrayed Chandler’s father, Helena Handbasket, also paid tribute to the late actor, telling People she is “very sad for Matthew” after learning of his passing. “He had a good sense of humor and a good heart. He liked other people, which, to me, is terribly important, especially for an actor,” Turner added.

The 69-year-old actor also recalled when Perry visited her backstage at one of her Broadway shows. “When he saw me, he yelled out, ‘Hey dad’ and everyone thought it was pretty cool,” Turner revealed.

After appearing as Wendy in one Friends Season 9 episode, Selma Blair captioned an Instagram photo, “My oldest boy friend. All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams.”

Blair also opened up about grieving Perry on Nov. 7, telling Extra that the Friends star “really loved touching people and his comedy was therapy.” Blair continued: “It’s good to grieve. We realize how precious things are when we have the dark seasons. And so I gladly hold this dark season for Matthew, who meant so much to me.”

Meanwhile, Paget Brewster, aka Chandler’s love interest Kathy, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that she was “so very sad” to learn of Perry’s death, adding, “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.”

Aisha Tyler, who played Charlie Wheeler in nine episodes, highlighted Perry’s unparalleled “gentleness and generosity of spirit,” in her Instagram tribute. “I learned how to tell a joke perfectly just by watching him work. And I will never forget the moment he leaned in, on my first night of taping Friends, to tell me warmly, ‘get ready for your life to change,’” she captioned a black-and-white image of the late actor.

A Beloved Co-Worker

With acting credits dating back to 1979, Perry carved a legacy as a treasured co-star, as evidenced by memorials from other former castmates. On Instagram, Alyssa Milano shared clips from Who’s the Boss?, calling Perry (aka “Matty”) the “funniest person in the room. And the KINDEST.” She also remembered them playing church Bingo together, writing, “You made me laugh that painful kind of laugh. A cry laugh.”

Shannen Doherty posted a memorial to late ‘Friends’ actor Matthew Perry on Instagram, following his Oct. 28 death.

Other celebrities who paid tribute to Perry on social media included Mira Sorvino, his co-star in the 1994 TV movie Parallel Lives, and Shannen Doherty, whom he both dated and guest-starred with on Beverly Hills, 90210. “Matt always had THAT sense of humor,” Doherty wrote, sharing personal memories from their “lifetime” friendship. “Shock and sadness prevail.”

Perry’s fellow cast members from CBS’ The Odd Couple reboot, including Thomas Lennon, Yvette Nicole Brown, Lisa Ann Walter, and Wendell Pierce, also reacted to Perry’s death. While Brown reflected on the “great loss,” Walter recalled a “beautiful” moment on set when Perry “smiled so big I thought he’d crack his face.”

In an Oct. 29 Instagram caption, Gwyneth Paltrow revisited the “magical summer” she met Perry at the 1993 Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. “We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass,” she shared, noting that he’d just shot the Friends pilot at the time.

“He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner. It was. We stayed friends for a while until we drifted apart, but I was always happy to see him when I did. I am super sad today, as so many of us are. I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do.”

Perry’s Ex-Fiancée Paid Tribute

The late actor’s ex-fiancée, Molly Hurwitz, spoke of her “profound” relationship with Perry on Instagram.

“He would love that the world is talking about how talented he was. And he really was very talented,” she wrote in a tribute on Oct. 30. “No one in my adult life has had a more profound impact on me than Matthew Langford Perry. I have tremendous gratitude for that, for everything I learned from our relationship.”

Perry and Hurtwitz began dating in 2018 and got engaged two years later in 2020. However, the pair called off their engagement in 2021. “Sometimes things just don’t work out and this is one of them,” Perry told PEOPLE of their split. “I wish Molly the best.”

More Celebs Memorialize Perry

Perry’s elementary school classmate, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, called his friend’s death “shocking and saddening,” on X. “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,” Trudeau wrote, adding that Perry was “loved” and “will be missed.”

Though Adele never met Perry, she paused her Las Vegas show on Oct. 28 to honor him as “probably the best comedic character of all time.” Per the Los Angeles Times, the Grammy winner told the audience, “He was so open with his struggles with addiction and sobriety, which I think is incredibly, incredibly brave.”

As the news of Perry’s passing circulated, countless more tributes flooded social media, including more from Olivia Munn, Rumer Willis, Melissa Joan Hart, Josh Charles, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis, who referenced his 2022 book, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

“This is devastating,” Davis summed up on Instagram. “Your book shifted so many close to my heart. The people no one sees and most throwaway. It was a gift. Beyond the joy you brought to many, your heart reigned supreme. Rest well…..know that you brought love.”

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