Friends alum Maggie Wheeler is mourning the death of her former costar Matthew Perry.
“What a loss. The world will miss you, Matthew Perry,” Wheeler, 62, wrote via Instagram on Saturday, October 28, sharing a throwback pic of the twosome filming Friends. “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.”
News broke earlier on Saturday that Perry had died at the age of 54. According to the Los Angeles Times, law enforcement officials responded to a call at the actor’s home in California. Upon arrival, they found Perry unresponsive in a jacuzzi. A cause of death has not been confirmed, with the newspaper reporting that police officers are currently conducting an investigation.
Representatives for Perry did not immediately respond to Us Weekly’s request for comment. The L.A. coroner’s office confirmed Perry’s death on Sunday.
Perry rose to fame playing the sarcastic Chandler Bing on NBC’s Friends, which aired for 10 seasons beginning in 1994. On the sitcom, Chandler dated Wheeler’s Janice on and off during the early seasons. Chandler ultimately broke up with Janice by claiming he was moving from New York City to Yemen.
In addition to Perry and Wheeler, Friends also starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer. (Wheeler was a recurring guest star.)
“That cast is a family. Everybody looked out for each other no matter what,” Wheeler exclusively told Us Weekly in January. “They became enormous celebrities together.”
While Friends grew in popularity and made its stars household names, Perry struggled with addiction behind the scenes. Perry even went to rehab twice, first in 1997 and again in 2001.
“He has had struggles that have been so dark and so unbearable and he’s such a survivor to still be here and to be out and sharing his story with the world,” Wheeler recalled to Us before praising Perry for telling his story in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. “I think it’s brave and extraordinary and I’m certain that he’s helping people by doing it.”
She continued at the time: “I lost my brother to drug addiction, so I’m no stranger to how difficult a journey it is and a struggle it is. I’m so proud of Matthew and how hard he’s fought for his life.”
After finishing Perry’s book, Wheeler felt “honored to read it” and learn more about his experiences. “‘I really need to write to him and let him know how much I love him,” she added to Us earlier this year.