Matthew Perry, Friends Star, Dead At 54

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Matthew Perry, one of the breakout stars from Friends as Chandler Bing, has passed away at the age of 54. According to TMZ, the sitcom star was found unresponsive in a jacuzzi at his Hollywood home, but notes that paramedics, per their sources, were responding to a cardiac arrest. First responders have ruled out any foul play or drugs, but regardless of how it happened, the world is saddened at the loss of the iconic star.

Born in Massachusetts, Matthew Perry was raised in Canada by his mom and step-dad before making his film debut in 1988 in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, followed a year later by a three-episode stint on the 80s sitcom Growing Pains. Following years of guest stints, Perry landed his breakout role as Chandler Bing on Friends at the age of 24, making him the youngest of the cast.

As Chandler, Matthew Perry quickly became a fan favorite, notable for his dry, sarcastic delivery. The way he would take care of Joey, from covering his half of the rent to being a supportive friend day in and out, made him one of the most relatable of the cast. Alongside Courtney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer, the role also made Perry an international icon and one of the highest-paid television stars of the early-aughts.

By 2002, the cast of Friends was earning $1 million an episode and were worldwide superstars. Matthew Perry branched away from the sitcom in its later years, starring opposite Bruce Willis in The Whole Nine Yards and its sequel, along with the leading man role alongside Salma Hayek in the rom-com Fools Rush In, all of which were hits. Perry was nominated for an Emmy for his role on Friends and another for his guest star role on The West Wing.

matthew perry
Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry in Friends

Wildly successful, Matthew Perry was struggling behind the scenes with drugs and alcohol. Last year, he released Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, in which he went into detail about this period of his life, even addressing his on-screen weight fluctuations. Perry, in the last year, was completely clean and sober, having turned his life around.

In the years after Friends went off the air, Matthew Perry kept busy, starring in the drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and his sitcom, Go On, both of which aired for one season. Perry then played Felix Unger in The Odd Couple remake, which aired for three seasons. In 2021, Matthew Perry joined the rest of the cast of Friends for Friends: The Reunion on Max, the last time that they were all together.

Away from Hollywood, Matthew Perry was never married, though he did have long relationships with Julia Roberts and Lizzy Caplan. Recently, he was engaged to Molly Hurwitz, a literary manager, but the engagement was broken off in 2021.

Though he was never married and never had any children, Matthew Perry leaves behind an untouchable legacy through his work on Friends, which has been watched countless times by multiple generations. In his memory, be sure to enjoy gum and say more dumb things before 9 AM than most people do all day.