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Matthew Perry’s family say they are ‘heartbroken’ by Friends star’s ‘tragic’ suspected drowning death, as actor’s body is taken away from his home and autopsy is listed as ‘pending’ on medical examiner’s website


Matthew Perry’s family have spoken out following the actor’s ‘tragic’ death on Saturday at the age of 54.

In a brief statement, the Friends star’s family said: ‘We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother.’

‘Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend.

‘You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.’

Perry’s blended family included his mother, father, two step-parents, five step-siblings 

The historically troubled star was found dead in his hot tub on Saturday afternoon of a suspected drowning, though the LA County coroner’s office currently list’s the case status of the actor’s death as ‘open.’

An autopsy has been scheduled. 

Matthew Perry's remains are stretchered from his Los Angeles home and into a coroner's van Saturday night, hours after his death aged 54

Matthew Perry’s remains are stretchered from his Los Angeles home and into a coroner’s van Saturday night, hours after his death aged 54 

The Friends star is believed to have drowned in a hot tub. Heartbreaking images showed his body leaving his luxurious home for the final time

The Friends star is believed to have drowned in a hot tub. Heartbreaking images showed his body leaving his luxurious home for the final time 

Perry is carefully loaded into the back of the van, which then drove away. A police source claimed prescription drugs were found at the property - but that there were no illegal narcotics there

Perry is carefully loaded into the back of the van, which then drove away. A police source claimed prescription drugs were found at the property – but that there were no illegal narcotics there

Late Saturday night, Perry’s body was stretchered into a coroner’s van from the front door of his LA home.

Staff from the LA County Medical Examiner’s Office loaded Perry’s body into the van before closing its doors and driving off.

Perry is believed to have drowned hours after a game of pickleball, and in a redacted recording of the dispatch audio a man can be heard saying ‘rescue 23’, and ‘drowning’. 

A law enforcement mole told TMZ that investigators had discovered prescription anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills at Perry’s luxurious home, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean – but that no illegal drugs were found inside. 

An official cause of death has not been released and an autopsy is pending.  

The actor, famous for playing Chandler Bing in Friends, was also in possession of a prescription COPD drug.

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, with the meds found at Perry’s home usually used for people with emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

Perry was a smoker and had also battled an addiction to alcohol as well as opiates, but claimed to have been clean shortly before his suspected drowning death.

The fresh revelations came after it was reported that EMTs were called to the home of the Friends star for a ‘water emergency’ and arrived to discover the actor had drowned, it is claimed.

Police sources told NBC News and CNN that they’d initially believed they were attending a possible ‘water rescue’ at the funnyman’s Pacific Palisades home after being called at 4:07pm PST Saturday.

They arrived to find the 54 year-old dead of an apparent drowning in his hot tub, with the LA Times reporting that Perry was ‘unresponsive.’

Perry was not taken to hospital, with a coroner’s van later seen arriving at the property. 

An official cause of death has not yet been announced.  

Perry, best known for playing Chandler Bing in Friends, had reportedly played a two-hour game of Pickleball – a sport similar to tennis but played on a smaller court – earlier in the day, before sending his assistant on an errand. 

When the assistant returned, Perry was said to be unresponsive in his hot tub.

Officers from the LA Police Department’s robbery-homicide division were also sent to the home in Pacific Palisades, but a source said no drugs or signs of foul play were found at the scene.

Police are treating it as a death investigation and the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

Tributes have flooded in for Friends star Matthew Perry after he was found dead yesterday

Tributes have flooded in for Friends star Matthew Perry after he was found dead yesterday 

Perry has died aged 54 (pictured earlier this week, the last time he was seen in public)  at his LA home

Perry has died aged 54 (pictured earlier this week, the last time he was seen in public)  at his LA home

Aerial images show Perry's pool and hot tub where he was reportedly found dead yesterday

Aerial images show Perry’s pool and hot tub where he was reportedly found dead yesterday

Perry rose to fame for his role as 'Chandler Bing' on the hit 90s sitcom Friends, which ran for 10 seasons

Perry rose to fame for his role as ‘Chandler Bing’ on the hit 90s sitcom Friends, which ran for 10 seasons

Officers from the LA Police Department's robbery-homicide division were also sent to the home in Pacific Palisades

Officers from the LA Police Department’s robbery-homicide division were also sent to the home in Pacific Palisades

The doors were shut as the body of Matthew Perry was removed from the seaside home on the north-western tip of Los Angeles

The doors were shut as the body of Matthew Perry was removed from the seaside home on the north-western tip of Los Angeles  

Staff from the Los Angeles coroners' office conclude their work at the house

Staff from the Los Angeles coroners’ office conclude their work at the house

Matthew Perry 's father, John Bennett Perry, 82, was seen arriving at his son's LA home looking stricken just hours after the Friends star's death

Matthew Perry ‘s father, John Bennett Perry, 82, was seen arriving at his son’s LA home looking stricken just hours after the Friends star’s death

The 82-year-old was later joined by Perry’s mother, Suzanne (left), and stepdad Keith Morrison (right) who appeared morose as they pulled up to the home

Friends, which followed the lives of six friends in their 20s living in New York, was a smash hit across the globe when it aired between 1994 and 2004, and re-runs still remain hugely popular years later. 

Perry won a worldwide fanbase for his role as Chandler, earning him an Emmy nomination in 2002 – but behind the glitz and glamour, he secretly battled substance abuse for decades.

In his last post to his Instagram, shared earlier this week, the star shared images of him in his pool, saying: ‘Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good? I’m Mattman.’

Perry, who never married but dated a number of stars including Julia Roberts, has been candid and public about his problems with drugs and alcohol, having first gone to rehab in 1997 for a pain medication addiction after a jet skiing accident. 

Following this initial stint, he then went to rehab again in 2001 and 2011. He told an interviewer in 2016 that he doesn’t remember filming three seasons of Friends. 

Despite hiding his demons from public view for years, Perry detailed his struggles in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing. 

In the opening, he wrote: ‘Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.’ 

He added: ‘People would be surprised to know that I have mostly been sober since 2001. Save for about sixty or seventy little mishaps over the years.’ 

A longtime friend of Perry’s – who was in recovery with him – told DailyMail.com last night: ‘Everyone is in a total state of shock. People are crying on the phone and struggling to accept this news.

‘It’s no secret that he struggled with drugs and alcohol for years but the last time I spoke to him, which was within the last few weeks, he seemed to be in a good place.

‘He was upbeat and sounded sober and positive.

‘He’d been to rehab 17 times and nearly died from opioid abuse but he was someone who was sincere about taking his life, and his sobriety, one day at a time.

‘It’s such tragic news. Everyone is praying he didn’t relapse. Matt was a genuinely lovely guy. He was always the first to welcome newcomers to the group and would always volunteer to help and be of service.

‘We are all struggling to come to terms with this terrible news.’

Friends co-stars Maggie Wheeler and Morgan Fairchild remembered Perry for the joy he ‘brought to so many’ following his ‘shock’ death.

In his last post to his Instagram, posted earlier this week, the star shared images of him in his pool

In his last post to his Instagram, posted earlier this week, the star shared images of him in his pool

A source told the outlet there was no sign of foul play, and that robbery-homicide detectives are investigating his death after he was allegedly found in his hot tub

A source told the outlet there was no sign of foul play, and that robbery-homicide detectives are investigating his death after he was allegedly found in his hot tub 

Pictures in the wake of Perry's death emerged showing the pool and hot tub at the Friends star's home

Pictures in the wake of Perry’s death emerged showing the pool and hot tub at the Friends star’s home 

A coroner's vehicle was also seen at the scene as family, friends and fans grappled with the loss of the beloved actor

A coroner’s vehicle was also seen at the scene as family, friends and fans grappled with the loss of the beloved actor

Maggie Wheeler, who played Perry's on-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein during the early seasons of the show and often appeared to perform her catchphrase 'Oh! My! God!', paid tribute to Perry on Instagram

Maggie Wheeler, who played Perry’s on-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein during the early seasons of the show and often appeared to perform her catchphrase ‘Oh! My! God!’, paid tribute to Perry on Instagram

Chandler Bing's 'bromance' with roommate Joey Tribbiani was hugely popular among fans

Chandler Bing’s ‘bromance’ with roommate Joey Tribbiani was hugely popular among fans

Perry's Chandler Bing remains one of the most popular sitcom characters ever created

Perry’s Chandler Bing remains one of the most popular sitcom characters ever created

Perry as Chandler in a famous episode where he married Monica, with Rachel and Phoebe as bridesmaids

Perry as Chandler in a famous episode where he married Monica, with Rachel and Phoebe as bridesmaids 

Friends was a huge global hit as it ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004

Friends was a huge global hit as it ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004

Perry's character Chandler delivered the final line of the entire series when he jokingly asked 'where?' they should go for a cup of coffee

Perry’s character Chandler delivered the final line of the entire series when he jokingly asked ‘where?’ they should go for a cup of coffee

Wheeler, who played Perry’s on-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein during the early seasons of Friends and often appeared to perform her catchphrase ‘Oh! My! God!’, paid tribute to Perry on Instagram.

‘What a loss,’ Wheeler captioned a picture of the pair.

‘The world will miss you Matthew 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 Fairchild, who played Perry’s on-screen mother and erotic novel writer Nora Bing, said on Twitter: ‘I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my ‘son’, Matthew Perry.’

The 73-year-old US actress added: ‘The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock.

‘I’m sending love and condolences to his friends and family, especially his dad, John Bennett Perry, who I worked with on Flamingo Road and Falcon Crest.’

The Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison said: ‘Matthew Perry was a huge inspiration to me growing up.

‘My friends & I would come into school having memorized his sarcastic one-liners, speech patterns, even Chandler’s dance.

‘He brought me so much joy & without knowing it he encouraged me to pursue acting. Thank you.’

Warner Bros, which produced Friends, said in a statement: ‘We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans.’ 

American broadcaster NBC, which aired the series for nearly a decade, added: ‘We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry.

‘He brought so much joy to hundreds of millions of people around the world with his pitch perfect comedic timing and wry wit. His legacy will live on through countless generations,’ it said.

Perry was a natural fit for the role of Chandler, beloved for his sarcastic one-liners, and many of his mannerisms grew from the actor’s own behavior.

He said in his memoir: ‘It was as if someone had followed me around for a year, stealing my jokes, copying my mannerisms, photocopying my world-weary yet witty view of life. One character in particular stood out to me: it wasn’t that I thought I could ‘play’ Chandler. I ‘was’ Chandler.’

However, it was when he was first cast in Friends aged 24 that his alcohol addiction began to surface. By the end of the 10th series of the hit show, he became ‘entrenched in a lot of trouble’, Perry revealed years later.

He said in a 2016 interview that he did not remember filming three seasons of the show because he was a ‘little out of it at the time’.

At one point during his time on Friends, Perry said he was taking 55 Vicodin painkillers a day and was down to 128lb – just over 9st – in weight.

A longtime friend of Perry's - who was in recovery with him - told DailyMail.com last night: 'Everyone is in a total state of shock. People are crying on the phone and struggling to accept this news'

A longtime friend of Perry’s – who was in recovery with him – told DailyMail.com last night: ‘Everyone is in a total state of shock. People are crying on the phone and struggling to accept this news’ 

Last year, he published a memoir titled 'Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir'

Last year, he published a memoir titled ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir’

Perry and actress Julia Roberts hug each other on the set of 'Friends'

Perry and actress Julia Roberts hug each other on the set of ‘Friends’

Perry's character Chandler has an awkward encounter with Phoebe in a memorable scene from Friends

Perry’s character Chandler has an awkward encounter with Phoebe in a memorable scene from Friends

Perry as Chandler in another memorable episode of Friends. Tributes have flooded in for the star

Perry as Chandler in another memorable episode of Friends. Tributes have flooded in for the star

Chandler once spent Thanksgiving in a wooden box to prove his friendship to Joey

Chandler once spent Thanksgiving in a wooden box to prove his friendship to Joey 

Chandler with the white dog, which became a popular item of furniture referenced in several episodes of the show

Chandler with the white dog, which became a popular item of furniture referenced in several episodes of the show

Perry became a household name for his role as Chandler, in which he displayed perfect comic timing

Perry became a household name for his role as Chandler, in which he displayed perfect comic timing

Perry poses with his fellow Friends co-stars at the Emmy awards evening in LA in 2002

Perry poses with his fellow Friends co-stars at the Emmy awards evening in LA in 2002

Perry, dressed in a bunny costume, arm wrestles Courteney Cox in a famous Friends episode

Perry, dressed in a bunny costume, arm wrestles Courteney Cox in a famous Friends episode

Perry, pictured in 2006, was one of the most famous stars on the planet but battled with substance abuse

Perry, pictured in 2006, was one of the most famous stars on the planet but battled with substance abuse

Massachusetts-born Perry grew up in Canada where he attended school with Justin Trudeau – who is now the country’s prime minister.

He also paid tribute, writing: ‘Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening. 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. 

‘Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved – and you will be missed.’

After moving to LA, Perry starred as Chazz Russell in Boys Will Be Boys and also had roles in shows including sitcom Growing Pains before becoming a global superstar as Chandler.

‘This was the only guy to play him,’ creator of Friends Marta Kauffman said in the 2021 reunion special. 

The star laid bare the height of his terrible drug and alcohol addiction battle which nearly cost him his life in a memoir titled ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir’.  

Perry also revealed that his colon ruptured as a result of his opioid addiction when he was 49.

Doctors gave him only a two percent chance of survival and he was in a coma for two weeks followed by months more in the hospital.

Perry required 14 surgeries to help repair all of the abdominal damage, and he admitted to having gone to rehab 15 times over the years in hopes of kicking his drug addiction.

At one point during his Friends career, he admits he was taking 55 Vicodin a day and was down to 128 pounds but yet he ‘didn’t know how to stop.’

He told an interviewer in 2016 that he doesn’t remember filming three seasons of Friends. 

‘I had this odd rule that I would never drink on a set,’ Perry said. ‘But I went to work in extreme cases of hangover. It’s so horrible to feel that way and have to work and be funny on top of that.’

Perry's dream of widespread recognition came true with the NBC sitcom Friends, which followed the lives of six people trying to make their way in their twenties in New York City

Perry’s dream of widespread recognition came true with the NBC sitcom Friends, which followed the lives of six people trying to make their way in their twenties in New York City

Pictured: (l-r) Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani

Pictured: (l-r) Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani

Chandler's relationship with Monica Geller was kept secret from the group for several memorable episodes

Chandler’s relationship with Monica Geller was kept secret from the group for several memorable episodes

In one episode, Perry’s character was locked in a bank vestibule with model Jill Goodacre

Perry alongside Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox in an episode of Friends

Perry alongside Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox in an episode of Friends

Tributes have flooded in from across the entertainment industry for Perry (pictured posing for a portrait in 2015)

Tributes have flooded in from across the entertainment industry for Perry (pictured posing for a portrait in 2015)

He even revealed he would go to real estate open houses – not because he was interested in buying property but to see if he could steal drugs from medicine cabinets.

Chandler Bing – the group’s most sarcastic and quick-witted, but occasionally awkward and insecure, member – quickly became a fan favorite.

Perry and his co-stars – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer – negotiated $1 million each, per episode, by the end of their colossally popular and zeitgeist-setting 236-episode run.

In a sign of the show’s enduring appeal, the gang reportedly pocketed $2.5 million each for a reunion episode in 2021.

During that episode, Perry’s slurred speech prompted concern among fans.

Perry also surprised his co-stars by admitting to having suffered severe anxiety ‘every night’ during the filming of the sitcom.

Born on August 19, 1969 in Massachusetts, Perry grew up in Ottawa and was raised by his mother, Suzanne Morrison, a Canadian writer and former press aide for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. 

Morrison and Perry’s father were married from 1968 to 1970 and she later married Canadian broadcast journalist Keith Morrison, who has been on Dateline for decades, in 1981.

In Canada, Perry was a top-rated tennis player but at 15 moved to Los Angeles to be closer to his father, John Bennett Perry, an actor known for several shows, including Falcon Crest, and later on Old Spice commercials.

In the 1980s and ’90s, Perry landed spots on the decades’ most popular TV shows like Charles in Charge, Who’s The Boss?, Growing Pains and Beverly Hills, 90210. 

He also had a role in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, a movie released in 1988 that starred River Phoenix. 

The film was ‘one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had, because I was 16 years old and in Chicago all by myself, no parents around,’ Perry told BuzzFeed. ‘I knew that I wanted to act.’

He told The New York Times in 2002 that he sought fame. ‘There was steam coming out of my ears, I wanted to be famous so badly. 

Perry is seen here in 1987 as he promoted his first network series 'Second Chance', which was shown on Fox

Perry is seen here in 1987 as he promoted his first network series ‘Second Chance’, which was shown on Fox

After moving to Los Angeles, Perry landed spots on TV's most popular shows during the 1980s and 1990s, he is seen here in an episode of Who's the Boss?, which ran from 1984 to 1992

After moving to Los Angeles, Perry landed spots on TV’s most popular shows during the 1980s and 1990s, he is seen here in an episode of Who’s the Boss?, which ran from 1984 to 1992

Perry, left as Fred Roberts in the film A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, which was released in 1988 and starred River Phoenix, right

Perry, left as Fred Roberts in the film A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, which was released in 1988 and starred River Phoenix, right

‘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 dream of widespread recognition came true with the NBC sitcom Friends, which followed the lives of six people trying to make their way in their twenties in New York City. 

Audiences adored the show during its ten-season run and continue to do so today despite the show ending over 15 years ago. 

Fans gathered last night to lay flowers outside the New York apartment that features in the series.

One of his major storylines in Friends was his initially secret romance between his character and Monica Geller, which evolved into marriage and the couple adopting twins.

Perry also starred in several films including 17 Again starring Zac Efron, Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek, and Getting In with comedian Dave Chapelle.

He featured in The Whole Nine Yards, and The Kid with Bruce Willis – who was a guest star in the sixth series of Friends.

Meanwhile his TV work included short-lived Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip and two Emmy nominations for his role as Joe Quincy in The West Wing – both from creator Aaron Sorkin.

In 2007, Perry also received an Emmy nomination for his role as Ron Clark in The Ron Clark Story about a restless but gifted young teacher.

In his memoir Perry spoke briefly about how he would like to be remembered after his death.

‘When I die, I know people will talk about Friends, Friends, Friends,’ he wrote.

‘And I’m glad of that, happy I’ve done some solid work as an actor, as well as given people multiple chances to make fun of my struggles on the world wide web.

‘But when I die, as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if Friends were listed far behind the things I did to try to help other people.

‘I know it won’t happen but it would be nice.’

Perry never married and ended his engagement to Molly Hurwitz, a talent manager, in 2021. 

He dated several well-known actresses including Julia Roberts and Lizzy Caplan.

PICKLEBALL: The game Perry was playing hours before his death 

Pickleball is a racket game resembling tennis but played on a smaller court with a softer and lighter ball.

The fastest-growing sport in the US it can be played between two and four players, and the racket is a small plastic paddle.

The ‘pickleballs’ are plastic and have between 26 and 40 holes cut into them to slow them down, and the game requires less running around than a conventional tennis match.

It was invented in 1965 by future Congressman Joel Pritchard at his Washington home as a way of entertaining his family when they could not find thew shuttlecock for a game of badminton.

It now boasts nearly five million registered players in the US and its popularity has expanded overseas with 58 member countries overseen by the International Federation of Pickleball, and talks underway to have it represented at the Olympic Games in Paris next year.

There are also thousands of pickleball tournaments across America, including the US National Championships and the US Open Tournament, along with two professional tours and one professional league.

Pickleball was named the official sport of Washington state last year with the legislation signed by Governor Jay Inslee on the original Pritchard family court where the sport was invented.



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