Friends star Matthew Perry was discovered dead in a hot tub following an apparent drowning at 54 years old per various reports.
The news broke this evening with a Variety alert hitting my inbox around 7:42 PM CT. It’s still a developing story but per the LA Times, there are no signs of foul play in his passing. Authorities responded to Perry’s home around 4 PM PT.
Following roles in film and series, the actor got his big break when he was cast as Chandler Bing in Friends. Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt Leblanc, and David Schwimmer would become superstars in anchoring Must-See-TV on NBC’s Thursday night lineup in 1994.
It took many years after the series went off the air but Perry joined his Friends castmates in Friends: The Reunion on then-HBO Max. Last November, he published his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir. The paperback edition is due out in March 2024.
Following the success of Friends, Perry would find himself starring on another NBC series: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Perry found himself starring opposite Bradley Whitford in the short-lived Aaron Sorkin series. A number of other film and TV credits exist in Perry’s filmography.
If his memoir is any indication, I can only speculate that his drug addiction played a role in his death. Perry had multiple rehab stints for both alcohol and opioids. Regardless, it is a tragedy and a reminder that people can still relapse even in sobriety.
While I wasn’t much of a fan of the TV series as others were, I join in mourning the TV star’s passing. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.