When Matthew Perry died, the world lost one of its best Friends.
On Saturday about 4 p.m., the beloved actor was found dead in the jacuzzi of his Pacific Palisades home.
His death follows an eerie Instagram image where he’s seen soaking in the same jacuzzi, only days before.
Keep reading to learn more about the death of this comedic genius.
Though he’s mostly loved for his deadpan humor in his role as Chandler Bing of Friends, Matthew Perry, 54, actually started his career in the 1987 TV series Second Chances and its sequel, Boys will be Boys.
Born in 1969 to a Canadian mother and American father, the actor made his film debut in the 1988 film A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, which also stars the late River Phoenix.
He then had appearances in other TV shows like Growing Pains, Sydney with Valerie Bertinelli and Beverly Hills, 90210.
His big break came as the sharp-tongued Chandler in Friends, a role he played for 10 seasons of the shows run, from 1994 to 2004.
His decades-long career includes starring roles in the 1997 romcom Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek, and in 2000 and 2004, he played alongside Bruce Willis in The Whole Nine Yards and its 2004 sequel, The Whole Ten Yards.
Perry, who was not married and had no children, had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and had been in rehab 15 times.
His toxic relationship with alcohol started as a 24-year-old when he was first cast on Friends. “I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble,” Perry confessed. “But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something.’”
Opening up about his decades-long struggle with addiction in his 2022 book, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry explains that he had 14 surgeries to try correct the damage done to his stomach lining from alcohol and opioid use.
In 2018, he had a brush with death due to a gastrointestinal perforation, where a hole develops in an organ. He said he spent two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital, and then had a colostomy bag for nine months.
Speaking with People at the time, he said he was lucky to be alive. “The doctors told my family that I had a two per cent chance to live,” Perry shared. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”
Lovingly speaking about the support of his friends from the hit show he starred, Perry explained that though his physical appearance reflected sobriety and times in the trenches with addiction, he tried to hide his condition.
He said his cast mates “were understanding, and they were patient.”
“It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me,” Perry said.
His memoir is a like a love letter to life. “There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived…So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason.”
Sadly, his purpose in life was served.
On Saturday, October 28, the lovable star reportedly spent the hours before his death playing Pickleball. After his two-hour morning game, he sent his assistant out on an errand while he slipped into the warm hot tub, which sits in the back of his house.
TMZ reports that first responders rushed to Perry’s address after a call reporting a cardiac arrest. It’s currently unclear who phoned 911.
Perry’s pickleball partner has since explained that she saw some scary warning signs about the actor’s condition mere hours before he died.
A source close to Perry’s pickleball parter stated (via The Mirror): “I spoke to the woman he played with this morning and every morning. She is in shock, adored Matt…she said he had been fatigued today and over the past week. A little more than usual. He played for one hour, then went home.”
Sources said no drugs were found at the scene and no foul play is suspected.
Following news of his death, his castmates, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, were quietly grieving and as of Sunday, they hadn’t shared tributes.
Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice, his obnoxious and nasally-voiced girlfriend on Friends, penned a sweet note on Instagram that she posted along with an old photo of the two. “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 in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid homage to the much-loved actor, whose mother served as press secretary to his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
The younger Trudeau and Perry went to school together.
“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,” the younger Trudeau writes.
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.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 29, 2023
Less than one week before his death, the Emmy Award-winning actor posted a photo of him relaxing in his jacuzzi, the city lights speckling the night sky from the valleys below and the half-moon beaming through a cloud.
“Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good? I’m Mattman,” the actor captioned the photo.
It was his last post.
Fans poured in with emotional comments, remembering the brilliant actor whose comedic prowess brought laughter around the world.
One writes, “I did survive very stressful times thanks to him and the rest of the gang. Feels like losing a friend, doesn’t it?” while a second shares, “Unbelievable. Even “Friends” can’t make us feel better anymore…”
A third shares, “We all lost a Friend today.”
Rest in peace, Matthew. So many of us grew up with you in our living rooms and you will deeply missed.
Be sure to read this story on another Jennifer Aniston, another star of Friends.