Matthew Perry remembered: Friends, colleagues, and fans react to death of beloved actor
Condolences and remembrances started pouring in after news of the “Friends” star’s death at the age of 54.
By Gavon Laessig and Doha Madani
News of the death of actor Matthew Perry on Saturday night triggered an immediate outpouring of shock and grief.
Best remembered for his now-iconic role as Chandler Bing on the beloved ’90s sitcom “Friends,” Perry was found dead on Saturday of an apparent drowning at his Pacific Palisades home. He was 54.
There was no indication of foul play and no confirmed cause of death, a law enforcement source told NBC News. An investigation is ongoing.
The massive success of “Friends” and Perry’s indelible performance as the sweetly sarcastic Chandler earned him a legion of admirers. He also garnered admiration for publicly discussing his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.
Fans of the iconic show gathered outside the Grove Street building in New York City that was used as the exterior for the famed “Friends” apartment building.
Yessy Gutierrez was at dinner when news broke about Perry’s death and left to go to the building. She’s spent many sleepless nights watching “Friends” over the past few years.
“He really fought to have a great life, and so it’s kind of sad that he made it out on the other side and he passed away,” Gutierrez told NBC New York.
A 50-year resident of Grove Street, Richard Weigle has seen “Friends” fans flock to the apartment building and decided to walk the half a block with his husband to light a candle for Perry.
“We’re in our 70s, so when you’re 54 it’s so young,” Weigle said. “We just look at it as such a tragedy. He had so much more to give and so much more life to live. And he’s been through a lot. It’s just sad.”
Notable public figures of all stripes paid tribute.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Perry’s death “shocking and saddening.” Perry’s mother, Suzanne, served as press secretary for Trudeau’s father during his time as prime minister.
“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,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved — and you will be missed.”
Actor Michael Rappaport — who had a recurring role on “Friends” as Gary, one of Phoebe’s boyfriends — said on Twitter that Perry was “so nice, cool, chill & talented. You are a part of American Culture and will live on forever.”
Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler’s girlfriend Janice, posted a tribute to Perry on Instagram.
“What a loss. The world will miss you Matthew Perry,” Wheeler wrote. “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.”
Soap opera star Morgan Fairchild guest-starred as Perry’s mother on “Friends.” She wrote on Twitter that she was “heartbroken” over Perry’s untimely death.
Fairchild expressed deep sorrow over the unexpected loss of the talented young actor. “My heart goes out to his loved ones,” she shared, offering her love and support during this difficult time.
The official “Friends” Instagram account conveyed profound devastation upon learning of Perry’s passing. “He was a true blessing to all of us,” the post read, reflecting on the impact Perry had on the cast and audience alike.
Selma Blair shared a heartfelt Instagram post, featuring a touching selfie of her and Perry. She reminisced about their unbreakable bond, expressing her love and utter devastation over the tragic news. “I feel shattered,” she wrote.
Colleagues from Perry’s sitcom series, “The Odd Couple,” also paid emotional tributes. Thomas Lennon described Perry as a reliable source of comfort and support, while Yvette Nicole Brown lamented the profound loss experienced by the show’s family and the entire entertainment world.
Wendell Pierce, another co-star, remembered Perry as not just a boss and colleague but a compassionate, humorous individual. “I hope he finds peace,” Pierce said, hoping for solace in the afterlife for his departed friend.
Rumer Willis, recalling her childhood memories on set with Perry during the filming of “The Whole Nine Yards” and “The Whole Ten Yards,” fondly remembered him as kind, funny, and endearing. She acknowledged his life struggles, emphasizing the joy he brought to many with his comedic talent.
Olivia Munn acknowledged Perry’s public struggles with addiction, expressing deep sorrow for his family and friends receiving the tragic news. “It’s utterly heart-wrenching,” she wrote, extending her condolences and bidding Perry to rest in love and peace.
Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III reflected on Perry’s significance beyond his role as Chandler Bing in “Friends.” He credited Perry for his instrumental contribution to the show’s success, expressing gratitude for the lasting memories he left behind. “Rest in Peace,” Griffin concluded, honoring Perry’s legacy with heartfelt appreciation.
|About Matthew Langford Perry|
|Actor Matthew Langford Perry was born in Canada and the United States. He won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Chandler Bing on the NBC sitcom Friends in the 1990s, which brought him widespread acclaim. Wikimedia|
|Born: 19 August 1969, Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States|
|Died: 28 October 2023, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Parents: John Bennett Perry, Suzanne Perry|
|Siblings: Mia Perry, Willy Morrison, Emily Morrison, Madeleine Morrison, Caitlin Morrison|
|Plays: The End of Longing|