DUBAI: The show that catapulted Matthew Perry to stardom has paid tribute to the beloved US actor after he was found dead at his Los Angeles home – he was 54.
The official “Friends” and Warner Bros. accounts posted about the news on Instagram, writing: “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.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who went to Rockcliffe Park Public School alongside Perry, said he would “never forget the schoolyard games we used to play.”
Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler Bing’s on-and-off-again girlfriend Janice on “Friends,” wrote on Instagram: “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.”
In his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry talked in length about his struggles with substance abuse and noted while he was promoting the book that he had been clean for 18 months but had “probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober.”
Following appearances on “Boys Will Be Boys” and “Growing Pains” in the 1980s, Perry’s big break came when he landed the part of the sarcastic Chandler Bing on the NBC sitcom about a group of 20-something pals living in New York City alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.
After premiering in 1994, the hit series went on for 10 seasons and found new viewers in recent years thanks to streaming platforms.
The cast reunited in 2021 for a well-received reunion special on HBO Max. During the special, Perry grew emotional while speaking with his former costars about their special bond.
“The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it,” he shared. “That was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long and that was it.”
He continued: “You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night. And that's the way it worked.” As some of his costars began to tear up, he finished: “It’s certainly the way it worked with all of us. It’s just the way it is.”
At the time of writing, none of Perry’s “Friends” co-stars had shared tributes of their own.