Law enforcement sources in Los Angeles confirmed Perry's death, revealing that he was found dead at his residence. Friends, the iconic series that followed the lives of six young friends in New York City, graced television screens from 1994 to 2004. Its final episode garnered an astounding 52.5 million viewers in the US, solidifying its status as the most-watched TV episode of the 2000s.
Initial reports from the LA Times and TMZ indicated that Perry was discovered unresponsive in a hot tub at his residence. A spokesperson from the Los Angeles Fire Department disclosed that first responders were dispatched to an address in the Pacific Palisades area following a "water emergency" without mentioning Perry by name. Warner Bros, the studio responsible for producing Friends, hailed Perry as a "true gift to us all."
Born in Massachusetts in 1969, Perry spent his formative years in Ottawa, Canada, where he attended elementary school alongside Justin Trudeau, who would later become the Prime Minister of Canada. Reflecting on their shared past, Trudeau expressed his sorrow, saying, "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."
Perry relocated to Los Angeles during his teenage years, and his career took off with roles such as Chazz Russell in Boys Will Be Boys, along with appearances in shows like Growing Pains. However, it was on Friends that he achieved international stardom. The show, which featured Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow, became one of the most successful television series of all time.
Perry's memorable portrayal of the awkward Chandler Bing, known for his witty one-liners and comical antics with his roommate Joey Tribbiani, earned him an Emmy nomination in 2002. But even as he basked in the limelight, Perry grappled with addiction to painkillers and alcohol, seeking rehabilitation on multiple occasions.
In 2016, he candidly admitted to BBC Radio 2 that he had no recollection of three years of filming Friends due to his struggles with substance abuse. In a more recent interview, he revealed that he had refrained from watching the show in the past. He confessed, "I didn't watch the show, and haven't watched the show, because I could go, 'Drinking, opiates, drinking, cocaine.' I could tell season by season, by how I looked. That's why I don't wanna watch it, because that's what I see. But I think I'm going to start to watch it because it's been an incredible thing to watch it touch the hearts of different generations."
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