Matthew Perry, actor, writer, and producer, has died.
Perry, who will probably be most fondly remembered by fans for his role as Chandler Bing on NBC comedy series Friends, and by friends and colleagues as an advocate for criminal justice reform for first time drug offenders, was 54.
Perry was found unconscious by first responders in his Pacific Palisades home in Los Angeles this afternoon. It is understood that the Friends star was discovered in this hot tub where he may have succumbed to drowning. He was unable to be revived.
An investigation is ongoing.
Perry was public about his own struggles with dependence. In 1997, a jet-ski accident spawned an addiction to pain killers that haunted Perry for years. Writing about his struggles with sobriety, Perry quipped that he had been sober since 2001, barring “60 or 70 relapses.”
The actor opened his own sober home, The Perry House, in Malibu in 2013. In the same year he received the Champion of Recovery Award from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He was also a spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Perry wrote a memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in 2022, in which he spoke candidly about his sobriety struggles, career, and life.
Perry’s family said in a statement “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother. Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who attended school with Perry as a boy said “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.”
“He brought so much joy to hundreds of millions of people around the world with his pitch perfect comedic timing and wry wit,” NBC said in a statement. “His legacy will live on through countless generations.”