Matthew Perry, ‘Friends’ Star, Dead Aged 54


Matthew Perry, known for playing Chandler Bing on the hit NBC sitcom “Friends,” has died, LA Times reports. He was 54.

Perry was found dead Saturday in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home, law enforcement sources told the LA Times. Authorities found him unresponsive around 4 p.m, and there was no signs of foul play or drugs on the scene.

Perry gained international recognition for his role as Chandler on “Friends,” which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. He received a Primetime Emmy nomination in 2002 for his performance in the beloved sitcom.

Along with “Friends,” Perry appeared in such television series as “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Go On” and “The Odd Couple.” He scored two Emmy nominations in 2003 and 2004 for outstanding guest actor in a drama series for his role as Joe Quincy in “The West Wing.”

Perry was the co-creator, executive producer and star of “Mr. Sunshine,” which ran from February to April 2011. Perry played Ben Donovan, manager of a second-tier arena called the Sunshine Center, in the short-lived ABC sitcom alongside Allison Janney.

Perry was born on Aug. 19, 1969, in Plymouth, Mass., to his mother, Canadian journalist Suzanne Marie Morrison, and father, actor and former model John Bennett Perry. Following his parents’ divorce, he was raised by his mother in Ottawa, Ontario, where he was educated at both the Rockcliffe Park Public School and Ashbury College.

At age 15, Perry moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks until his graduation in 1987. That year, Perry played the role of Chazz Russell on the Fox sitcom “Second Chance,” which was revamped under the title “Boys Will Be Boys” after 13 episodes.

Following the cancellation of “Boys Will Be Boys” after its first season, Perry made his film debut in 1988’s “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon.” He had a three-episode arc as Carol Seavor’s boyfriend Sandy on the series “Growing Pains” in 1989 and, after several guest appearances, was cast as a regular on the 1990 CBS sitcom “Sydney.”

Before “Friends” made him a massive star alongside Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc, Perry also appeared on “Who’s the Boss?,” “Beverly Hill, 90210,” “Home Free” and more. Then, in 1994, NBC’s “Friends,” a show about six pals living in New York in their 20s and 30s, became one of the most popular TV shows of all time. An average of 25 million people tuned into each new episode, and the series finale drew 52.5 Americans, making it the fifth highest-viewed series finale ever and the most-watched TV episode of the 2000s.

Perry’s Chandler was the snarky, self-deprecating friend of the group, but his sarcasm hid a deeper insecurity and awkwardness that was played for some of the show’s biggest laughs. Chandler was best friends with LeBlanc’s Joey Tribbiani and Schwimmer’s Ross Gellar. He eventually marries Ross’ sister Monica Gellar, played by Cox, and the two adopt twins, Jack and Erica.