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“The One Where We Lost a Friend”

Posted 11/10/2023 by Alexa Tsvetkov

Matthew Perry attended the GQ Men of the Year Party in California before his unfortunate death. photo by Phillip Faraone

Beloved Friends actor Matthew Perry was found dead at the age of 54.

On October 28th at approximately 4 p.m., actor and author Matthew Perry was found dead at his home in Los Angeles. The actor returned to his house after a pickleball game and hours later was discovered unresponsive in his hot tub. Across the world, people have been devastated by the news. Perry was most well known for his role as Chandler Bing in the Friends sitcom, which was about six friends living in New York City and ran from 1994 to 2004, ending with ten seasons. Fans adored Perry’s character; he was sarcastic, witty, and loving. Chandler Bing was incredibly similar to Perry’s true nature and he was admired worldwide.

Since his death, fans wondered when the rest of the Friends cast would release a statement. A short two days after his death, the cast of friends: Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer all expressed their heartbreak in a joint post, stating, “We were more than just castmates. We are a family.” A private memorial was held for Perry and all the actors were spotted attending. The memorial was held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, near the Warner Brothers Studio where Friends was filmed. 

While Friends was a great accomplishment for Perry, he desired most to be remembered for his work to help those struggling with addiction. Perry spent a large portion of his life in rehab and fighting his drug addiction. After a jet skiing accident in 1997, Perry’s addiction to painkillers began. A year later, he was taking somewhere near 55 pills a day. When he finally went to a rehab facility in 1997, he weighed only 128 pounds. After a few years, he became sober and sought to help those just like him. In his memoir, Perry wrote a powerful and harrowing story of his journey during the fight with depression and addiction. Perry struggled with addiction throughout his life, even while filming Friends. Eventually, his castmates caught on to his struggles and reached out to help him. He spent the rest of his life trying to find peace and help others grappling with similar issues. His devotion to an important cause inspired many and will remain in their hearts. 

The lack of clarity on  Perry’s cause of death has also left many people feeling deficient in finding closure. The medical examiner for Perry updated online records, which listed Perry’s body as “deferred” for further testing. There weren’t any clear signs of foul play, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. However, since the cause of death couldn’t be determined during the autopsy, his body will undergo further testing in order to give his loved ones and fans around the world some answers.  

While this was a devastating loss for many, Perry’s legacy will continue to live on through his teachings, guidance, and laughter that he provided for so many. Going forward, he will live on in the hearts of many as both Chandler Bing and Matthew Perry.