The actor, who spent 10 seasons charming TV viewers as the quippy and insecure Chandler Bing, was found dead at 54 at his Los Angeles home Saturday, prompting an outpouring of love from fans and fellow stars alike, including many performers who shared the screen with Perry throughout the hit sitcom's run.
In a touching Instagram post, Aisha Tyler, who played Dr. Charlie Wheeler on the final two seasons of Friends, remembered Perry as someone with "a gentleness and generosity of spirit that was unparalleled."
Recalling their time as costars, she added, "I learned how to tell a joke perfectly just by watching him work. And I will never forget the moment he leaned in, on my first night of taping Friends, to tell me warmly, 'get ready for your life to change.' Rest well, Matthew Perry. Thank you for the kindness and laughter."
Elliott Gould, who appeared in 20 episodes of Friends as Jack Geller, father to Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica (Courteney Cox), wrote on Instagram, "I was saddened to hear the news about Matthew Perry's passing. I first met Matthew in 1994 when I joined the NBC sitcom Friends. Matthew was kind, thoughtful, smart, funny, and just a terrifically talented actor."
Gould would eventually become Perry's onscreen father-in-law, thanks to Chandler's romance with Monica, and he added, "Matthew told me he was so honored to be working with me. What he didn't know until I told him, was that it was my privilege to play his father-in-law. My heart goes out to his wonderful family. He will be missed by so many but he will never be forgotten."
Danny Feld/NBCU Photo Bank Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, and Elliott Gould on 'Friends'
Morgan Fairchild, who played Chandler's mother, Nora Tyler Bing, wrote on social media, "I'm heartbroken about the untimely death of my 'son,' Matthew Perry. The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock. I'm sending love & condolences to his friends & family, especially his dad, John Bennett Perry, who I worked with on Flamingo Road & Falcon Crest."
Perry was also fondly remembered by his longtime friend Hank Azaria, who played a recurring role on Friends as David, the scientist boyfriend of Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe. In a video shared to Instagram, Azaria recalled that Perry was the first friend he made after moving to L.A.
"Matthew and I became really good friends, and we were really more like brothers for a long time," he said. "We drank a lot together, we laughed a lot together, we were there for each other in the early days of our career. I really loved him."
Azaria also noted that he has been sober for 17 years, thanks in part to Perry's help. "The night I went into AA, Matthew brought me in. The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together," he explained. "As a sober person, he was so caring and giving and wise, and he totally helped me get sober."
Maggie Wheeler, who returned over the years as Chandler's recurring love interest Janice Hosenstein, 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."
Paget Brewster, who played another of Chandler's love interests, starring in the show's fourth season as Kathy, wrote that Perry was "lovely" to her on Friends and "every time I saw him in the decades after." She urged fans to read his 2021 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.
I’m so very sad to hear about @MatthewPerry. He was lovely to me on Friends and every time I saw him in the decades after. Please read his book. It was his legacy to help. He won’t rest in peace though.. He’s already too busy making everyone laugh up there.
— paget brewster (@pagetpaget) October 29, 2023
"It was his legacy to help," Brewster added. "He won't rest in peace though. He's already too busy making everyone laugh up there."
"My oldest boy friend," she captioned the post. "All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I'm broken. Broken-hearted. Sweet dreams, Matty. Sweet dreams."
"I burst into tears when I read the news today," she wrote. "I never met Matthew Perry, but I loved him. Friends saved me numerous times during hard and lonely times in my life. I adored his character and wanted to marry Chandler Bing as a teenager. I watched all his movies. He was a genius."
Sharing a photo of his memoir, Ricci added, "Read his book. It's another gift he gave us. If you're struggling with addiction issues it might just save your life."
The Friends and Warner Bros. Instagram accounts also mourned Perry, issuing a joint statement that said: "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."
"It's a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew's case, there are no truer words," they added. "From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us."
Perry was best known for his work on Friends, playing one of the six titular pals alongside Schwimmer, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, and Jennifer Aniston, and his other screen credits included Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The West Wing, The Odd Couple, The Whole Nine Yards, Fools Rush In, and 17 Again. He was a five-time Emmy nominee.
The actor struggled with addiction for years and was an outspoken advocate on the issue, and turned his former Malibu home into a sober living facility called the Perry House, which ran until 2015.
Perry was found dead in a hot tub at his home in the Pacific Palisades on Saturday afternoon. Authorities have said it will take time to determine a cause of death, though foul play is not suspected.
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