‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Dead After Suspected Drowning

Michael Buckner
Michael Buckner

The Friends star Matthew Perry was found dead by an assistant on Saturday at a home in Los Angeles where he appeared to have drowned, TMZ first reported, citing law enforcement sources. He was 54.

A representative for the actor confirmed the death to NBC. And on Saturday, the official Friends Instagram account posted, “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.”

First responders were reportedly responding to a call for a cardiac arrest. Sources told TMZ that Perry was found in a hot tub at the home, and that no foul play was involved. Perry had returned from a two-hour round of pickleball earlier in the day, TMZ reported, before sending his assistant out on an errand.

No drugs were found at the scene, TMZ reported. The LA Times noted that Perry was found at his own home in a hot tub and authorities responded around 4pm.

Perry was best known for his iconic role as the sardonic Chandler Bing on Friends—a fan favorite if ever there was one.

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry sit together at a table on the set of "Friends".

Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing on the set of Friends.

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Image

The acclaimed actor also appeared in many television shows over the years, including Boys Will Be Boys, Beverly Hills 90210, Silver Spoons, The West Wing, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Perry had long been open about his struggle with addictions to painkillers and alcohol, which he said began after he was cast on Friends as a 24-year-old.

The actor revealed last year that he was lucky to be alive after his colon burst due to opioid abuse—leaving him in a coma for two weeks and a total of five months in the hospital.

Matthew Perry walks onstage at the LA Times Festival of Books in 2023.

Matthew Perry appears on stage at the 2023 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California.

David Livingston/Getty Images

In an interview with PEOPLE last year, Perry revealed his near brush with death and his extended hospitalization.

When he was first admitted, “the doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” Perry said. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”

During the filming of Friends he at one point was taking 55 Vicodin a day, causing his weight to drop to just 128 pounds, he said.

Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry pose together in 1995 as stars of the TV hit "Friends."

Two of the stars of the hit TV show Friends, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry pose together in 1995.

Ron Davis/Getty Images

“I didn’t know how to stop,” he told PEOPLE. “If the police came over to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,’ I’d start packing.”

He said that he’d been to rehab 15 times but that, as of this time last year, he’d been “pretty healthy.”

Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc and Lisa Kudrow sip milkshakes together.

“I say in the book that if I did die, it would shock people, but it wouldn’t surprise anybody,” he told PEOPLE, referring to his recently published memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. “So my hope is that people will relate to it, and know that this disease attacks everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re successful or not successful, the disease doesn’t care.”

Perry’s final post to Instagram shows him with headphones on at the corner of a pool overlooking Los Angeles.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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