Matthew Perry's “Friends” Costars Speak Out After His Death: 'We Are All So Utterly Devastated' (Exclusive)

In a statement to PEOPLE, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer paid tribute to their late costar and friend, who portrayed Chandler Bing for 10 seasons on the NBC hit

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty 'Friends' cast from left: David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, and Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani

The Friends cast is mourning one of their own.

Two days after Matthew Perry's sudden death, his fellow castmates from the hit television series — Jennifer AnistonCourteney CoxLisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer — spoke out in a joint statement, exclusively obtained by PEOPLE.

"We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family," their statement reads. "There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss."

"In time we will say more, as and when we are able," the statement continues. "For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world."

The message is then signed by Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc and Schwimmer.

Related: Matthew Perry Says 'Friends' Cast Rallied Around Him at Height of His Addiction: 'They Were Patient'

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty 'Friends' cast
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty 'Friends' cast

For 10 years, Perry played Friends' wry wingman–turned–leading man Chandler Bing in a pitch-perfect comedic performance that landed him a 2002 Emmy nomination.

Series co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane were joined by executive producer Kevin Bright in issuing a joint statement on Sunday.

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing,” they wrote. “It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives. He was a brilliant talent.”

Reflecting on Perry’s breakout performance, they noted, “It’s a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew’s case, there are no truer words. From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us.”

<p>NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty</p>

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Kaufman, Crane and Bright's statement continued, “We will always cherish the joy, the light, the blinding intelligence he brought to every moment — not just to his work, but in life as well. He was always the funniest person in the room. More than that, he was the sweetest, with a giving and selfless heart.”

The statement also included condolences for others grieving Perry, as well as a sweet reference to the Friends title tradition. “We send all of our love to his family and friends. This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”

Related: Matthew Perry Fans Honor Late Actor with Tributes at Chandler Bing's Friends Apartment in N.Y.C.

Among the other Friends favorites to pay tribute was Maggie Wheeler, who portrayed Chandler's on-and-off-again TV girlfriend Janice.

“What a loss. The world will miss you Mathew Perry,” she wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Related: Matthew Perry Once Said He'd Give Up Fame and Fortune to Avoid Facing Addiction: 'I Would Trade It All'

Morgan Fairchild, who played Chandler's mother on the series, also shared her sadness at the actor's death.

"I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my 'son', Matthew Perry," she wrote on Saturday, hours after news of Perry's death broke. "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. #RIPMatthew"

In Perry's 2004 book Friends … ‘Til the End, he recalled, “I was 24 when I got on the show. I’ll be 34 when it’s over, and those are really important years in somebody’s life."

"So to do it all in public … was difficult," Perry continued. "At first you have the wave of ‘I’m famous, and this is exactly what I’ve wanted my whole life.’ But then you go through the whole recluse stage where you think, ‘I wish everybody would stop staring at me.' "

He added: "And then you eventually, hopefully, get through all that. You find things in your life that are grounding, like your family and good friends.”

Related: 'Friends' Stars Reveal Secrets of Their 'Perfect' Time Together: Pranks, Crushes and More!

<p>Warner Bros. Television</p> 'Friends' cast

Warner Bros. Television

'Friends' cast

Back in 2021, the Friends cast reunited for a PEOPLE cover story in support of the unscripted special Friends: The Reunion, which premiered that May on HBO Max.

"I feel like we can pick up right where we left off, and no time's passed," Kudrow told PEOPLE at the time. "We're connected no matter what."

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A year later, when Perry appeared solo on a PEOPLE cover story to promote his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, the star detailed how the Friends cast supported him amid his struggles with substance abuse.

"They were understanding, and they were patient," he said. "It's like penguins. In nature, when one is sick or very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up and walk around until that penguin can walk on its own. And that's kind of what the cast did for me."

Reisig & Taylor/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty 'Friends' cast
Reisig & Taylor/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty 'Friends' cast

Related: Matthew Perry Detailed How He Would Want to Be Remembered a Year Before His Death at 54: Watch

Perry was found dead at his Los Angeles-area home on Saturday. He was 54.

According to TMZ, who first reported the death news, law enforcement sources indicated that there were no drugs found at the scene. There were also no signs of foul play present.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told PEOPLE Saturday that officers responded to a call at Perry's address regarding the death of a male in his 50s, but would not confirm the deceased's identity.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed to PEOPLE that an autopsy has been completed and results are pending a toxicology report. However, an online record has the status of the actor's cause of death currently listed as "deferred" since it's "pending additional investigation."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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