Matthew Perry Is Mourned by His Friends Castmates in Moving Tributes

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Actor Matthew Perry was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, Oct. 28. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 54 year-old was discovered unresponsive in his hot tub. A source was quoted as telling the publication that no foul play was suspected. On Nov. 1, it was reported that initial toxicology tests show Perry did not have fentanyl or methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death. When Perry's death certificate was released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the cause of death had been "deferred." Further investigation and tests were required before an official cause could be determined.

Perry's cause of death was confirmed on Dec. 15. Per a toxicology report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office, the actor died as a result of “the acute effects of ketamine." As reported by Variety, drowning was listed as a contributing factor in Perry's death, alongside coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid use disorder. The death was ruled an accident.

“At the high levels of ketamine found in his postmortem blood specimens, the main lethal effects would be from both cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression," the toxicology report stated.

On Nov. 3, Perry was laid to rest in a private funeral attended by his family and those closest to him. The actor's five Friends castmates—Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc—were in attendance. Since Perry's untimely passing, his acting peers, along with fans across the world, have continued to pay tribute to his life and work.

Perry's lead Friends castmates took a break from social media following his death, speaking out only in the form of a joint statement released to the media. On Nov. 15, Aniston, Schwimmer, and Kudrow returned to their respective Instagram profiles to share tributes to Perry, one day after LeBlanc and Cox did the same.

"Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before. We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love," Aniston wrote. "Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep. And we loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be."

Schwimmer nodded to Perry's comedic power in his tribute. "You could take a straight line of dialogue and bend it to your will, resulting in something so entirely original and unexpectedly funny it still astonishes," he wrote. "And you had heart. Which you were generous with, and shared with us, so we could create a family out of six strangers."

Meanwhile, Kudrow relived her favorite memories of Perry. "Thank you for making me laugh so hard at something you said, that my muscles ached, and tears poured down my face EVERY DAY. Thank you for your open heart in a six way relationship that required compromise. And a lot of talking," she wrote. "Thank you for showing up at work when you weren’t well and then, being completely brilliant. Thank you for the best 10 years a person gets to have."

Alongside a series of images from Friends, LeBlanc wrote: "It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life. It was an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend. I will always smile when I think of you and I’ll never forget you." Ending his post with one last shared joke, he added: "And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me."

Cox, whose Friends character Monica Geller fell in love with and eventually married Perry's Chandler Bing, opened up about working with the actor. "When you work with someone as closely as I did with Matthew, there are thousands of moments I wish I could share. For now here’s one of my favorites," she wrote, going on to reveal a behind-the-scenes memory from a beloved Friends episode.

"Chandler and Monica were supposed to have a one night fling in London. But because of the audience’s reaction, it became the beginning of their love story," she said. "In this scene, before we started rolling, he whispered a funny line for me to say. He often did things like that. He was funny and he was kind."

Perry was a household name in Hollywood, best known for his portrayal of the ever-sarcastic, yet lovable, Chandler in the hit sitcom Friends. The actor, who held dual citizenship between the U.S. and Canada, portrayed the iconic role for 10 seasons, from 1994 to 2004. Perry also enjoyed a career on the big screen, starring in films such as The Whole Nine Yards [2000] and 17 Again [2009]. The actor released his much-anticipated memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in 2022. Within the best-seller, Perry opened up about his highly-documented battle with addiction, detailing his grueling trips to rehab, interventions, and the multiple surgeries he had to endure after his health began to decline as a result of his lifestyle.

In 2021, after years of anticipation, the core six Friends castmates reunited for a TV special. Although Perry almost missed the reunion, due to needing emergency dental surgery, he made it for the James Corden-presented special. During the reunion, Perry praised the show and his bond with the cast. Becoming emotional, he revealed that even after the series ended, if he bumped into any of his co-stars at events, he’d spend the rest of the evening speaking solely to them, as was the power of their bond. Perry’s main castmates—Cox, Aniston, Kudrow, Schwimmer, and LeBlanc—all nodded in agreement at his words.

Perry’s castmates once again put on a united front when they initially broke their silence on his passing. In a joint statement, obtained by People magazine on Oct. 31, the actors paid tribute to their late co-star. "We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just castmates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss,” the statement reads.

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

As mentioned, on Nov. 3, the five Friends castmates attended a private funeral for Perry, alongside his family and others who were close to him. The service took place at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood. A poignant location, as it is near the Warner Bros. Studio lot where Friends was filmed.

Friends cast: Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow shared the screen for 10 years.Jon Ragel / NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

Meanwhile, other cast members from the show have previously paid tribute to the late actor. Maggie Wheeler, who famously played Chandler’s on-off girlfriend Janice (remembered for her unique laugh) shared a picture of her and Perry, in character, on her Instagram shortly after the actor's death was announced. “What a loss. The world will miss you, Matthew Perry,” she wrote. “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.” Fans were quick to comment, many responding with Friends references relating to Chandler and Janice’s much-debated relationship.

Morgan Fairchild, who portrayed Chandler’s mom Nora, posted her condolences on X (formerly Twitter). “I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my ‘son,’ Matthew Perry. The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock,” she wrote. Referencing Perry’s actor father, she continued: “I’m sending love and condolences to his friends and family, especially his dad, John Bennett Perry, who I worked with on Flamingo Road and Falcon Crest.

Actress Paget Brewster, who played Chandler’s girlfriend Kathy in Season 4 of Friends, praised the actor for how he treated her. “I’m so very sad to hear about Matthew Perry. He was lovely to me on Friends and every time I saw him in the decades after,” she wrote on X. “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.”

Warner Bros., the production company behind Friends, also paid tribute, describing Perry as a “true gift to us all” and sending love to his family, loved ones, and fans.

Friends creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, alongside the sitcom's EP [Executive Producer] Kevin Bright, released a joint statement in honour of Perry, saying they were "shocked and deeply, deeply saddened" by his passing.

"All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives. He was a brilliant talent. It’s a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew’s case, there are no truer words," the statement read.

"From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us. 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."

In reference to the titles of the Friends episodes starting with "The One Where," the trio signed off their message with: "This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken."

Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, shared a poignant message, too. Perry’s mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison, served as a press secretary for the Prime Minister’s father, Pierre Trudeau, who previously served as prime minister himself. “Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening. I’ll never forget the schoolyard games we used to play, and I know people around the world are never going to forget the joy he brought them,” Justin wrote. “Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved, and you will be missed.”

Below, see some of the other tributes paid to the comedic actor, as Perry’s peers and fans try to process his passing.

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