The actor was found dead in a jacuzzi at his Los Angeles area home after his assistant returned from running an errand, according to TMZ. His official cause of death is still pending.
Matthew was best known for his role as Chandler Bing on Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004. The ensemble cast, which included Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc, was one of the biggest shows of the decade, even earning Matthew an Emmy nomination in 2002. The entire Friends cast reacted to Matthew’s death in a statement to PEOPLE on October 30.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew,” the five actors said. “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. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
While he found success on screen, Matthew’s real life was filled with ups and downs as he battled addiction. The actor said in his book that he spent more than $9 million in his lifetime in an effort to get sober, explaining, “I’ve been in a mental institution, gone to therapy twice a week for thirty years, been to death’s door.”However, at the time of his book’s release, the Massachusetts native was sober and dedicated his life to helping others battle addiction.
Keep reading to see tributes from Matthew’s former co-stars and more.
Lisa thanked Matthew for the memories they share, from the first time the Friends cast met to the end of the show.
“Shot the pilot, Friends Like Us, got picked up then immediately, we were at the NBC Upfronts [sic]. Then, you suggested we play poker AND made it so much fun while we initially bonded,” Lisa captioned an Instagram post. “Thank you for that. 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.’ 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. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for all I learned about GRACE and LOVE through knowing you. Thank you for the time I got to have with you, Matthew.”
Oh boy this one has cut deep,” the Morning Show star wrote. “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. 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 six of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be. For Matty, he KNEW he loved to make people laugh. As he said himself, if he didn’t hear the ‘laugh’ he thought he was going to die. His life literally depended on it. And boy did he succeed in doing just that. He made all of us laugh. And laugh hard. In the last couple weeks, I’ve been pouring over our texts to one another. Laughing and crying then laughing again. I’ll keep them forever and ever. I found one text that he sent me out of nowhere one day. It says it all. (See the second slide…) Matty, I love you so much and I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain. I talk to you every day… sometimes I can almost hear you saying “could you BE any crazier? Rest, little brother. You always made my day.”
David took a moment to praise his former co-star’s performance as Chandler Bing in his Instagram tribute.
“Matty, thank you for 10 incredible years of laughter and creativity,” he wrote. “I will never forget your impeccable comic timing and delivery. 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. And you had heart. Which you were generous with, and shared with us, so we could create a family out of six strangers.”
Courteney shared a video to Instagram of her and Matthew in character as Chandler and Monica on Friends.
“I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty, and I miss you every day,” she captioned her post. “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. To give a little backstory, 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. 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.”
Matt LeBlanc was the first main Friends cast member to share an individual tribute to Matthew, doing so on Instagram on November 14. Matt posted photos of him and Matthew’s time playing Joey and Chandler on Friends, receptively, with a heartfelt message to his late co-star.
“Matthew, it is with a heavy heart I say goodbye,” Matt wrote in his caption. “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. Never. Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”
Bradley Whitford, who starred alongside Matthew in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, posted a video of an old interview of the two of them. In the caption, he wrote a long tribute, beginning by saying, “Matthew Perry made me laugh. Hard.” He continued to speak about how wonderful his sense of humor was, and the ways he made him laugh.
The West Wing alum continued and spoke about the many wonderful qualities that the Friends actor had. “Without substances, Matt had a huge, open heart and a pyrotechnical, joyous brain. I think the most beautiful parts of Matt made him the most vulnerable to the monster that he would have to fight for the rest of his life,” he wrote. “His battle was heroic. They don’t have award shows for that. They should.”
Bradley continued and highlighted how “kind” Matthew was, and spoke about how he was a “fountain of light,” even while battling his own demons. He said that he wanted to “honor” his co-star’s legacy by helping others get help. “I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with Matt, to spend some precious time with him, and most of all, to be his friend,” he concluded.
The Almost Famous actress shared a photo of herself laughing at one of Matthew’s jokes on her Instagram Story on Monday, October 30. “We played tennis and played more tennis, talked endlessly about trials and tribulations of love and then would talk some more as we would laugh our a**es off and then laughed some more,” she wrote. “As you can see, to know him was to adore him. “We love you Matthew.”
John Stamos posted a video from his guest appearance on Friends as Monica and Chandler’s potential sperm donor. He wrote about getting to spend a lot of time with Matthew while working on the show, but he said they’d been friends long before that. ‘Standing backstage, ready to make my entrance, Matt whispers, “The audience is going go crazy when they see you! Get ready for some loud screams.’ I walk through the door… silence. I was so embarrassed. “Matt walks over to the studio audience: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for John Stamos! You guys probably didn’t recognize him at first because it’s so much better looking in person!'”
He concluded his post by saying that that was a moment he’d never forget. “I never forgot that and the world will never forget you,” he wrote.
Salma took to Instagram to pen a thoughtful tribute to her former film co-star.
“Two days ago, I woke up to the shocking news that Matthew Perry is no longer with us,” Salma wrote via Instagram. “It’s taken me a couple of days to process this profound sadness. There is a special bond that happens when you share dreams with someone, and together, you work towards them. I was very moved last year when Matthew shared on his Instagram stories how much he loved Fools Rush In, and how he thought that that film we did together was probably his best movie. Throughout the years, he and I found ourselves reminiscing about that meaningful time in our lives with a deep sense of nostalgia and gratitude. My friend, you are gone much too soon, but I will continue to cherish your silliness, your perseverance and your lovely heart. Farewell, sweet Matthew, we will never forget you.”
Matthew’s A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon co-star Ione Skye posted screenshots of her last text exchange with the actor a week prior to his death. “I’m very sad. Loved this guy,” she wrote.
In the texts, the Friends star said that he’d thought of her and wanted to say hello. “I hope all is well. I was meditating (I meditate now) and “In You Eyes” started playing. And I instantly thought of you and how beautiful you are,” he wrote. “Hope you are healthy and happy.”
In her responses, Skye showed love to Matthew, telling him that it was “good to hear” from him and that she had “nice memories” of working with him. “Me too. That one afternoon I was sitting in my apartment, and there you were!” he wrote.
Adele took time out of her Las Vegas residency concert to honor Matthew on Saturday, October 28. She spoke about how much the character Chandler meant to her, as she spoke about Matthew’s courage. “He was so open with his struggles with addiction and sobriety, which I think is incredibly, incredibly brave,” she said in footage shared on social media. “I love what he did for us.
Fellow actor Hank Azaria credited Matthew with helping him get sober, by bringing him to Alcoholics Anonymous for the first time in an Instagram video. He said that they regularly went to meetings when he first got sober. “As a sober person, he was so caring and giving and wise, and he totally helped me get sober,” he said.
Earlier in the clip, he also spoke about the sitcom star’s amazing sense of humor. “He was just the funniest man ever. He just lived to laugh,” he said.
Yvette Nicole Brown
Yvette Nicole Brown, who co-starred with Matthew on The Odd Couple, said she was “heartbroken” to learn of his passing in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “The first thing, when someone passes, you immediately go through your pictures like you wanna remember moments, and so I scrolled back to a lot of the pictures that I had from when we worked together,” she said. “There’s been so much talk about his comedy, and his ability to lighten loads with his gift. But his greatest gift was his heart.”
The Addams Family alum Christina Ricci revealed that though she never met Matthew, she was still a major Friends fan, and Chandler was her favorite character. “I burst into tears when I read the news today. I never met Matthew Perry, but I loved him. Friends saved me numerous times during hard and lonely times in my life,” she wrote on Instagram. “I watched all his movies. He was a genius.”
She also spoke about Matthew’s battles with addiction and how inspiring his book was. “I’m heartbroken this man suffered so much in life while giving us so much of himself,” she wrote. “If you’re struggling with addiction issues [the book] might just save your life. May he finally rest in peace.”
Charlie Puth was another celebrity fan who paid tribute to Matthew at one of his concerts. During his Melbourne show, he played “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts, which was the theme song for Friends, and the crowd sang along, as shown in a fan-shot TikTok.
“Rest in peace, sweet man,” Matthew’s former Sydney co-star wrote via her Instagram Story.
The actress who played Chandler’s mom, Nora Bing, took to X to reflect on her former co-star.
“I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my ‘son,’ Matthew Perry,” she wrote. “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.”
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. #RIPMatthew pic.twitter.com/QWMsBVJEAr
— Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) October 29, 2023
The actress played Janice, Chandler’s on-again, off-again love interest, on Friends for 19 episodes.
“What a loss,” Wheeler wrote via Instagram. “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.”
“My oldest boy friend. All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me,” the actress wrote via Instagram. “And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams, Matty. Sweet dreams.”
The daughter of Bruce Willis, who starred with Matthew in The Whole Nine Yards, recounted a loving memory of Matthew via her Instagram Story.
“When I was a kid and I was on set while he and my dad were doing Whole Nine and Whole Ten Yards, he was so kind and funny and sweet with my sisters and me and I think his physical comedy and that movie still makes me laugh so much,” she wrote. “I know he had many challenges in his life and brought a lot of joy to people with his comedy. I hope he can rest peacefully.”
The Canadian Prime Minister, who went to school with Matthew in Ottawa, Canada, called his death “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,” he continued on X. “Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved — and you will be missed.”
“Matty Perry was a gem. I had the great, good fortune to act with and also direct him on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” Busfield said in a statement to People. “He was a good, good man and a sweet, funny soul who will be missed, desperately. Not only by his millions of devoted fans, but by those co-workers and friends who he made crumble to the floor with his fast and searing wit.”