Matthew Perry, a renowned comedian and actor known for his roles in “Friends” and “The Whole Nine Yards,” has passed away at the age of 54.
The American-Canadian luminary was discovered unresponsive in a hot tub at his Los Angeles residence around 4 p.m. local time on Saturday, as reported by the Los Angeles Times and ABC News, citing anonymous law enforcement sources. Investigations are currently underway to determine the cause of his demise, and there are no indications of any foul play involved.
Perry initiated his acting journey in Los Angeles during his early adolescence. His big break came when he was cast as the central character, Chandler Bing, in the beloved sitcom “Friends” at the age of 24. It was during the show’s decade-long success on NBC that he became a household name. His most recent appearance was in a 2021 reunion special.
Perry’s birthdate is August 19, 1969, and he was the offspring of actor John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Marie Langford. Suzanne Marie Langford, his mother, had previously held the role of press secretary to former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Unfortunately, Perry’s parents went through a divorce before he reached his first birthday. He spent the majority of his formative years in Ottawa, where he coincidentally attended the same school as Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada and the son of Pierre Trudeau. Perry would often humorously recount a childhood scuffle with the future Canadian leader.
The separation of his parents had a profound and lasting impact on the actor, and the added elements of wealth and fame only intensified his struggles. Perry battled alcohol and drug addictions for many years, an ordeal he candidly documented in his 2022 memoir titled “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”
In his memoir, Perry expressed, “I figured being famous would fill the great hole that was endlessly growing inside of me.”
NBC Entertainment on X: “We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry. He brought so much joy to hundreds of millions of people around the world with his pitch perfect comedic timing and wry wit. His legacy will live on through countless generations. https://t.co/VcAlZ26Nso” / X (twitter.com)
His struggles with addiction were substantial, and he estimated spending a staggering $9 million on his journey towards sobriety. At the peak of his addiction, he was consuming up to 55 Vicodin pills, a powerful painkiller, every day. Several years ago, he endured a life-threatening health scare when his colon ruptured due to an opioid overdose, resulting in the need for resuscitation after his heart stopped. This procedure even involved breaking eight of his ribs. Consequently, this near-death experience compelled him to withdraw from his role in the film “Don’t Look Up,” a project he was set to star in alongside actress Meryl Streep.
In an interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last year, he spoke about his motivations for writing his book, saying, “My life has had so many highs and so many lows that I felt that it really was time to help people. The lower the scale I go, the more helpful I can be to other people that have gone so low.”