Matthew Perry Death: Coroner's Report Delayed by Toxicology Testing as Tributes Pour in for 'Friends' Star
"He was the sweetest, with a giving and selfless heart." Tributes pour in for actor Matthew Perry, whose cause of death is pending further testing, according to the L.A. coroner's office.
Tributes are pouring in for actor Matthew Perry, whose cause of death has been deferred by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office pending toxicology reports and further testing, authorities said.
The "Friends" star was found unresponsive at his Pacific Palisades home on Saturday afternoon by Los Angeles City Fire Department paramedics, who responded to a 911 call for a water rescue emergency, according to the department.
Perry was found in a hot tub by his assistant, several media outlets reported, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.
Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division are investigating the actor's death, but foul play is not suspected and there were no signs of physical trauma, according to multiple reports.
The 54-year-old shot to fame as Chandler Bing in the NBC series "Friends," which ran for 10 years beginning in 1994. The sitcom is one of the most popular shows in television history and has garnered a new base of young fans in reruns and syndication.
Perry was the lovable but wise-cracking Bing, a preppie plagued by self-doubt in an ensemble cast of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc. The six friends navigated adulthood, dating, love, marriage and children during the series' long run.
Fame did not bring happiness to Perry, who struggled with addictions to alcohol and opiates. In his memoir released last year, Perry wrote of being hospitalized multiple times because of drug use. He went to rehab 15 times, and in 2018, his colon burst because of his opiate abuse, he said.
Doctors gave him a 2% chance of survival after that episode, he wrote in “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.” The actor said he had attended thousands of 12-step meetings, For several years, he opened his former Malibu home as a rehabilitation facility.
“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” Perry said in an interview for his candid memoir.
On Sunday, “Friends” co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright released a statement.
“It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives,” it said. “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. From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us.”
Perry's family also issued a statement, saying, “Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend,” the statement said. “You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”
Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler Bing's on-and-off annoying girlfriend Janice, whom he seemed to simultaneously find drawn to and repulsed by, took to social media.
"What a loss," Wheeler wrote. "The world will miss you, Matthew 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."
Actress Selma Blair, who guest-starred on "Friends," posted a recent photo on Instagram of herself and Perry.
"My oldest boy friend. All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams," she wrote.
While promoting his book, Perry said he was clean and sober. He appeared in a "Friends" reunion two years ago, during which the cast watched old episodes and reminisced about their time on the show.
Perry recounted how filming in front of a live audience made him physically ill.
"To me, it felt like I was going to die if they didn't laugh," he said during the reunion. "It's not healthy, for sure, but I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn't laugh and I would sweat and just go into convulsions if I didn't get the laugh I was supposed to get. I would freak out."
In his book, the actor wrote he wanted more than anything to become famous.
“Fame would change everything, and I yearned for it more than any other person on the face of the planet. I needed it. It was the only thing that would fix me. I was certain of it.”
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