Matthew Perry’s fellow “Friends” cast members expressed their grief and sadness about his death in a joint statement to People magazine on Monday.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer said in the statement. “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 said. “For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
Perry’s portrayal of Chandler Bing — a somewhat awkward but sharp and lovable 30-something professional who wore sweater vests but also moodily smoked cigarettes — catapulted him and his fellow “Friends” stars to international fame and turned him into a cultural phenomenon.
“Friends” ran for 10 seasons, from 1994 to 2004, and chronicled the never-too-dramatic dramas and in-jokes and exploits of six young friends in New York City.
Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home in Los Angeles on Oct. 28. He was 54.
Perry’s fans and colleagues also celebrated him on social media. The show’s official Facebook page called him “a true gift to us all.”
NBC, which aired “Friends,” said on Facebook that Perry “brought so much joy to hundreds of millions of people around the world with his pitch perfect comedic timing and wry wit.”
Other Hollywood stars have also expressed their grief. The actress Selma Blair wrote on Instagram: “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.”
Gwyneth Paltrow, who dated Perry for a summer in the 1990s before he became a major star, wrote a tribute to him on Instagram. “We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass,” she wrote. “It was a magical summer. He had shot the pilot of Friends but it had not aired yet. He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner.”
Perry had spoken openly about his struggles with sobriety after a ski accident in 1997 set in motion an addiction to pain killers. Over the years, his addiction had severe medical consequences, including an exploded colon, a stint on life support, two weeks in a coma, nine months with a colostomy bag and more than a dozen stomach operations.
In his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry described how his castmates confronted him about his addiction. He wrote that Aniston, who played Rachel Green, came to his trailer to tell him it was clear he was drinking too much. Another time, the whole cast confronted him in his dressing room.
In the foreword to Perry’s memoir, Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay, said that the question she was most asked about “Friends” was how Perry was doing.
“We send all of our love to his family and friends,” Perry’s “Friends” castmates said in their statement. “This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”
Jesus Jiménez and Matt Stevens contributed reporting