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'Friends' star Matthew Perry dead at 54: 'His comedic genius was felt around the world'

Matthew Perry has died at age 54. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Matthew Perry has died at age 54. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Matthew Perry, who rose to fame on the sitcom Friends, in which he portrayed Chandler Bing for 10 seasons, was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Saturday. He was 54.

"We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry," Warner Bros. Television, which produced Friends, said in a statement obtained by Yahoo Entertainment. "Matthew was an incredibly gifted actor. ... The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of so many.

"This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our love to his family, his loved ones. and all of his devoted fans."

According to the Los Angeles Times, Perry apparently drowned in his hot tub. Authorities arrived to the actor's home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood at 4 p.m., the Times reported, where he was discovered unresponsive. Foul play is not suspected. The investigation is ongoing, and no cause of death has been released.

Yahoo has reached out to representatives for Perry but there was no immediate comment.

Following his time on Friends, he returned to TV again for starring roles in short-lived comedies like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine, Go On and a reboot of The Odd Couple opposite Thomas Lennon. In 2021, he joined with his Friends co-stars in May 2021 for a reunion special on HBO Max.

On the big screen, Perry starred in films like The Whole Nine Yards, 17 Again and Fools Rush In.

Last year, Perry released a memoir titled Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. In the book, the actor chronicled his struggles with substance use, as well as detailed his complicated relationship with the spotlight.

Following the release of the memoir, he spoke about some of his private health struggles for the first time, including a 2018 incident in which his colon burst from opioid use.

"The doctors told my family that I had a 2% chance to live," Perry told People. "I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that's called a Hail Mary. No one survives that."

In an interview with the Washington Post in November 2022, Perry said of his memoir, “It's putting me on the map and people are talking about me again. That's nice because it’s been five or six years when there was none of that. Sometimes I think I went through the addiction, alcoholism and fame all to be doing what I'm doing right now, which is helping people."

As word of Perry's death spread, friends and colleagues paid tribute on social media, among them Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler's on-off girlfriend Janice; Paget Brewster, who also appeared in Friends; Odd Couple co-star Yvette Nicole Brown; and Meredith Salenger, who starred with Perry in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, one of his pre-Friends roles.