Hollywood remembers 'comedic genius' Matthew Perry: 'His legacy will live on'

Matthew Perry arrives at the 2022 GQ Men of the Year Party on Thursday, Nov.17, 2022, at the West Hollywood Edition in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Hollywood is mourning the death of "Friends" star Matthew Perry. (Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP)

Hollywood is mourning the death of actor and comedian Matthew Perry. Perry, best known for his lovable and sarcastic character Chandler Bing on "Friends," was found dead Saturday in a hot tub at his home in Los Angeles. He was 54.

Warner Bros. Television Group, which produced "Friends," described the five-time Emmy nominee as a "comedic genius."

"We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry," the studio said in a statement obtained by The Times. "Matthew was an incredibly gifted actor and an indelible part of the Warner Bros. Television Group family. 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."

Read more: 'Friends' star Matthew Perry dead at 54, found in hot tub, sources say

“Friends” co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright released a joint statement Sunday.

"We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing," the trio said. "It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives."

"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," they wrote. "We will always cherish the joy, the light, the blinding intelligence he brought to every moment — not just to his work, but in life as well. He was always the funniest person in the room. More than that, he was the sweetest, with a giving and selfless heart."

The studio recently produced the 2021 HBO Max special that reunited the original cast on the show's soundstage on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank.

NBC, which aired "Friends" from 1994 to 2004, also released a statement.

"We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry," the network said in a statement. "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."

"Nobody did it better," James Burrows, who directed 15 episodes of the popular sitcom between 1994 and 1998, succinctly captioned an Instagram photo of himself and Perry laughing.

Read more: Appreciation: Matthew Perry was easy to love. And it went deeper than his acting

Perry was discovered unresponsive at his home around 4 p.m. Law enforcement sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Times, did not cite a cause of death. No drugs were found at the scene, although prescription medications were recovered at the home, and no foul play is suspected, they said.

Perry's "Friends" co-star Maggie Wheeler, who played his on-again, off-again girlfriend Janice on the hit show, shared a sweet tribute on Instagram.

"What a loss. The world will miss you Mathew Perry," she wrote. "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."

Gwyneth Paltrow, who had a brief fling with Perry in their early acting days, according to his memoir, shared a touching tribute to Perry in an Instagram post that further detailed their short-lived romance.

"I met Matthew Perry in 1993 at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. We were both there for most of the summer doing plays. He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with," the Oscar winner wrote alongside a photo of Perry in his youth. "We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass. 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. It was.

"We stayed friends for a while until we drifted apart, but I was always happy to see him when I did. I am super sad today, as so many of us are. I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do."

Shannen Doherty, Perry's longtime friend and one-time "Beverly Hills 90210" co-star, shared a lengthy tribute about growing up together.

"Our friendship spanned a long time. A lifetime really. I know many are hurting, especially our little gang. He will be missed by many and definitely by us. Yes. I could be more poetic or say things better but right now, shock and sadness prevail," she wrote in part on Instagram.

Perry's TV mom, Morgan Fairchild, wrote on X, formerly Twitter: "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."

Another co-star, Laura Benanti, who appeared alongside Perry on "Go On," honored him on Instagram. The NBC sitcom aired from 2012 to 2013.

"Matty was generous, brilliant and an unparalleled talent. What a devastating loss. May his memory be a blessing," Benanti wrote.

Yvette Nicole Brown, who starred with Perry in the CBS sitcom "The Odd Couple" (2015–2017), remembered him fondly.

"Our #OddCouple family suffered a great loss today," she wrote on X. "The entire entertainment world has. I am too sad about the news to say more than this: @mattyperry4 was a sweetheart who deserved more peace in this life. 54 is too young to go. We love you, Matty! #RIPMatthewPerry."

Read more: Adele honors 'incredibly brave' Matthew Perry during Las Vegas show

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher also reflected on Perry's death.

"So sad that on the eve of the brightest moon we lost one of our brightest stars," Drescher said. "A brilliant comedian but a sad clown. I didn’t know him but as Chandler he will always be a 'friend.' May you RIP dear one. Your talent will continue to make us laugh… health is wealth."

Selma Blair also praised Perry 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."

Mira Sorvino, who starred with Perry in the 1994 TV ensemble movie "Parallel Lives," described his humor as "singular."

"Oh no!!! Matthew Perry!! You sweet, troubled soul!! May you find peace and happiness in Heaven, making everyone laugh with your singular wit!!!" Sorvino wrote on X.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — Perry's elementary school classmate — also paid tribute.

"Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening," Trudeau wrote on X. "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. Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved – and you will be missed."

Meredith Salenger wrote that the two met when they were 16 — they starred together in the 1988 drama "A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon."

"Oh no no no no no! Matty! Oh man. My heart breaks. Matty... Matthew and I have known each other since were were 16 years old. Oh man. No words. Rest in peace sweet @MatthewPerry," Salenger said on X.

Melissa Rivers also tweeted condolences to Perry, her high school classmate.

"A high school classmate died today. So sad. Gone too soon. RIP," Rivers wrote on X.

Meanwhile, Rumer Willis shared a memory of her time with Perry and her father, Bruce Willis, on the sets of the films "The Whole Nine Yards" and "The 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 on her Instagram story.

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer mourned Perry's death on Instagram.

"I’m incredibly saddened to hear of Matthew Perry’s passing today," she wrote. "His gift to the world will be remembered forever. Sending love to Matthew’s family, friends, co-stars and millions of fans around the world."

Read other tributes below:

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.