Matthew Perry, the actor who gained fame playing Chandler Bing in the hit sitcom Friends, has died.
Perry was found dead on Saturday afternoon in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home, the LA Times reported, citing law enforcement sources.
Perry came home after a 2-hour round of pickleball and he sent his assistant out on errand shortly thereafter. When the assistant returned about 2 hours later, he discovered Matthew unresponsive in his jacuzzi and called 911. The emergency team found him dead at around 4 pm.
There were no drugs found at the scene and no foul play involved.
Perry became one of the world’s most recognised actors for his role as the sarcastic Bing in NBC’s Friends, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004.
Perry, the son of actor John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Marie Langford, onetime press secretary of Canadian Prime Minister Piere Trudeau, was born in 1969 and grew up between Montreal and Los Angeles after his parents separated when Perry was 1.
His role as the wisecracking Chandler Bing, earned him much popularity across the world. He was often so good at the scenes that his own lines were used in the script.
He acted in a handful of memorable movies: ‘Fools Rush In,’ ‘The Whole Nine Yards,’ ‘Three to Tango,’ ‘The Kid,’ ’17 Again,’ ‘Getting In,’ and many others.
In his 2022 memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry recounted his lifelong struggle with addiction to alcohol and opioids – where he detailed the struggles he had and how he found solace in Jesus.
Behind the scenes he lived a torturous battle of heavy addiction, he told Diane Sawyer in a Nightline interview.
“‘God, please help me,’ I whispered. ‘Show me that you are here. God, please help me,'” he recounts in his memoir.
He continued, “As I kneeled, the light slowly began to get bigger, and bigger until it was so big that it encompassed the entire room…What was happening? And why was I starting to feel better?”
“I started to cry,” he explained. “I mean, I really started to cry – that shoulder-shaking kind of uncontrollable weeping. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was crying because, for the first time in my life, I felt OK. I felt safe, taken care of. Decades of struggling with God, and wrestling with life, and sadness, all was being washed away, like a river of pain gone into oblivion.”
“I had been in the presence of God. I was certain of it. And this time I had prayed for the right thing: help,” Perry said.
An opioid overdose led to a burst colon and an extended hospital stay, the Daily Citizen reported.
“I was given a 2 percent chance to survive the night,” Perry told HBO’s Bill Maher. “They didn’t tell me that, obviously, because I wasn’t really there, but they told my family. And I was put on a thing called an ECMO [Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] machine…They call that a hail Mary…Five people were on ECMO that night, and the other four died, and I somehow made it.”
The actor revealed that he had gone into to rehab 15 different times but has now finally come out of the other side.
Perry credited that encounter with God as the reason he stayed sober for the next two years.
“God had shown me a sliver of what life could be. He had saved me that day, and for all days, no matter what. He had turned me into a seeker, not only of sobriety, and truth but also of him,” Perry wrote.
Editor’s Note: Could we be any more sorry? Rest in Christ, Matthew; you were our favourite. We will miss you, Chan Chan Man.
(Picture Courtesy: Getty Images)