Matthew Perry, renowned for his portrayal of Chandler Bing on the beloved TV series Friends, has passed away at the age of 54, as reported by various sources. Perry’s death, believed to be due to drowning, occurred at his residence in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. An official cause of death is yet to be disclosed.
Warner Bros Television Group, the production company responsible for all ten seasons of Friends, aired from 1994 to 2004, paid tribute to Perry, describing him as “our dear friend” and an “incredibly gifted actor.” The statement acknowledged the profound impact of Perry’s comedic brilliance, assuring that his legacy would endure in the hearts of many. It was a sombre day, and the company extended its love to his family, loved ones, and devoted fans.
Prior to his iconic role as Chandler Bing, Perry had smaller parts in shows like Growing Pains, Beverly Hills 90210, and Dream On. However, he rose to fame by portraying the sarcastic and neurotic Chandler Bing in Friends. The show, which revolved around the lives of six friends in New York City, swiftly became a cultural phenomenon. It won numerous Emmy Awards and achieved record-breaking viewership. The series finale in 2004 attracted over 52 million viewers in the US, marking it as the most-watched TV episode of the 2000s.
Born in Massachusetts in 1969, Perry grew up in Canada, where his mother worked as a press aide to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Perry’s 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” recounted his turbulent youth after his father left the family to pursue acting. Perry had a memorable encounter with a young Justin Trudeau during this time, and he humorously noted that he decided to halt his disputes with him when Trudeau was placed in charge of an entire army.
At the age of 15, Perry moved to Hollywood in the hope of reconnecting with his father. It was in Hollywood that he discovered his passion for acting. A chance meeting at a diner, where Perry was impressing a group of young women, led to director William Richert offering him a role in the movie “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon,” alongside River Phoenix.
Perry was relatively unknown when he began his role as Chandler at the age of 24. His co-stars, including Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer, were also not widely recognized at the time. Courteney Cox was the exception, having gained fame for her role in “Family Ties.” Friends co-creator David Crane disclosed in a 2019 interview that casting Chandler was the most challenging, with other actors like Craig Bierko, Jon Cryer, and Jon Favreau also considered for the role.
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