Matthew Perry, the actor best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom Friends, was found dead on Saturday at a Los Angeles area home. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Perry appeared to have drowned, but the exact cause of death is still under investigation. First responders rushed to the scene on a call for cardiac arrest, but it is unclear where exactly on the property Perry's body was found.
Perry is best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the hit 90s sitcom Friends, which ran for ten seasons and had Perry in all 234 episodes. His character was a fan favorite, and his performance, with its distinctive mannerisms and lines, has been recreated and spoofed by fans worldwide. Warner Bros. Television Group, the producer of all ten seasons of Friends from 1994 to 2004, released a statement following news of his passing. The statement said, "His comedic genius had a global impact, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of many. This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones, and devoted fans."
While Friends was Perry's most recognizable role to date, he also starred or guest-starred in several other TV shows over the years, including Boys Will Be Boys, Growing Pains, Silver Spoons, Charles in Charge, Sydney, Beverly Hills, 90210, Home Free, Ally McBeal, The West Wing, Scrubs, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Go On, and The Odd Couple.
Perry's onscreen persona was warm and hilarious, but when the cameras were turned off, he struggled mightily with substance addiction. Perry was hooked on prescription medication for years, even while filming Friends, and had multiple stints in rehab. Beginning in 1997, he became addicted to pain medication after a jet ski accident. Perry later admitted to not remembering three years of his time on Friends and spending over $9 million trying to stay sober. He opened up about this painful chapter of his life in his memoir last year, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, detailing his struggles and his dramatic weight fluctuations on the show.