Friends co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright have issued a statement paying tribute to the late Matthew Perry.
Perry, who was best known for his role as Chandler Bing in the long-running sitcom, died yesterday (October 28) aged 54 and was reportedly found unresponsive due to a suspected drowning. Authorities have said no foul play was involved, and no drugs were found at the scene.
In the statement, Kauffman, Crane and Bright recall how Perry got the role of Chandler Bing in the audition room – a part they have previously said was especially difficult to cast – and reminisced on how he made the iconic character his own.
“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing. It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives,” they wrote [via Deadline].
“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. 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.
“We send all of our love to his family and friends. This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”
Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox (1995). CREDIT: PictureLux
Meanwhile, fans have been paying tribute to the actor by laying flowers outside the New York apartment building that frequently appeared in the sitcom.
Fans of the show have also been sharing an excerpt from a podcast interview he did last year in which he discussed how he wanted to be remembered after he died.
“When I die, I know people will talk about Friends, Friends, Friends. And I’m glad of that, happy I’ve done some solid work as an actor, as well as given people multiple chances to make fun of my struggles on the world wide web…
“But when I die, as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if Friends were listed far behind the things I did to try to help other people. I know it won’t happen, but it would be nice.”
Maggie Wheeler, who played Bing’s on-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein, wrote on Instagram: “What a loss. The world will miss you Mathew Perry. 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.”
While Perry’s on-screen mother, Morgan Fairchild, shared this statement via X/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.”
Meanwhile, Perry’s last interview before his death has also resurfaced, in which he gave advice to people struggling with addiction.
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