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Matthew Perry dead at 54

How he’d like to be remembered: “As a guy who lived life, loved well, lived well and helped people. That running into me was a good thing, and not something bad.”

matthew perry, actor
Hollywood actor Matthew Perry died October 28, 2023 at the age of 54.

Saturday October 28, 2023 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated October 29, 2023 & December 15, 2023]

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UPDATE DECEMBER 15, 2023: The cause of death was found to be due to an overdose of ketamine (at levels that would be used general anesthesia during surgery) with subsequent drowning. From the autopsy there was also evidence of coronary heart disease. He died in the heated end of his backyard pool.

===== As published October 28 & 29, 2023 =====:

Actor Matthew Perry has sadly passed away at the age of 54 after an apparent drowning, it was announced around the world tonight through mainstream and social media.

First responders were called to Perry’s home in Los Angeles for a cardiac arrest incident and water emergency response — he was found dead in the hot tub in his back yard. No drugs were found at the scene and no foul play was suspected. The call reportedly came in to police at 4:07 pm PDT. Toxicology reports will take about six weeks, it was later stated by LA authorities.

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Matthew Perry (1969-2023)

For anyone who is a fan of the blockbuster Friends TV sitcom that ran 10 years — with each of the six actors soon earning over $1 million per episode — Matthew Perry is a beloved household name and ‘friend’ to those who watched the original episodes and the many years of reruns after that.

“From his iconic role as Chandler Bing on Friends to his impressive work in film and theater, he’s given us countless memorable moments and he will be sadly missed,” said Canadian freelance music publicist Eric Alper.

matthew perry, actor
Matthew Perry has died on October 28, 2023 at age 54. [photo – web]

“We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry,” Warner Bros., which produced Friends,” said in a statement. “The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of so many.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted in social media this evening: “Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening. 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.” Perry’s mother worked as a press secretary for then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau in Ottawa in the 1970s.

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When he let it shine, Perry had a smile that beamed like a million lightbulbs. It always seemed puzzling that the electric energy in that smile could be accompanied by a dark haunting within the man. He tried to fill the void in himself with alcohol and opioids, but never really cracked the habit — saying one time that he relapsed “60 or 70 times” since first getting sober in 2001.

Friends, tv show, actors
The famous set of six! Actors on Friends for 10 years 1994-2004.

There was possibly pain from family issues. According to the Los Angeles Times, Perry — the son of actor John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Marie Langford — was born August 19, 1969 and grew up between Ottawa and Los Angeles after his parents separated when Perry was just one-year-old. Perry headed to Los Angeles at age 15 to begin his acting career. Over the years he and he father both acted in film and TV productions together.

Matthew Perry lived on Bluesail Drive, described by the Los Angeles Times as “a tony street just off the Pacific Coast Highway at the crest of a hill with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean”. He had made it to the top of Hollywood fame and fortune, but he said that fame never made him happy.

matthew perry, actor
Matthew Perry (1969-2023)

Perry himself said in a CBC-TV interview with Tom Power in November 2022 that he wanted to help people deal with addiction recovery.

Women in his life included actress Yasmine Bleeth (who his character Chandler Bing also adored) and actress Julia Roberts for a short time. A few years ago he was engaged to a woman much younger than himself; that also fell through.

Matthew Perry has predeceased his birth parents (John Bennett Perry, 82 and Suzanne Perry, 84) and his sister Mia Perry. His birth parents and step-father broadcaster Keith Morrison arrived in Hollywood late this evening, looking distraught, according to LA media sources.

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Halloween safety is a top priority.

Other comments on social media (night of October 28):

“We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry. 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.” ~ NBC Entertainment

“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” ~ Morgan Fairchild

“i know his death is gonna hit me hard. friends has been my comfort show for so long. chandler was easily my fav character because i was able to relate to him. watching friends will never be the same again. rest easy, matthew perry, you sure left a mark on this world.” ~ user on X

“Happy trails to you, Matt. Thanks for being you. Wishing you a peaceful journey home through the stars. If you loved Matthew Perry as I did read his book. You will learn a lot about him.” ~ Nancy Sinatra

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Matthew Perry’s character Chandler Bing leaving in the last episode with a lucky horseshoe on his back. [Friends – 2004]

Comments on social media (next day):

“He wanted to be remembered more for helping people with addictions than his Friends character. It shows the type of person he is so let’s remember and thank this courageous fighter and advocate of #mentalhealth.” ~ Senator Patrick Brazeau

“Saddened to learn that Matthew Perry is no longer with us. His advocacy and support for those struggling with addictions issues was incredibly impactful and inspiring. He made a real difference in the lives of many.” ~ BC Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon

“I want to leave Matthew Perry’s own words here as the way we remember him. There will never be another like him- he lit up so many hearts in so many ways. Godspeed to Paradise!” ~ Mira Sorvino, actress

“… 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…” ~ Matthew Perry