The Friends cast lost a member with the passing of Matthew Perry at the age of 54 at his home on October 28. He played Chandler Bing through ten seasons of the beloved comedy, alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer. Now, two days after the sad news, his former castmates have joined together with a touching message about their friend.
In a joint statement (via People), the surviving members of the Friends cast said:
We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss. In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.
The message from the five stars follows guest stars like Selma Blair and Paget Brewster speaking out about Matthew Perry, and establishes that this will not be the only time that Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, and Schwimmer address the tragedy. The sad news comes just over two years after the six leads came together for Friends: The Reunion.
When Perry's death was first reported, it was said that he drowned in his jacuzzi following cardiac arrest, with no drugs or foul play involved. The sitcom legend had been open about health struggles in the past, including an accident when he was given 2% chance of survival and his addictions throughout the seasons of Friends. He credited Jennifer Aniston for reaching out to him.
In his memoir that released almost exactly one year prior to his death, Perry also expressed that he hoped Friends was not remembered as his biggest accomplishment in life, as (via The Wrap) he "did try to help other people." He wrote that "the best thing about me is if an alcoholic or drug addict comes up to me and says, 'Will you help me?'" According to the actor, his response was always "'Yes, I know how to do that.'" That could involve helping in a group setting, or one on one.
For their part, Friends co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, along with former executive producer Kevin Bright, commended Perry for his performances as Chandler Bing was well as what he brought to the show with his personality behind-the-scenes. In a joint statement (via People) on October 29, they said:
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. 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.
Matthew Perry was clearly beloved for his work on screen as well as his presence and personality off-screen, and fans have been posting messages of their own on social media ever since the news broke. TBS is running a marathon of episodes that showcase his character from November 1 - November 5. Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with the family, friends, and loved ones of Perry in this difficult time.