Further Inquiry Needed on Matthew Perry's Cause of Death

Meanwhile, heartbroken tributes to the actor are pouring in
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
Heartbroken Tributes to Matthew Perry Pour In
FILE - Matthew Perry arrives at the premiere of "The Invention of Lying" in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

As the medical examiner's office indicated, per CNN, that more investigation is needed before determining his cause of death, Matthew Perry's devastated family released a statement on the actor's untimely passing at age 54, telling People, "We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother. Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend." To his community of fans, they added, "You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love." Perry's parents, John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Morrison, divorced soon after Perry was born, and the actor had five younger siblings from his parents' second marriages. More tributes and reflections on the actor:

  • Friends creators react: "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," say Friends co-creators/executive producers Marta Kauffman and David Crane, plus the series' executive producer/director Kevin Bright, in a joint statement cited by Deadline. "This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken," they concluded, a nod to Friends' episode titles.

  • Friends cast "reeling": The rest of the iconic sixsome on Friends has yet to comment publicly on Perry's death, but a source tells Page Six that Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow are "reeling" after the news and are preparing a joint statement.
  • Others in the Friends universe: Others who appeared alongside Perry on the beloved sitcom have spoken out, and CBS News rounds those tributes up. They include comments from Maggie Wheeler (Janice), Morgan Fairchild (Chandler's mom), and Paul Rudd (Phoebe's husband), among others. Parade reports that the official Friends account as well as the Warner Bros. TV account posted a shared statement mourning the loss of Perry, who was "a true gift to us all."

  • Hank Azaria: Azaria, himself a Friends guest star but also one of Perry's longtime friends, is among those whose tributes ABC News rounds up. Perry, he said, was "the first friend I made in Los Angeles" at age 21 when Azaria moved there. "Matthew and I became really good friends and we were really more like brothers for a long time," he continued. "We drank a lot together, we laughed a lot together, we were there for each other in the early days of our career." He says Perry helped him as he got sober 17 years ago.
  • Canada's prime minister: Yes, even Justin Trudeau (who knew Perry at a young age because Perry's mother was an aide to Trudeau's father when Pierre Trudeau was PM) was publicly mourning Perry, the Guardian reports. "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," Trudeau said. "Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved—and you will be missed." The newspaper also rounds up a number of tributes from others in the showbiz industry.
  • Reflections: Among the many columnists reflecting on Perry's legacy as Chandler Bing was TV critic Lili Loofbourow, who writes in the Washington Post that "his greatest achievement ... was how precisely and sweetly he rendered the plight of a character dancing desperately for laughs ... in ways that borrowed truly and tragically from his life." In the New York Times, Alexis Soloski writes, "To say that he never did anything quite as good as Friends, before or after, is not to diminish his achievement. Even among the irrepressible talents of his co-stars, Perry stood out, for a rubbery, heedless way with physical comedy and a split-second timing that most stopwatches would envy."
(More Matthew Perry stories.)

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