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`Utterly Devastated' Matthew Perry's `Friends' Castmates Speak Out on Death

GQ Men of the Year Party 2022 at The West Hollywood EDITION - Arrivals

Photo: Phillip Faraone / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Matthew Perry's co-stars on the iconic sitcom "Friends" issued a joint statement Monday saying they are "utterly devastated" by the actor's death.

The short statement to People magazine is the first reaction from the cast since Perry's stunning death on Saturday, when the 54-year-old actor was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his Pacific Palisades home.

"We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew," the "Friends" cast -- Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer -- wrote in the statement. "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."

Perry shot to fame for his role as Chandler Bing on NBC's iconic show "Friends," embodying the famously sarcastic character to perfection over the program's 10 seasons.

Police responded to a call at 4:10 p.m. Saturday to a residence in the 18000 block of Blue Sail Drive, just northwest of The Getty Villa, of a death investigation of a male in his 50s, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Drake Madison confirmed to City News Service.

Perry's cause of death has been listed as "deferred," according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner.

The New York Post reported that an autopsy has been completed, but more testing was ordered, including toxicology, which could take months. TMZ, citing unnamed sources, reported that there were no drugs found at the scene and no evidence of foul play.

Perry had publicly announced that he had been clean and sober for about a year, but had previously battled substance abuse for years. He became addicted to Vicodin during his time on "Friends" -- and had done multiple stints in rehab, including during filming of the show.

In 2022, Perry published a memoir detailing his troubles with drugs and alcohol, his issues with weight gain and loss, and other facets of his at- times tumultuous lifestyle, including a harrowing account of an emergency surgery following a gastrointestinal perforation, which nearly took his life.

The last post on Perry's Instagram page, six days ago, featured him sitting in the corner of a steaming pool with a view of the moon and lights behind him. "Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good? I'm Mattman," he wrote.

Perry never married. His family released the following statement to People magazine:

"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. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love."

According to People, Perry is survived by his father, actor John Bennett Perry; his mother, journalist Suzanne Morrison; his stepfather, "Dateline" correspondent Keith Morrison; and five siblings -- Caitlin Morrison, Emily Morrison, Will Morrison, Madeline Morrison and Maria Perry.

TMZ posted a video of Suzanne Morrison, John Bennett Perry and Keith Morrison arriving at Perry's home hours after his death.

Other tributes began pouring in shortly after the news was reported.

"We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew's passing," "Friends" co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright said in joint statement. "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," the statement continued. "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."

Chandler Bing's on-again, off-again girlfriend, Janice, was portrayed on the show by Maggie Wheeler, who posted on Instagram: "What a loss. The world will miss you Matthew 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."

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow posted a remembrance on Instagram on Sunday, writing: "I met Matthew Perry in 1993 at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. We were both there for most of the summer doing plays. He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with. We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass. It was a magical summer. He had shot the pilot of `Friends' but it had not aired yet. He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner. It was. We stayed friends for a while until we drifted apart, but I was always happy to see him when I did. I am super sad today, as so many of us are. I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do."

Actress Mira Sorvino wrote: "Oh no!!! Matthew Perry!! You sweet, troubled soul!! May you find peace and happiness in Heaven, making everyone laugh with your singular wit!!! "

Actress Morgan Fairchild, who played Chandler Bing's mother, wrote: "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 B."

Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis, knew Perry as a child, and wrote. "I'm so sad to hear about Matthew Perry passing. When I was a kid and I was on Set while he and my dad were doing whole nine and whole 10 yards he was so kind and funny and sweet with my sisters and me and I think his physical Comedy and that movie still makes me laugh so much, I know he had many challenges in his life and brought a lot of joy to people with his comedy I hope he can rest peacefully."

Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau also paid tribute to Perry, his former elementary school classmate, writing: "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."

"Friends" ran for 10 seasons, from 1994-2004. Perry also appeared in other hit shows including "The West Wing," "Ally McBeal," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Scrubs," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "Silver Spoons," "Growing Pains" and "Charles in Charge" and more.

His movie credits include "Fools Rush In," "The Whole Nine Yards" and "Three to Tango," among others.

"We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry," NBC said in a statement. "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."

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