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Friends' Matthew Perry, Emmy Nominated Star, Dead At 54

"Friends" icon Matthew Perry has tragically died at 54. According to TMZ, Perry died in a drowning incident, noting that first-responders rushed to Perry's home in Los Angeles after receiving a "call for cardiac arrest." TMZ alleges that Perry was found in his jacuzzi and that there were no drugs at the scene, also claiming, through their sources, that there was "no foul play involved." The outlet later noted that the actor returned to his home after playing pickleball for two hours and sent his assistant out on an errand. When they returned, they called 911 after finding the actor unresponsive.

The actor achieved global stardom through his role as the hilarious Chandler Bing in arguably the most famous sitcom ever created, "Friends." Throughout the 10-season run on NBC, Perry starred in over 200 episodes and earned an Emmy nomination in 2002. 

Perry's story was one of astounding success, terrible personal torment, and incredible resilience. The actor experienced everything the industry had to offer, from the greatest heights to the worst of lows. 

Despite its immense success, Friends was not an easy journey for Perry

Matthew Perry was born on August 19, 1969, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. (Interestingly enough, he actually attended the same elementary school as current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.)

When first establishing himself in the acting world, Perry had prominent roles in shows like "Sydney," "Boys Will Be Boys," and "Home Free." Of course, superstardom arrived in 1994 when he introduced the world to the supreme king of sarcasm, Chandler Bing.

"Friends" brought Perry unbelievable fame and fortune. However, the veteran actor admitted on multiple occasions that his time on the show wasn't an easy journey. In the 2004 book, "Friends 'Til the End," Perry plainly admitted this. "I was 24 when I got on the show," he said (per PEOPLE). "I'll be 34 when it's over, and those are really important years in somebody's life. So to do it all in public ... was difficult."

Behind the scenes, Perry had lengthy battles with addiction, and sought treatment on multiple occasions. In 2016, the actor explained to BBC Radio 2 that his substance abuse was so severe that he could not remember three years — Seasons 3-6 — of the series. However, the actor was able to recover from his addiction, and even eventually founded a sobriety facility for men. "The interesting reason that I can be so helpful to people now is that I screwed up so often," he said. "It's nice for people to see that somebody who once struggled in their life is not struggling any more" (via PEOPLE).

Matthew Perry's work and life beyond Friends

Beyond "Friends," Perry worked with some of Hollywood's biggest stars, including the likes of Bruce Willis, Salma Hayek, Chris Farley, and Zac Efron, to name a few. The actor was also able to move away from comedy and show off his dramatic acting chops on multiple occasions. In 2003, he wowed television viewers by portraying Republican lawyer Joe Quincy on "West Wing." While he only played the character for three episodes, the part earned him two separate Emmy nominations. In 2006, Perry would receive another Emmy nomination for playing the kind-hearted teacher, Ron Clark, in the television film, "The Ron Clark Story."

Perry's last character role came in 2017, when he played Senator Ted Kennedy in the television mini-series, "The Kennedys: After Camelot." Four years later, Perry reunited with all his old castmates in "Friends: The Reunion," which aired exclusively on HBO Max. While not an exact continuation of the show, it did allow fans, and the stars themselves, a chance to go back in time and relive some of the show's greatest moments. With Perry's tragic passing, this reunion special, along with all of Chandler Bing's greatest moments, will feel much different during every fan's weekly "Friends" binge.