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Friends Actors Who've Sadly Passed Away

For ten seasons, David Crane and Marta Kauffman's sitcom "Friends" was there for us, shaping '90s pop culture and fashion while bringing dozens of hours of laughs that continue even decades later. It wasn't just any regular day at Central Perk coffee shop when Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) burst in wearing a frothy wedding dress, looking for her estranged high school bestie Monica Gellar (Courtney Cox) after jilting her fiancé at the altar. In spite of their growing apart and Rachel's ever more abrasive and privileged behavior, Monica invites her into her world and takes the socialite under her slightly more worldly wings, introducing her to her neighbors — dorky IT manager Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), dimwitted soap opera lothario Joey Tribiani (Matt LeBlanc), and quirky masseuse Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), as well as reconnecting Rachel with her brother Ross Gellar (David Schwimmer), who had been carrying a secret love torch for Rachel all these years. 

Over the course of a decade, we followed the gang through their ups, downs, and hijinks as they explored love and life in the Big Apple. But a lot has happened in the years since "Friends" went off the air in 2004, and could we be any sadder to report that several "Friends" collaborators have left the mortal plane since the show's conclusion? Here are the "Friends" actors you may not know passed away.

Ron Leibman (Dr. Leonard Green)

Rachel's overbearing father Dr. Leonard Green may only appear in four "Friends" episodes, but he casts a huge shadow over the show, especially Rachel's character. Dr. Green was extremely well-to-do in his career but equally hands-off with his children, and as a result his three daughters have become absolute spoiled brats who have no idea how the world works at all. 

When we finally meet gruff Dr. Green in season 2's "The One With the Two Parties," so much about Rachel's upbringing and current neuroses becomes clear. We also have some moments of empathy for Rachel, who is desperately trying to break out of the old entitled patterns that no longer serve her as a wannabe self-sufficient career woman. While Dr. Green was a character we loved to hate, we all could agree with him on one thing: Ross is a jerk and Rachel could do better. 

Actor Ron Leibman had a long and distinguished career across movies, television, and the stage that included a Tony Award for his work in "Angels in America." Leibman passed away in December of 2019 of pneumonia complications at the age of 82. 

Ron Glass (Russell)

Ross Gellar's relationships are so dysfunctional he's on a first name basis with his divorce attorney, Russell. He's constantly disturbed by Ross' compulsive behavior, but he also recognizes a cash cow when he sees one, calling Ross one of his favorite clients thanks to all the business. Let's not forget that Ross got divorced not once, but twice in a year, first from Emily Waltham (Helen Baxendale) after saying Rachel's name at the altar, and then later from Rachel after a blackout drunk drive-through Elvis wedding in Vegas. Oops and oy vey, respectively. 

Russell is the one to give Rachel the unfortunate news that Ross didn't actually file the annulment papers since he didn't want to be a three-time divorcee, a moment that has big consequences for the entire gang, not just Rachel and Ross. Played by Ron Glass — who is far better known for his roles on "Barney Miller" and "Firefly" — Russell was a rare voice of reason on "Friends". Glass passed away in November 2016 of undisclosed causes at the age of 71.

Max Wright (Terry)

Before lovesick-for-Rachel Central Perk manager Gunther (James Michael Tyler), for a brief moment in "Friends" history we had Terry, the surly coffee shop owner whose tongue was as sharp as his black coffee. While only on screen for two episodes, Terry offers one of the most cruel descriptions of Phoebe's music that is so dreadfully mean it somehow comes all the way back around to funny: "It's not that your friend is bad. It's that she's so bad she makes me want to put my finger through my eye into my brain and swirl it around." Yikes, Terry. 

Thankfully Phoebe never hears these words and continues on her merry weird musical way, albeit outside the coffee shop as long as Terry has anything to say about it. It's also courtesy of Terry that we have one of the show's most memorable cameos, as Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders plays an open mic set at the café and eventually Phoebe even teaches her the chorus of her infamous ditty "Smelly Cat." While actor Max Wright might be better known for his turn as Mr. Tanner on "ALF," his mark on "Friends" as Terry is indelible. Wright passed away at the age of 75 in June 2019 after a long struggle with cancer.

Conchata Ferrell (The Judge)

One of the core narrative arcs on "Friends" was the tumultuous, on-again off-again relationship between Rachel Green and Ross Gellar that brought virtually no end to conflicts within the gang. One of the many turning points in their toxic romance comes when Rachel and Ross get blackout drunk in Vegas and get married. While it's hilarious when the inebriated couple congratulate each other with, "Hello Mrs. Ross!" and "Hello, Mr. Rachel!" it's not so funny when they sober up and Ross realizes he is on the road to a third divorce. 

To avoid this, Ross and Rachel visit a judge hoping for an annulment, which goes characteristically wrong for everyone involved, including the grumpy judge who has no patience for lies or the liars who tell them. Naturally, she denies the annulment. Played by prolific character actress Conchata Ferrell, the judge might only be on screen for one episode, but she's unforgettable. Ferrell died in October 2020 after suffering from heart issues earlier in the year at the age of 77.

Taylor Negron (Allesandro)

A key part of Monica's character arc finds her chasing her lifelong dream of being a chef, and on her difficult road down that path she writes a review of Allesandro's Italian restaurant for the Chelsea Reporter, one that absolutely eviscerates the establishment to such a degree that its owner, Allesandro, actually comes to Monica's apartment to chew her out, pun intended. While there, Monica learns that the reason the food was so bad was because Allesandro doesn't actually know how to cook. Also, he's not even Italian — he's Lebanese. 

After tasting Monica's food, a begrudging Allesandro invites Monica to be his new head chef, which turns into another huge conflict as the old head chef was literally related to everyone else on staff, so their anger turns to her until she concocts shenanigans with Joey in order to get her new staff to take her seriously. Actor Taylor Negron, who memorably brought Allesandro to life, was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2008 and succumbed to the illness in January 2015 at the young age of 57.

Joel Beeson (Todd the Hombre Man)

As a sometimes struggling actor, Joey Tribiani often has to get creative with jobs to pay the bills, especially in the early seasons of "Friends" before his big break as Dr. Drake Ramore on "Days of Our Lives." One of the most memorable of Joey's side hustles happens in "The One With the Breast Milk," in which Joey takes a job as a perfume sprayer (something that totally existed once upon a time) at a large department store. While it should have been a straightforward gig, the hijinks begin when Joey finds competition with the Hombre Man, a handsome and chiseled salesperson for Hombre Cologne, for the affections of pretty Annabel (Emily Proctor). 

As Joey attempts to win her over, and also be the better salesperson, the stoic Hombre Man is eventually revealed to be a poser named Todd who ends the episode fired, leaving Joey to walk off into the "sunset" with Annabel. Tragically, Hombre Man actor Joel Beeson died in October 2017 of a congenital liver disease he had been struggling with for some time. He was only 51.

Robin Williams (Thomas)

There were so many ongoing gags that made "Friends" surprising and fun for the entirety of its run, from Phoebe's weird little songs to Ross and Rachel drama that took some really strange turns along the way. But one of the other narrative tricks that kept things lively was also the overwhelming number of celebrity cameos, with A-listers often playing love interests for the gang. One of the rare non-romantic cameos comes courtesy of Robin Williams and Billy Crystal as Thomas and Tim in "The One With the Ultimate Fighting Champion." 

Thomas and Tim find themselves on the gang's couch in Central Perk on a particularly busy morning as a hysterical Thomas tries to figure out who might be having an affair with his wife. As it turns out, the cuckolder is Tim himself, which unfolds in dialogue that was improvised by Williams and Crystal on set, according to Screen Rant. The gang is in awe, and rightfully so, watching these two comedic masters at work. Heartbreakingly, absolute mensch Robin Williams died by suicide on August 11, 2014, after a long struggle with a number of physical and mental health issues.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Mary Pat Gleason (Nurse Sizemore)

In classic sitcom style, physical comedy played a huge part in "Friends" right from the beginning, and "The One With George Stephanopoulos" is no exception. One of the concurrent plots involves Ross moping about his pregnant ex-wife Carol (Jane Sibbett), as Joey and Chandler try to take his mind off of his failed relationship by inviting him out to a hockey game. As a morose Ross continues pointing out every small thing he sees that reminds him of Carol and the fact that she left him for a woman, his friends get increasingly annoyed with him until Ross gets hit square in the face with an errant hockey puck, prompting a sudden trip to the emergency room. 

As Ross bleeds in the waiting room, Chandler deals with grumpy Nurse Sizemore, who is more concerned with her complaint about a candy bar than checking in patients, resulting in some wildly inappropriate banter that eventually leads to the sardonic nurse getting a hockey puck to the face, too. Nurse Sizemore was played by well known character actress Mary Pat Gleason, who passed away of cancer in June 2020 at the age of 70.

Shelley Berman (Mr. Kaplan)

As she settles into life in the Big City, Rachel's first and most convenient job becomes coffee slinger at Central Perk — that is, when she actually remembers someone's correct order, an inability that should have gotten her fired immediately. But because Gunther has an enormous crush on her, her terrible tenure at the coffee shop lasts until Joey gets her a new gig in her preferred field: fashion. As she celebrates making her last cup of coffee (and giving it to Chandler, who ordered tea), Rachel gets a new shock on her first day working with Mr. Kaplan to find out her main duty will be... making coffee to his exact specifications. Oh, Rachel. 

But as aggrieved as she might have been about her new not-so-dream job in fashion, it does end up being a stepping stone for her eventual career with Bloomingdales, so we can thank Mr. Kaplan for giving Rachel her first break, even though it wasn't what she expected. Legendary stand-up comedian and longtime stage and screen character actor Shelley Berman passed away in September of 2017 due to Alzheimer's complications at the age of 92.

Stan Kirsch (Young Ethan)

In "The One With the Ick Factor," "Friends" goes into some pretty gross territory that likely wouldn't even end up on television today, making it a weirdly standout episode. Monica's dating shenanigans devolve into her going to a college party and pretending to be 22 instead of her actual age of 26. While there, she meets a cute guy named Ethan who says he's a senior and Monica agrees to go out with him even under her false pretenses, thinking he's actually in college. 

After sleeping together, Monica finds out that he's a senior in high school, and only 17 to boot, making this not just an "ick factor," but an actual crime that the "SVU" detectives could pick her up for. Big whoopsie, Mon. Tragically, young Ethan actor Stan Kirsch, better known for his long run on the "Highlander" television series, died by suicide in January of 2020 at the young age of 51.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Audra Lindley (Frances)

Frances might only be in one "Friends" episode, but that episode is a key one for Phoebe's character, changing her entire arc mostly for the better (but also a lot for the weird, as to be expected). Frances was Phoebe's adoptive grandmother, although Pheebs didn't actually know that she and her sister had been adopted at all; all the photographs of her "father" around Frances' house were actually the placeholder images that came with the picture frames, explaining why Phoebe insists for the rest of the series that her grandmother is in Hell. 

Thankfully, though, before Frances' death she guides Phoebe to her actual father, Frank Buffay (Bob Balaban). Phoebe also finds out about her brother, Frank Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi), which sets up many new character arcs for the most eccentric of the Friends and her even stranger family, like the time when she carries her brother and his much older wife's triplets. Frances was played by Audra Lindley, iconic for her role as Mrs. Roper on "Three's Company." She died in October of 1997 after a long struggle with leukemia, meaning she never had a chance to see how her small appearance on the show would in fact change pop culture history.

Fred Willard (Dean Lipson)

As a paleontologist who won't shut up about his work, it makes an odd kind of sense that Ross Gellar would one day turn up with a pet monkey, as he does during the first season of "Friends." Marcel is a capuchin who starts off sweet, but quickly grows more and more aggressive as he ages, leading to an uncomfortable adulthood in which he cannot stop humping anything that moves (or doesn't), including Rachel's childhood stuffed animals. As his friends get more and more annoyed with Marcel's disruptions, Ross decides to let the Bronx Zoo adopt him. But when he goes to visit, he finds out from shifty zoo administrator Dean Lipson that Marcel has died. Or has he? 

The intrigue builds when a janitor tells Ross that Marcel has been shipped out to California to become an actor in Hollywood, and the zoo wants to keep the information under wraps. When Ross finds out that Marcel will be starring in "Outbreak 2" filming locally, he's able to say goodbye to his old friend with his favorite song, "In the Jungle." Comedy icon Fred Willard might only have been on screen briefly in "Friends," but he brought his characteristic snark to the role in a way that played perfectly with Ross' "natural" suspicion. Willard passed away in May 2020 of a sudden heart attack at the age of 86, never having retired from his lifelong acting career.

Paul Gleason (Jack)

"Friends" didn't often go into dream territory, rarely exploring any alternate avenues for the characters or offering fresh perspectives on the past and future of the story. But thankfully, we do have the two-part "The One That Could Have Been," which dives into an alternate universe in which Rachel married Barry, Monica never lost all that weight, Joey stayed on at "Days of Our Lives," Chandler is an aspiring comedian, Ross and Carol remain unhappily married, and in the biggest twist of all, Phoebe is an investment banker who chain smokes, rather than a floopy vegetarian masseuse with excellent fashion sense. 

It's in Phoebe's portion of the story that Paul Gleason, perhaps best known as Vice Principal Vernon from "The Breakfast Club," appears as her concerned boss Jack after Phoebe loses millions of dollars on a bad deal and has a heart attack. Gleason passed away in May 2006 at the age of 67 after struggling with mesothelioma and lung cancer complications caused by asbestos exposure.

Kellie Waymire (Colleen)

The show may focus on the six titular friends, but the person who seems to have the biggest community outside the gang is Phoebe, who is constantly introducing the others to folks from various different points in her tumultuous life. In "The One Where Ross is Fine" Phoebe introduces Monica and Chandler to Colleen and her husband Bill, so the Geller-Bings can find out more about how they adopted their son Owen and decide if it's a process they might like to attempt too. Everything is going great until Chandler goes to the bathroom and runs into Owen, mentioning the reason why he and Monica are visiting the house at all. 

The problem is, Owen doesn't know he's adopted, and Chandler has just created an incredibly painful situation for Colleen's family, who Monica and Chandler leave amid screaming, crying, and chaos. We never hear from or about them ever again. Colleen actress Kellie Waymire passed away in November 2003 of a sudden undisclosed illness at the young age of 36, sadly just one short month after her "Friends" episode aired.

James Michael Tyler (Gunther)

If "Friends" had a seventh friend, or a character most familiar to even casual viewers beyond the tight-knit titular six, it was Gunther, the manager of the gang's coffee shop hangout. He was often seen flitting around in the background at Central Perk, waiting on customers and pulling espresso shots while invariably rocking a tie, a loud shirt, and tightly-cropped, bleached-blond hair. On the occasion that Gunther spoke in one of his more than 150 appearances, it was to quietly and forlornly express his unrequited love for former coworker Rachel, or to deliver a blistering barb against her on-again, off-again boyfriend Ross.

In real life, to help pay the bills between gigs in addition to his continuing role as Gunther, actor James Michael Tyler worked at a Hollywood coffee shop called The Bourgeois Pig. "I was one of their first baristas — I think I started there in 1990 or so," he told BuzzFeed in 2014. He appeared on HBO Max's long-awaited, long-delayed "Friends" reunion special in 2021, but via Zoom because of health concerns. Tyler told NBC's Today that he'd been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018, and the disease had spread to his bones. In October 2021, the 59-year-old actor died, per NBC News. "'Friends' would not have been the same without you," Jennifer Aniston said in an Instagram post. "Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed."

Mike Hagerty (Mr. Treeger)

Mr. Treeger was the gruff, no-nonsense superintendent of the New York City apartment building in which Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Joey resided on "Friends," and he factored into the plot of five episodes between 1995 and 2001. Probably the most memorable occasion came in the 1997 installment "The One with the Ballroom Dancing." After catching Rachel stuffing the trash chute and making her cry, Mr. Treeger decides to toss her and Monica from the building, leading Joey to stick up for his friends and agreeing to be the super's ballroom dance practice partner in advance of the superintendents' ball.

Portraying Mr. Treeger was the prolific and highly recognizable character actor Mike Hagerty, known for his mustache, his Chicago accent, and his tendency to play working class characters. Before "Friends," he played a cable TV station employee in "Wayne's World" and the best friend in "Overboard." After "Friends," he appeared in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Shameless," and, in 2022, he was part of the main cast of HBO's "Somebody Somewhere."

The star of that show, Bridget Everett, announced on her Instagram page that Hagerty had died on May 5, 2022. "A beloved character actor, his love of his hometown of Chicago and his family were the cornerstones of his life," she wrote in the caption of her tribute post. According to TMZ, Hagerty suffered a negative reaction to an antibiotic used to treat a leg infection, and he fell into a coma. The actor was 67 years old.

Peter Dennis (Sherman Whitfield)

The "Friends" Season 3 installment, "The One Where No One's Ready," is a classic "bottle episode" – almost the whole thing takes place in near-real time in Monica's living room while the gang argues and experiences numerous delays while preparing to go to a classy event at Ross's university. They finally get out the door and, during the credits scene, there's a quick interaction between Ross and esteemed academic Sherman Whitfield of the London Institute, who effusively praises Ross on a paper he wrote about fossils. But then Whitfield gets in a fight with Chandler who accuses him of stealing his seat.

Peter Dennis had big voice roles in "Beowulf" and "Shrek," while also turning up in "Sideways" and in "ER" and "Alias." According to the Associated Press (via Variety), Dennis' best-received work was "Bother!," a one-person theatrical show in which he would read from and perform A.A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh" stories. In April 2009, Dennis died of cancer. He was 75 years old.

Gretchen Wyler (Mrs. Burkart)

In the Season 4 episode, "The One with the Dirty Girl," Monica takes on some catering work, and she enlists Phoebe to help her feed and serve mourners at a funeral reception. She's hired by Mrs. Burkart, the widow of the deceased, who creates an awkward situation when she refuses to pay the bill, forcing a suspicious Monica and Phoebe to be more forceful in order to get their money.

Gretchen Wyler was primarily known for her work on Broadway, where she starred in shows for more than 50 years and originated lead roles in classic musicals. She was the original Miss Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls," played Lola in the original Broadway run of "Damn Yankees," and portrayed Rose in "Bye Bye Birdie." After moving to TV guest-star roles, Wyler focuses on animal rights, opening an animal shelter, and caring for horses and cats. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wyler died in May 2007 due to complications of breast cancer. The actress was 75.

Phil Leeds (Mr. Adelman)

In the Season 2 episode, "The One with the Lesbian Wedding," Phoebe's massage client, Mrs. Adelman, dies on her table. She comes to believe that the woman's spirit is inhabiting her body, and so she meets with Mrs. Adelman's husband who tells Phoebe that his wife can't rest until she's seen everything. Phoebe shows her ghost guest a good time, and reports back to Mr. Adelman. He then tries to get her to go to bed with him for one last fling with his wife who apparently laughs at the suggestion inside Phoebe's head.

Recognizable, prolific character actor Phil Leeds began his career as a stand-up comic but didn't work for a decade when he wound up on the Hollywood "blacklist" for not calling out communists during Sen. Joseph McCarthy's "Red Scare." But from the '60s on, he was a constant presence on TV, popping up in "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Monkees," "Maude," "Barney Miller," and "Night Court." After "Friends," he played Judge Happy Boyle in "Ally McBeal," and the character was written off when Leeds died in real life of pneumonia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in August 1998 (per Playbill). He was 82.

Charlton Heston (himself)

In Season 4's "The One with Joey's Dirty Day," Joey lands another sporadic acting gig, but this time it's a high-profile one in a movie starring the legendary Charlton Heston. Before he reports to the set, Joey takes Chandler on a fishing trip, and upon returning, falls asleep while memorizing his lines and doesn't get to take a shower before going to work. Joey smells terrible, so he sneaks into the only dressing room equipped with a shower — Heston's. The seasoned professional discovers Joey, writes off his misbehavior to nerves and warns him not to cross him again.

An icon of epic biblical films in the 1950s, Heston starred as Moses in "The Ten Commandments" and Judah Ben-Hur in "Ben-Hur," which won him an Academy Award. In the '60s and '70s, he shifted to headlining big-budget dystopian sci-fi movies, including "The Omega Man," "Planet of the Apes," and "Soylent Green." Heston's family told CNN that the actor died at home in Beverly Hills on April 5, 2008, at his home, not long after entering the latter stages of Alzheimer's disease. Heston was 84.

Lilyan Chauvin (Grandma Tribbiani)

Joey often speaks about his large Italian family and his grandmothers in particular. Season 5's "The One Where Ross Can't Flirt" introduces Nonnie. Joey invites her over to hang with his friends and to see him on an episode of "Law and Order." However, his scenes ended up getting cut, so he scrambles to film a fake "Law and Order" episode to trick his Nonnie, who reportedly doesn't know any English other than the name "Sam Waterston" and enough to eavesdrop on an embarrassing conversation involving Ross.

French actress Lilyan Chauvin played Joey's grandma on "Friends." In the years before that appearance, she regularly featured in "The Young and the Restless," "Days of Our Lives," and "Falcon Crest" and hosted and produced the show business cable TV talk show, "Hollywood Structured." After "Friends," Chauvin guest-starred in "Ugly Betty," "Frasier," and "Malcolm in the Middle." According to Chauvin's Los Angeles Times obituary (via Legacy), the actor died in June 2008, four decades after a breast cancer diagnosis, due to congestive heart disease. She was 82.

Alexis Arquette (The Customer, The Waiter)

The same person played two very different roles in separate episodes of "Friends" in back-to-back seasons. In the Season 6 episode, "The One with Rachel's Sister," Alexis Arquette plays a customer at Central Perk. And then in Season 7's "The One with Chandler's Dad," Arquette returns as a server at the Las Vegas drag club where Chandler's father performs.

Both episodes of "Friends" in which Arquette guest-star makes reference to family and the actor was part of the prominent acting Arquettes, along with Patricia, Rosanna, and David, a fellow "Friends" guest and once husband of the show's star, Courteney Cox. Arquette was among the first transgender celebrities (via People), documenting her transition in "Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother."

Arquette was best known for small but important parts in two major '90s movies: the reluctant criminal who unloads a gun at John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson's hitmen in "Pulp Fiction," and the Boy George-obsessed keyboardist in the wedding band in "The Wedding Singer." Hello! reported that Arquette died in September 2016 at age 47 due to a bacterial infection and cardiac event complicated by HIV.

Gary Collins (himself)

In the "Friends" Season 5 episode, "The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS," struggling actor Joey thinks he's landed a plum gig as the host of a public television pledge drive telethon. He puts on a tuxedo and reports to the studio only to learn he's just working in the phone bank with a number of other people. The real hired host is veteran TV personality and prolific host, Gary Collins.

Collins played a fictional version of himself in the show and does what he usually did — host something. Primarily an actor in the '70s in projects like "Airport" and the TV series "Born Free" and "The Sixth Sense," Collins moved into hosting in the '80s, presiding over the Miss America pageant, "Hour Magazine," and "The Home Show." Collins died in Harrison County, Mississippi in October 2012, which the coroner attributed to natural causes, according to CNN. Collins was 74 years old.

Beverly Garland (Aunt Iris)

Iris is the aunt of Monica and she shows up in the Season 1 episode, "The One with All the Poker." She is a bit abrasive and rough around the edges, which is probably why Monica seeks her assistance in helping her and her friends learn how to play poker. Aunt Iris is apparently an old card sharp who's been playing poker since early childhood. She agrees to help, but is rude, impatient, and claims to have hit Tony Randall with a car — but that was probably just a lesson in bluffing, an important element of poker.

Beverly Garland played the sketchy aunt in "Friends," one of nearly 200 roles in a nearly 60-year career. She started off in low-budget movies like "It Conquered the World" and "Swamp Women," then portrayed Barbara Harper Douglas in "My Three Sons," one of the dozens of sitcom parts. In December 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that Garland died at her home in the Hollywood Hills following a long period of illness. Garland was 82.

Alaina Reed Hall (The Admissions Woman)

The Season 1 episode, "The One with Two Parts: Part 2," finds the gang at a busy New York hospital for a variety of reasons. Their progress in receiving medical care is tempered and hindered by a hospital gatekeeper, a nurse listed in the credits as "The Admissions Woman." She is not a big fan of the group — she won't admit Ross' pet monkey Marcel (who swallowed a Scrabble tile), chastises Rachel (who has possibly broken her ankle taking down Christmas lights) for waiting until February to take down her decorations, and calls Monica an idiot when she attempts to commit insurance fraud.

Anyone watching Alaina Reed Hall's scene-stealing performance as an outspoken admitting nurse who recognizes the actress probably knew her from one of two projects. Reed Hall played Rose Lee Holloway for the entire run of the '80s sitcom, "227," and before and concurrently portrayed friendly adult Olivia Robinson in "Sesame Street," from 1976 up until 1992. According to the Los Angeles Times, seven years after a breast cancer diagnosis, Reed Hall died at a hospital in Santa Monica, California in 2014. She was 63 years old.

Richard Roat (Burt)

The Season 6 episode, "The One Where Ross Dates a Student," finds Ross going through a complicated ethical dilemma. After finding out that one of his paleontology students, a much younger woman named Elizabeth, called him attractive in her teacher evaluation, they hit it off and she asks him out. He's only a little worried, thinking that it's not against the rules for a professor to date a student, merely untoward. Nevertheless, the faculty finds out, and a paleontology department colleague named Burt flat-out tells Ross that, if he keeps dating Elizabeth, "they're gonna fire you" because "it's against the rules."

Richard Roat broke into television in the 1960s with the soap opera, "The Doctors," according to Variety, and he never really left the small screen. In the '80s and '90s, he was all over sitcoms for an episode or two. In "Cheers," Roat portrayed Norm's boss; in "Seinfeld" he played Dr. Berg and declared Elaine "difficult"; and in "Friends," he guested as Ross' NYU colleague, Burt. According to the New York Times, during a vacation to Newport Beach, California, in September 2022, Roat suffered a heart attack in a vacation home and died. He was 89.

Danny Dayton (Buddy Doyle)

Throughout the first season of "Friends," Monica and Rachel engage in a tense, ongoing fight with a guy known only as Mr. Heckles. His apartment is directly below theirs, and he never seems to leave the place, shuffling around in a bathrobe, forever cranky and complaining about some slight, real or imagined, on the part of his much younger upstairs neighbors. In the Season 2 episode, "The One Where Heckles Dies," the gang finds out that the old man died of a heart attack. Not only that but they're visited by his low-rent attorney Buddy Doyle, who executes Mr. Heckles' will, giving the women possession of everything in his client's apartment.

Danny Dayton wrapped up his long acting career about the time of his sole "Friends" episode, following it with guest slots in "The Nanny" and "Mad About You." An award-winning commercial director and prominent theatrical director (per Variety), Dayton also had recurring roles in classic TV shows like "All in the Family" and "The Phil Silvers Show." Dayton's publicist told the New York Times that the actor died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in February 1999, due to emphysema. Dayton was 75 years old.

Paxton Whitehead (Mr. Waltham)

The brilliant English theater actor Paxton Whitehead was no stranger to film and television and spent a chunk of the 1990s appearing in the decade's biggest sitcoms, including "Friends." In the back-to-back Season 4 episodes "The One with Rachel's Crush" and "The One with Joey's Dirty Day," Whitehead plays the role of Rachel's Bloomingdale's boss, Mr. Waltham. In his first appearance, Rachel is demoted to personal shopper after her department is discontinued. She's getting ready to tell Mr. Waltham that she wants a different position when a handsome shopper named Joshua shows up and distracts her. She continues to pursue Joshua in the following episode, but this time, Mr. Waltham inadvertently disrupts their potential date by inviting Rachel to accompany his visiting niece to the opera. In the end, Rachel ends up missing out on both the date with Joshua and the opera.

In addition to his role on "Friends," Whitehead also appeared in sitcoms such as "Frasier," "3rd Rock from the Sun," and "Mad About You," among others. However, his most celebrated work took place on stage with notable appearances in a range of productions, such as "Beyond the Fringe," "My Fair Lady," "The Crucifer of Blood," and "Camelot," the latter of which earned him Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations. Whitehead died in June 2023 at the age of 85 after complications from a fall.

Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing)

"Friends" fans were shocked when news broke on October 28, 2023, that Matthew Perry had died at the age of 54. Although the cause has yet to be determined, news outlets like NBC News and TMZ have reported an apparent drowning in a hot tub in his Los Angeles home. He was best known for his role as Chandler Bing, the quick-witted and sarcastic comic relief of the "Friends" friend group. When in doubt, Chandler could always be counted on to deliver a clever quip or provide unwavering support, no matter the situation the group found themselves in.

Over the course of the show's 10-season run, Chandler experienced some of the best character development out of all six of the friends. In the beginning, he was the embodiment of a noncommittal man-child and corporate slave — but what 20-something isn't? By the time he began his relationship with Monica at the end of Season 4 and into Season 5, he showed signs of maturity and responsibility. The two marry in Season 7, Episode 23, "The One With Monica And Chandler's Wedding," and welcome a pair of twins in the series finale, "The Last One." Perry continued his career in television with prominent roles in Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and his own revival of "The Odd Couple." He also published his bestselling memoir "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," in which he detailed years of health and addiction issues.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).