‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry reported dead at 54 By Reuters

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© Reuters. File photo: Cast member Matthew Perry poses at the premiere for the television series “The Kennedys After Camelot” at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California U.S., March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File photo

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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Actor Matthew Perry, who gained fame as the wise-cracking Chandler Bing in the hit U.S. television comedy “Friends,” was found dead on Saturday at a Los Angeles-area home, several news outlets reported.

The Los Angeles Times and TMZ.com, both citing unnamed law enforcement sources, reported that Perry, 54, was found dead in a hot tub or jacuzzi.

NBC News, citing an unnamed representative for the American -Canadian actor and a law enforcement source, reported the actor was found dead of an apparent drowning at his home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports independently.

Perry was best known for his longtime role as Chandler in the hugely successful “Friends,” which ran for 10 seasons on the NBC network from 1994 to 2004, co-starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow.

The series made international celebrities out of all six castmates. They played a close-knit group of young adults who shared space in one another’s apartments and met for coffee at the “Central Perk,” a fictional Manhattan cafe.

One of the major story lines involved a clandestine romance between Chandler and Monica Geller, the character played by Cox, which the four other friends – Rachel, Joey, Phoebe and Ross – each discovered one by one.

The entire cast came back together 17 years after the series finale for a much-ballyhooed reunion special that aired on HBO Max in 2021.

In the midst of the show’s original run, Perry was widely reported to have sought treatment for prescription drug and alcohol abuse in 1997 and 2001.

Following “Friends,” Perry went on to star in a least three more network television ventures that proved short-lived – “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Mr. Sunshine” and “Go On.”

He also logged guest appearances or recurring roles in other hit TV shows, including “The West Wing,” “Ally McBeal,” “Scrubs” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.” His motion picture credits included “Fools Rush In,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” “Almost Heroes” and “Three to Tango.”

The Massachusetts-born actor grew up in Ottawa after his mother, a Canadian journalist who once served as press secretary to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, divorced Perry’s father and married a Canadian broadcast personality.

At the age of 15, Perry moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and improvisational comedy.

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