“Friends” Creators Mourn Death of 'Brilliant Talent' Matthew Perry: 'Sweetest, Giving and Selfless Heart'

Marta Kauffman, David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright issued a joint statement they called “The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken” after Perry’s unexpected death at 54

<p>Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank</p>

Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

Matthew Perry’s death is weighing on his former Friends.

Co-creators of the sitcom Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright issued a joint statement Sunday — less than 24 hours after the actor’s death.

“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing,” they wrote. “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 three reflected on Perry’s breakout role as Chandler Bing in the '90s sitcom, a character known for providing unending laughs on the show. “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.”

Related: Matthew Perry 911 Dispatch Audio Mentions 'Drowning' amid Death

Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Friends cast on set of the 90s sitcom.
Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Friends cast on set of the 90s sitcom.

“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.”

The statement ended with condolences for other grieving Perry, as well as a sweet reference to the Friends title tradition. “We send all of our love to his family and friends. This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”

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Perry died Saturday at his Los Angeles home of an apparent drowning, TMZ first reported. He was 54. Law enforcement sources told the outlet there were no drugs found and the scene, and no signs of foul play were present.

A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson later told PEOPLE on Saturday that officers responded to a call at Matthew's address regarding the death of a male in his 50s, though authorities would not confirm the deceased's identity.

The actor's family released a statement to PEOPLE on Sunday, saying, "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."

Related: Matthew Perry's Family Speaks Out After the Star's 'Tragic' Death: 'We Are Heartbroken' (Exclusive)

In 2022, Perry gave fans the most detailed glimpse into his life yet with the release of his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir. It reflected on his time in the spotlight (and the shoes of Bing) as well as on his lifelong struggle with addiction. At the time of the book’s release, Perry had been sober from substances.

"I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again," he told PEOPLE exclusively in his cover story. "I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober — and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction — to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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