‘Friends’ Creators, EP and Many More Remember Matthew Perry: “It Still Seems Impossible”

Selma Blair, Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano, Justin Trudeau, Morgan Fairchild, Maggie Wheeler, Paget Brewster and Warner Bros. Television Studios are among those in Hollywood remembering Friends star Matthew Perry, who died at 54.

Perry, who starred as Chandler Bing on the hit NBC sitcom, died Saturday in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home, law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times.

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Friends creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright shared a joint statement with The Hollywood Reporter, explaining that they were shocked and deeply saddened by Perry’s passing.

“It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives,” the statement read. “He was a brilliant talent. 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.”

Warner Bros. TV, which produced Friends, shared in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, “We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry. Matthew was an incredibly gifted actor and an indelible part of the Warner Bros. Television Group family. The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of so many. This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our love to his family, his loved ones, and all of his devoted fans.”

NBC also wrote in a statement, “We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry. 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.”

Nick at Nite, which airs Friends in syndication, said Sunday that it would be airing a tribute to the actor, Matthew Perry: Thanks for Being a Friend, at 10 p.m. that night, followed by “fan favorite” episodes featuring Perry. The special will include “never-before-seen interviews with Perry, behind-the-scenes moments from the set…and stories about Perry’s best moments as Chandler Bing.”

Maggie Wheeler, who starred as Janice, Chandler’s on-and-off girlfriend on Friends, wrote on Instagram, “What a loss. The world will miss you Mathew 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.”

Aisha Tyler, who had a recurring role in the final two seasons of the hit sitcom, paid tribute to Perry in an Instagram post, writing, “He had a gentleness and generosity of spirit that was unparalleled. I learned how to tell a joke perfectly just by watching him work. And I will never forget the moment he leaned in, on my first night of taping Friends, to tell me warmly, ‘get ready for your life to change.’ Rest well, Matthew Perry. Thank you for the kindness and laughter.”

Hank Azaria had a recurring role on the sitcom as David, Phoebe’s boyfriend, who moved to Minsk, shared a video to his Instagram, noting how much he loved Perry. “A lot of us who were close to him felt like we lost him to drugs and alcohol a long time ago because — as he documented in his autobiography — there was so much suffering,” Azaria said. “I had to pick up and put down that biography, like, 11 times, it was so painful for me to read.”

He continued, “I’m a sober guy for 17 years, and I wanna say that, the night I went into AA, Matthew brought me in. The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together,” he added. “He was so caring and giving and wise. And he totally helped me get sober. And I really wish he could’ve, you know, found the – found it in himself to stay with the silver life more consistently.”

Brooke Shields appeared on one episode of Friends as Erika, a woman who stars stalking LeBlanc’s Joey after she becomes obsessed with his Days of Our Lives character, Dr. Drake Ramoray. In a post on Twitter, the actress wrote, “Really struggling to find the words. You were so loved, Matthew. I loved you dearly. Thank you for the belly laughs. You brought joy to so many. We already miss you… sending all of my love to your family & friends.”

Salma Hayek, who starred alongside Perry in Fools Rush In, posted an emotional message on her Instagram, saying that it’s taken her a couple of days to process the “profound sadness” she has been feeling. “There is a special bond that happens when you share dreams with someone, and together you work towards them,” she wrote, noting that they often talked about co-starring in the romantic comedy. “Throughout the years, he and I found ourselves reminiscing about that meaningful time in our lives with a deep sense of nostalgia and gratitude.”

Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, shared on social media following the news of the actor’s death, “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.” Perry previously said that he and Trudeau attended the same school growing up.

Selma Blair also said in a sweet tribute on Instagram, “My oldest boy friend. All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams.”

Yvette Nicole Brown, who starred in the TV series The Odd Couple with Perry, wrote in a tribute, “Our #OddCouple family suffered a great loss today. The entire entertainment world has. I am too sad about the news to say more than this: @mattyperry4 was a sweetheart who deserved more peace in this life. 54 is too young to go. We love you, Matty! #RIPMatthewPerry.”

Another one of Perry’s co-stars on The Odd Couple, Lisa Ann Walter, recalled one of her favorite scenes she filmed with the actor in a tribute on X (formerly Twitter). “In The Whole Nine Yards — Matthew Perry runs full force into a patio door — that and the scene that followed is one of the top comedic moments I’ve witnessed,” she wrote. “I told him so when I recurred on The Odd Couple. He smiled so big I thought he’d crack his face. It was beautiful.”

Paget Brewster, who played Kathy on season four of Friends, remembered the actor on social media, writing, “I’m so very sad to hear about @MatthewPerry. He was lovely to me on Friends and every time I saw him in the decades after. Please read his book. It was his legacy to help. He won’t rest in peace though. He’s already too busy making everyone laugh up there.”

Mira Sorvino, who starred alongside Perry in the 1994 TV movie Parallel Lives, also took to X to remember the actor. “Oh no!!! Matthew Perry!! You sweet, troubled soul!!” she wrote. “May you find peace and happiness in Heaven, making everyone laugh with your singular wit!!!”

Alyssa Milano shared a clip of the pair on Who’s the Boss?, writing, “Matty was always the funniest person in the room. And the KINDEST. He was kind. Matty, remember when we used to go play bingo at that church in the valley? You made me laugh that painful kind of laugh. A cry laugh. You made me cry-laugh.”

Shannen Doherty shared that she and Perry dated before becoming friends for a “lifetime.” The actor guest-starred on Beverly Hills, 90210 in season one: “You would always find us all together in a booth speaking in our own made up language. And yes, Matt always had THAT sense of humor. Matt and I had a date and it was on Valentine’s Day. He wanted to get a reservation at a restaurant in Malibu but couldn’t so my dad got the reservation for him. We went and he talked about my dad’s Irish persuasiveness the majority of the night. Our friendship spanned a long time. A lifetime really. I know many are hurting, especially our little gang. He will be missed by many and definitely by us. Yes. I could be more poetic or say things better but right now, shock and sadness prevail.”

Wendell Pierce, who played Perry’s boss on The Odd Couple, wrote on X, “Damn. For 2 years Matthew Perry was my boss, my colleague, and a giving, kind, funny man. I pray and hope he is at peace.”

Rumer Willis, whose father Bruce Willis starred in The Whole Nine Yards with Perry, wrote on her Instagram Stories, “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.”

Gwyneth Paltrow wrote about first meeting 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.”

John Stamos shared a story about his time with Perry while guest-starring on Friends, writing, “Matthew and I had been friendly long before Friends. So, when I guest stared as Zach, the prospective sperm donor for Chandler and Monica, I hung with him a lot. Standing backstage, ready to make my entrance, Matt whispers, ‘The audience is going go crazy when they see you! Get ready for some loud screams.’ I walk through the door… silence. I was so embarrassed. We finish the scene and as I start to slither back to my dressing room and quit showbiz, Matt walks over to the studio audience: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for John Stamos! You guys probably didn’t recognize him at first because he’s so much better looking in person!'”

Kate Hudson shared her memories playing tennis with Perry and how they “talked endlessly about trials and tribulations of love and then would talk some more as we would laugh our asses off and then laughed some more.” In her Stories post, she wrote, “I share the same sadness with all our film and TV community who shared time with Matthew. As you can see, to know him was to adore him.”

Olivia Munn shared a handful of Friends clips featuring Perry and wrote in her Stories, “He struggled with so much addiction and was brave enough to be open and honest about it. I’m so sorry to his family and friends who are getting this news today. Nothing short of heartbreaking. Rest in love, Matthew Perry.”

Adele paused her Las Vegas show at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace show to share how Perry, whom she never met, impacted her before performing “When We Were Young.” She shared, “He’s probably the best comedic character of all time…. He was so open with his struggles with addiction and sobriety, which I think is incredibly, incredibly brave.”

Saturday Night Live, which was hosted by comedian Nate Bargatze, featured a special tribute card for Perry at the end of Saturday’s show. Perry hosted SNL on Oct. 4, 1997, with musical guest Oasis.

Matthew Perry 'SNL' tribute
Matthew Perry ‘SNL’ tribute

Perry’s family shared a statement with People, mourning the loss of their loved one. “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother,” the family said. “Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend,” adding, “You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”

Read more tributes as they come in, below. This is a developing story.

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