Tributes for an absent friend: Fans leave floral tributes and one of Chandler Bing’s beloved cigarettes outside Manhattan apartment building used for Matthew Perry’s beloved TV show
- Iconic six-story building becomes a shrine as fans gather before dawn to lay flowers and tributes
- Some were crying as they came to pay their respects outside the Greenwich Village apartment where the show was set
- Others left notes, flowers or lit candles in memory of Perry after his sudden death on Saturday at his Los Angeles home
Weeping fans gathered before dawn outside the Manhattan apartment block where Friends was set to lay flowers and light candles in Matthew Perry’s memory last night.
Shocked New Yorkers laid tributes to the star outside the Greenwich Village building that featured in the show’s cutaways and was the setting for the adventures of the six beloved characters.
Some left notes, with one reading ‘Rest in peace’, while another left a single cigarette in reference to the episode where Perry’s character Chandler tried to give up smoking.
One young woman was in tears as she knelt down and laid a flower at the lamppost that has become an impromptu shrine outside the Bedford Street building.
The 54-year-old actor was found dead in a jacuzzi in his LA home on Saturday in an apparent accidental drowning.
Tributes have flooded in for Friends star Matthew Perry after he was found dead yesterday
A fan lays flowers at the shrine outside the Manhattan apartment block that served as a backdrop for the series
Perry had prescription drugs including anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills at his home at the time of his death – but no illegal medications, a police source claims.
The law enforcement mole told TMZ that the Friends star – who died Saturday aged 54 – was also in possession of a prescription COPD drug.
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, with the meds found at Perry’s home usually used for people with emphysema or chronic bronchitis.
Police sources told NBC News and CNN that they’d initially believed they were attending a possible ‘water rescue’ at the funnyman’s Pacific Palisades home after being called at 4:07pm PST Saturday.
They arrived to find Perry already dead, with the LA Times reporting that Perry was ‘unresponsive.’
Perry was not taken to hospital, with a coroner’s van later seen arriving at the property.
An official cause of death has not yet been announced.
The actor had reportedly played a two-hour game of Pickleball – a sport similar to tennis but played on a smaller court – earlier in the day, before sending his assistant on an errand.
When the assistant returned, Perry was said to be unresponsive in his hot tub.
Officers from the LA Police Department’s robbery-homicide division were also sent to the home in Pacific Palisades, but a source said no drugs or signs of foul play were found at the scene.
Police are treating it as a death investigation and the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.
Friends, which followed the lives of six friends in their 20s living in New York, was a smash hit across the globe when it aired between 1994 and 2004, and re-runs still remain hugely popular years later.
Perry won a worldwide fanbase for his role as Chandler, earning him an Emmy nomination in 2002 – but behind the glitz and glamour, he secretly battled substance abuse for decades.
Perry has died aged 54 (pictured earlier this week, the last time he was seen in public) at his LA home
A fan breaks down in tears as she lays a flower at the impromptu shrine to Matthew Perry in New York’s Greenwich Village
More fans gathered in the rain to pay their respects outside the apartment on Sunday
Visitors to New York’s Greenwich Village have long been attracted to the setting for the show
The show was a cultural landmark during its ten years on air with producers paying arch tribute to its influence by naming episodes after the defining moments which would be talked about by viewers
One visitor left a single cigarette in reference to the episode where Perry’s character Chandler tried to give up smoking
Flowers were laid and candles lit at the spot just outside the apartment on Bedford Street
‘Rest in peace’ one note read as news of the actor’s death spread across New York
One fan explained just how much Perry had meant to them: You were my best friend in so many moments for so many years’ they wrote
The streets were already crowded on Saturday night with revelers attracted by the warm weather and Halloween celebrations
Aerial images show Perry’s pool and hot tub where he was reportedly found dead yesterday
Perry rose to fame for his role as ‘Chandler Bing’ on the hit 90s sitcom Friends, which ran for 10 seasons
Matthew Perry ‘s father, John Bennett Perry, 82, was seen arriving at his son’s LA home looking stricken just hours after the Friends star’s death
The 82-year-old was later joined by Perry’s mother, Suzanne (left), and stepdad Keith Morrison (right) who appeared morose as they pulled up to the home
In his last post to his Instagram, shared earlier this week, the star shared images of him in his pool, saying: ‘Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good? I’m Mattman.’
The six-story building where the show was set became a New York icon and a popular tourist destination although the show itself was shot in LA.
The show was a cultural landmark during its ten years on air with producers paying arch tribute to its influence by naming episodes after the defining moments which would be talked about by viewers.
‘The One Where Rachel has a Baby’ and ‘The One Where Chandler Can’t Remember which Sister’ were among the most popular episodes.
But it was ‘The one where we lost a friend’ that was trending on social media yesterday as grieving fans shared their sorrow online.
Perry, who never married but dated a number of stars including Julia Roberts, has been candid and public about his problems with drugs and alcohol, having first gone to rehab in 1997 for a pain medication addiction after a jet skiing accident.
Following this initial stint, he then went to rehab again in 2001 and 2011. He told an interviewer in 2016 that he doesn’t remember filming three seasons of Friends.
READ MORE: Friends costar breaks silence and reveals how she feels ‘blessed’ to have shared so many ‘creative moments’ with the beloved actor
Despite hiding his demons from public view for years, Perry detailed his struggles in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing.
In the opening, he wrote: ‘Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.’
He added: ‘People would be surprised to know that I have mostly been sober since 2001. Save for about sixty or seventy little mishaps over the years.’
A longtime friend of Perry’s – who was in recovery with him – told DailyMail.com last night: ‘Everyone is in a total state of shock. People are crying on the phone and struggling to accept this news.
‘It’s no secret that he struggled with drugs and alcohol for years but the last time I spoke to him, which was within the last few weeks, he seemed to be in a good place.
‘He was upbeat and sounded sober and positive.
‘He’d been to rehab 17 times and nearly died from opioid abuse but he was someone who was sincere about taking his life, and his sobriety, one day at a time.
‘It’s such tragic news. Everyone is praying he didn’t relapse. Matt was a genuinely lovely guy. He was always the first to welcome newcomers to the group and would always volunteer to help and be of service.
‘We are all struggling to come to terms with this terrible news.’
In his last post to his Instagram, posted earlier this week, the star shared images of him in his pool
Pictures in the wake of Perry’s death emerged showing the pool and hot tub at the Friends star’s home
Maggie Wheeler, who played Perry’s on-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein during the early seasons of the show and often appeared to perform her catchphrase ‘Oh! My! God!’, paid tribute to Perry on Instagram
Perry’s Chandler Bing remains one of the most popular sitcom characters ever created
Perry as Chandler in a famous episode where he married Monica, with Rachel and Phoebe as bridesmaids
Friends was a huge global hit as it ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004
Perry’s character Chandler delivered the final line of the entire series when he jokingly asked ‘where?’ they should go for a cup of coffee
Friends co-stars Maggie Wheeler and Morgan Fairchild remembered Perry for the joy he ‘brought to so many’ following his ‘shock’ death.
Wheeler, who played Perry’s on-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein during the early seasons of Friends and often appeared to perform her catchphrase ‘Oh! My! God!’, paid tribute to Perry on Instagram.
‘What a loss,’ Wheeler captioned a picture of the pair.
‘The world will miss you Matthew 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.’
READ MORE: Matthew Perry’s mother, father and stepdad are seen arriving at their son’s LA home
Meanwhile Fairchild, who played Perry’s on-screen mother and erotic novel writer Nora Bing, said on Twitter: ‘I’m heartbroken about the untimely death of my ‘son’, Matthew Perry.’
The 73-year-old US actress added: ‘The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock.
‘I’m sending love and condolences to his friends and family, especially his dad, John Bennett Perry, who I worked with on Flamingo Road and Falcon Crest.’
The Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison said: ‘Matthew Perry was a huge inspiration to me growing up.
‘My friends & I would come into school having memorized his sarcastic one-liners, speech patterns, even Chandler’s dance.
‘He brought me so much joy & without knowing it he encouraged me to pursue acting. Thank you.’
Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo who was in the same acting class as Perry in the early 1990s said: ‘First time I say him do a scene in class I thought, “This guy is hilarious. He should be on a sitcom.” RIP, sir.’
Warner Bros, which produced Friends, said in a statement: ‘We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans.’
American broadcaster NBC, which aired the series for nearly a decade, added: ‘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,’ it said.
Perry was a natural fit for the role of Chandler, beloved for his sarcastic one-liners, and many of his mannerisms grew from the actor’s own behavior.
He said in his memoir: ‘It was as if someone had followed me around for a year, stealing my jokes, copying my mannerisms, photocopying my world-weary yet witty view of life. One character in particular stood out to me: it wasn’t that I thought I could ‘play’ Chandler. I ‘was’ Chandler.’
A longtime friend of Perry’s – who was in recovery with him – told DailyMail.com last night: ‘Everyone is in a total state of shock. People are crying on the phone and struggling to accept this news’
Last year, he published a memoir titled ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir’
Perry and actress Julia Roberts hug each other on the set of ‘Friends’
Chandler with the white dog, which became a popular item of furniture referenced in several episodes of the show
Perry poses with his fellow Friends co-stars at the Emmy awards evening in LA in 2002
Perry, pictured in 2006, was one of the most famous stars on the planet but battled with substance abuse
However, it was when he was first cast in Friends aged 24 that his alcohol addiction began to surface. By the end of the 10th series of the hit show, he became ‘entrenched in a lot of trouble’, Perry revealed years later.
He said in a 2016 interview that he did not remember filming three seasons of the show because he was a ‘little out of it at the time’.
At one point during his time on Friends, Perry said he was taking 55 Vicodin painkillers a day and was down to 128lb – just over 9st – in weight.
Massachusetts-born Perry grew up in Canada where he attended school with Justin Trudeau – who is now the country’s prime minister.
He also paid tribute, writing: ‘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.
READ MORE: How Matthew Perry spent $9MILLION on battle with drink and drugs addiction – and at one point was told by doctors he had just a 2% chance of surviving
‘Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved – and you will be missed.’
After moving to LA, Perry starred as Chazz Russell in Boys Will Be Boys and also had roles in shows including sitcom Growing Pains before becoming a global superstar as Chandler.
‘This was the only guy to play him,’ creator of Friends Marta Kauffman said in the 2021 reunion special.
The star laid bare the height of his terrible drug and alcohol addiction battle which nearly cost him his life in a memoir titled ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir’.
Perry also revealed that his colon ruptured as a result of his opioid addiction when he was 49.
Doctors gave him only a two percent chance of survival and he was in a coma for two weeks followed by months more in the hospital.
Perry required 14 surgeries to help repair all of the abdominal damage, and he admitted to having gone to rehab 15 times over the years in hopes of kicking his drug addiction.
At one point during his Friends career, he admits he was taking 55 Vicodin a day and was down to 128 pounds but yet he ‘didn’t know how to stop.’
He told an interviewer in 2016 that he doesn’t remember filming three seasons of Friends.
‘I had this odd rule that I would never drink on a set,’ Perry said. ‘But I went to work in extreme cases of hangover. It’s so horrible to feel that way and have to work and be fun.
He even revealed he would go to real estate open houses – not because he was interested in buying property but to see if he could steal drugs from medicine cabinets.
Perry’s dream of widespread recognition came true with the NBC sitcom Friends, which followed the lives of six people trying to make their way in their twenties in New York City
Pictured: (l-r) Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani
Chandler’s relationship with Monica Geller was kept secret from the group for several memorable episodes
In one episode, Perry’s character was locked in a bank vestibule with model Jill Goodacre
Chandler Bing – the group’s most sarcastic and quick-witted, but occasionally awkward and insecure, member – quickly became a fan favorite.
Perry and his co-stars – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer – negotiated $1 million each, per episode, by the end of their colossally popular and zeitgeist-setting 236-episode run.
In a sign of the show’s enduring appeal, the gang reportedly pocketed $2.5 million each for a reunion episode in 2021.
During that episode, Perry’s slurred speech prompted concern among fans.
Perry also surprised his co-stars by admitting to having suffered severe anxiety ‘every night’ during the filming of the sitcom.
Born on August 19, 1969 in Massachusetts, Perry grew up in Ottawa and was raised by his mother, Suzanne Morrison, a Canadian writer and former press aide for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
READ MORE: Matthew Perry’s haunting last Instagram post
Morrison and Perry’s father were married from 1968 to 1970 and she later married Canadian broadcast journalist Keith Morrison, who has been on Dateline for decades, in 1981.
In Canada, Perry was a top-rated tennis player but at 15 moved to Los Angeles to be closer to his father, John Bennett Perry, an actor known for several shows, including Falcon Crest, and later on Old Spice commercials.
In the 1980s and ’90s, Perry landed spots on the decades’ most popular TV shows like Charles in Charge, Who’s The Boss?, Growing Pains and Beverly Hills, 90210.
He also had a role in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, a movie released in 1988 that starred River Phoenix.
The film was ‘one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had, because I was 16 years old and in Chicago all by myself, no parents around,’ Perry told BuzzFeed. ‘I knew that I wanted to act.’
He told The New York Times in 2002 that he sought fame. ‘There was steam coming out of my ears, I wanted to be famous so badly.
‘You want the attention, you want the bucks, and you want the best seat in the restaurant. I didn’t think what the repercussions would be.’
Perry’s dream of widespread recognition came true with the NBC sitcom Friends, which followed the lives of six people trying to make their way in their twenties in New York City.
Audiences adored the show during its ten-season run and continue to do so today despite the show ending over 15 years ago.
Perry is seen here in 1987 as he promoted his first network series ‘Second Chance’, which was shown on Fox
After moving to Los Angeles, Perry landed spots on TV’s most popular shows during the 1980s and 1990s, he is seen here in an episode of Who’s the Boss?, which ran from 1984 to 1992
After moving to Los Angeles, Perry landed spots on TV’s most popular shows during the 1980s and 1990s, he is seen here in an episode of Who’s the Boss?, which ran from 1984 to 1992
One of his major storylines in Friends was his initially secret romance between his character and Monica Geller, which evolved into marriage and the couple adopting twins.
Perry also starred in several films including 17 Again starring Zac Efron, Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek, and Getting In with comedian Dave Chapelle.
He featured in The Whole Nine Yards, and The Kid with Bruce Willis – who was a guest star in the sixth series of Friends.
Meanwhile his TV work included short-lived Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip and two Emmy nominations for his role as Joe Quincy in The West Wing – both from creator Aaron Sorkin.
In 2007, Perry also received an Emmy nomination for his role as Ron Clark in The Ron Clark Story about a restless but gifted young teacher.
In his memoir Perry spoke briefly about how he would like to be remembered after his death.
‘When I die, I know people will talk about Friends, Friends, Friends,’ he wrote.
‘And I’m glad of that, happy I’ve done some solid work as an actor, as well as given people multiple chances to make fun of my struggles on the world wide web.
‘But when I die, as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if Friends were listed far behind the things I did to try to help other people.
‘I know it won’t happen but it would be nice.’
Perry never married and ended his engagement to Molly Hurwitz, a talent manager, in 2021.
He dated several well-known actresses including Julia Roberts and Lizzy Caplan.
PICKLEBALL: The game Perry was playing hours before his death
Pickleball is a racket game resembling tennis but played on a smaller court with a softer and lighter ball.
The fastest-growing sport in the US it can be played between two and four players, and the racket is a small plastic paddle.
The ‘pickleballs’ are plastic and have between 26 and 40 holes cut into them to slow them down, and the game requires less running around than a conventional tennis match.
It was invented in 1965 by future Congressman Joel Pritchard at his Washington home as a way of entertaining his family when they could not find thew shuttlecock for a game of badminton.
It now boasts nearly five million registered players in the US and its popularity has expanded overseas with 58 member countries overseen by the International Federation of Pickleball, and talks underway to have it represented at the Olympic Games in Paris next year.
There are also thousands of pickleball tournaments across America, including the US National Championships and the US Open Tournament, along with two professional tours and one professional league.
Pickleball was named the official sport of Washington state last year with the legislation signed by Governor Jay Inslee on the original Pritchard family court where the sport was invented.
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