LOS ANGELES — The cast of “Friends” said in a joint statement Monday (Oct 30) that they have been left “utterly devastated” by the sudden death of their co-star Matthew Perry.
In their first public reaction since Perry’s death on Saturday, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer told People magazine: “We were more than just cast mates. We are a family.”
Perry, 54, was known globally for his portrayal of wise-cracking character Chandler Bing on the wildly popular “Friends,” which followed the lives of six New Yorkers and ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004.
First responders found Perry unconscious in a hot tub at his house Saturday and were unable to revive him, law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” said the statement, signed by each of Perry’s five co-stars.
“There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss,” they added.
“In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
Perry had battled addiction and serious health problems for years, but news of his sudden passing has drawn reaction, from Hollywood A-listers and “Friends” fans worldwide.
Gwyneth Paltrow, who had a brief romance with Perry before the pair had found global fame, wrote on Instagram: “He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with… I am super sad today, as so many of us are. I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do.”
Other supporting “Friends” cast members had already posted online tributes, including Maggie Wheeler — who played Chandler’s annoying on-again, off-again girlfriend Janice.
“What a loss. The world will miss you Matthew Perry,” she wrote.
Morgan Fairchild, who played Chandler’s mother, wrote that she was “heartbroken.”
“The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock,” she posted on X.
And the show’s co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane said Perry’s death was “The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken,” a statement alluding to the titles of “Friends” episodes.
“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened… It still seems impossible,” they said in a joint statement with executive producer Kevin Bright.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, people have gathered before Perry’s house to lay flowers, and in New York’s West Village, fans have converged outside the “Friends” apartment building to pay tribute.
The cause of Perry’s death is not yet known. An initial post-mortem examination was inconclusive, and the results of toxicology tests have not yet been released.
Celebrity news website TMZ cited sources saying that no illicit drugs were found at his home, although several medications were discovered including anti-depressants and anxiety medication.