How Did Matthew Perry Die? Here’s What Investigators Revealed So Far


After his tragic passing, fans of Friends and beyond are all asking the same thing: how did Matthew Perry die? The star of the beloved sitcom was only 54, leaving many with questions about the circumstances of his death. Up ahead, we’re sharing all of the answers we know so far.

Born in 1969, Matthew Perry was raised by John Bennett Perry, an actor, and Suzanne Marie Langford, the former press secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His early life was divided between Montreal and Los Angeles, following his parents’ separation when he was just a year old.

After his tragic passing, fans of Friends and beyond are all asking the same thing: how did Matthew Perry die? The star of the beloved sitcom was only 54, leaving many with questions about the circumstances of his death. Up ahead, we’re sharing all of the answers we know so far.

Born in 1969, Matthew Perry was raised by John Bennett Perry, an actor, and Suzanne Marie Langford, the former press secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His early life was divided between Montreal and Los Angeles, following his parents’ separation when he was just a year old.

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Perry’s journey in the entertainment world began as a child actor. When he was 15, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and try out an acting career by moving to Los Angeles. Perry landed his first sitcom role on the show Second Chance (which later became Boys Will Be Boys) and went on to secure roles in series like Charles in Charge and Beverly Hills 90210. By 1988, he had already made his big screen debut in the film A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, where he starred alongside the late River Phoenix.

However, it was the role of Chandler Bing in the legendary sitcom Friends that really catapulted Perry to superstardom. Premiering on NBC in 1994, the show about six single New Yorkers navigating the complexities of adulthood quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Perry, who was only 25 years old when the series began, became a household name seemingly overnight alongside his fellow cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer. And the momentum didn’t let up: by the series’ end, the finale episode drew in over 50 million live viewers, and each of the Friends cast members had salaries of over $1 million per episode.

As Chandler Bing—the witty roommate to LeBlanc’s Joey Tribbiani, and eventual love interest of Cox’s Monica Geller—Perry was an essential piece of the Friends ensemble. His dry humor and distinctive delivery etched Chandler’s place into pop culture, with catchphrases and memorable moments that fans still cherish today. Could he be any more perfect for the role?

Along with 10 seasons of Friends under his belt, Perry’s acting credits included the romantic comedy Fools Rush In starring Salma Hayek, The Whole Nine Yards starring Bruce Willis and Amanda Peet, and Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

In 2022, Perry came out with a memoir titled Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir , which detailed his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction alongside his rise to fame. In the book, he recalled a near-death experience at the age of 49, when his colon burst from overuse of opioids. The actor spent two weeks in a coma, and another five months recovering in the hospital.

As the world continues to remember Matthew Perry, we’re delving into the details surrounding his tragic passing. For everything we know about Matthew Perry’s cause of death and how he died, keep on reading below.

How did Matthew Perry die?

How did Matthew Perry die? Matthew Perry died at the age of 54 from an apparent drowning, according to TMZ. The publication reported that the Friends actor was found dead in a hot tub at his home in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, October 28, 2023.

Initial reports claimed that there were no drugs found at the scene and no foul play was involved, however, an investigation into how Matthew Perry died is still ongoing.

After Perry’s death first made headlines, more information continued to emerge about his passing, with TMZ following up their story with details about the actor’s final hours. The outlet reported that Perry spent his morning playing pickleball and arrived home after a two-hour session on the court. When he got home, he reportedly sent his assistant out on an errand. When his assistant returned about two hours later, he found Perry unresponsive and called 911.

A rep for the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed the call without identifying Perry, telling Entertainment Tonight, “West L.A. officers responded to [a residence] at 4:10 p.m. for a Death Investigation of a male in his 50s.”

Warner Bros. issued a statement about Perry following his death. “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 statement read. “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.”

What was Matthew Perry’s cause of death?

What was Matthew Perry’s cause of death? At the time of writing, Matthew Perry’s cause of death has yet to be revealed. According to the Los Angeles Times, the LAPD’s robbery-homicide department is still investigating the circumstances of his passing. As a result, Matthew Perry’s cause of death will be determined at a later date by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

While Matthew Perry’s cause of death remains unconfirmed, many fans of the Friends star can’t help but wonder if his sudden passing had anything to do with his past health struggles—including his battles with addiction to alcohol and Vicodin.

Perry’s battle with drug addiction started after he had a skiing accident on the set of the film When Fools Rush In in 1997. The doctor prescribed Vicodin for his pain, but as a highly addictive substance, Perry’s use escalated to taking up to 55 pills a day. Along with his opioid addiction, he suffered from alcoholism. In his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, he explained how to tell which substance he was using based on his appearance on Friends: “When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills. When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.”

Five years before his passing, Perry was also open about the fact that he already had his fair share of brushes with death. He revealed in his memoir that he almost died after suffering a gastrointestinal perforation when his colon burst from opioid overuse. “The doctors told my family that I had a two percent chance to live,” he told People in 2022. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”

“There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived,” he added. “So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason.”
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, Perry had another near death experience while staying at a rehab center in Switzerland when he had to get surgery. During his procedure, he was given a shot of propofol. After 11 hours, he woke up in a different hospital and was told that the propofol had stopped his heart for five minutes. The long CPR process broke eight of his ribs.

While Perry often didn’t disclose how long he stayed sober, the actor was always open about his relapses. He had been to rehab 15 times, attended 6,000 AA meetings, been in detox 65 times, and spent between $7 to $9 million trying to get sober.

“It’s important, but if you lose your sobriety, it doesn’t mean you lose all that time and education,” he said. “Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes. You know everything you knew before, as long as you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot.”
In his interview with People in 2022, Perry revealed that he wrote his memoir for anyone else struggling with addiction. “I say in the book that if I did die it would shock people, but it wouldn’t surprise anybody. And that’s what I’m doing with writing this book. That’s why I wanted to do it,” he said at the time. “I wanted to talk about the highs and the lows because people are suffering out there and maybe if they hear a story from somebody they’ve seen on TV that’s worse than their’s or just the same of their’s, they’ll be filed with hope, which is the key thing.”

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