Jennifer Aniston and fellow Friends stars set to release statement on Matthew Perry's death

Jennifer Aniston and fellow Friends stars set to release statement on Matthew Perry's death
Tributes pouring in for 'Friends' actor Matthew Perry, dead at age 54
KameraOne - Short Cuts UK / VideoElephant

Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, and Lisa Kudrow are set to release a joint statement following the death of their “brother” Matthew Perry, sources have revealed.

The Friends protagonists are said to be “reeling” after news broke early on Sunday that Perry had died, aged 54, in a suspected drowing at his LA home.

“The cast is reeling from the loss of their brother, because that’s what Matty was — their brother,” an industry source told Page Six.

“It’s just devastating.”

They added: “The entire cast are close, they will be devastated, because they were together through the best of times and worst of times.

“And when Matty was sick, they protected him, they looked him after him fiercely.”

The iconic sit-com, which ran for 10 seasons, propelled the six main cast members to international stardom, but the success was bitter-sweet for Perry.

The iconic sit-com ran for a total of 236 episodes between 1994 and 2004Warner Bros. Television

The American-Canadian actor, whose portrayal of the lovably sarcastic Chandler Bing transformed him into a comedy icon, battled addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs for decades, including during his time on the career-defining show.

In his 2022 memoir, ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing’, Perry opened up about his internal conflicts while filming Friends, writing: “I loved my co-actors. I loved the scripts. I loved everything about the show but I was struggling with my addictions which only added to my sense of shame.

“I felt like I was gonna die if the live audience didn’t laugh, and that’s not healthy for sure. But I could sometimes say a line and the audience wouldn’t laugh and I would sweat and sometimes go into convulsions.

“If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get I would freak out. I felt that every single night. This pressure left me in a bad place. I also knew of the six people making that show, only one of them was sick.”

He also recounted how Aniston once confronted him on set.

“I know you’re drinking – we can smell it,” he recalled her telling him, admitting that the plural “we” hit him “like a sledgehammer.”

Elsewhere, Kudrow wrote the foreword to the autobiography, describing Perry as “whip-smart, charming, sweet, sensitive, very reasonable, and rational.”

She added: “That guy, with everything he was battling, was still there.”

Perry with Aniston and Kudrow back in 2003Getty Images

The 54-year-old was clearly beloved by members of the wider cast, with Maggie Wheeler and Morgan Fairchild among the first celebrity voices to share their devastation at his passing.

Wheeler, who played Perry’s on-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein during the early series of the TV show and often appeared to perform her catchphrase “Oh! My! God!”, paid tribute to Perry on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Fairchild, who played Perry’s on-screen mother and erotic novel writer Nora Bing, said on Twitter/X:

Hank Azaria appeared in several episodes of the sitcom, playing Phoebe Buffay’s love interest David, and said that Perry was like a “brother” to him.

In a video posted to his Instagram, he said: “Matthew was the first friend I made in Los Angeles when I moved there. I was 21 he was 16.

“We did a pilot together … we became really good friends and we were really more like brothers for a long time.

“We drank a lot together, we laughed a lot together. We were there for each other in the early days of our career and he was to me, as funny as he was on Friends and he was and other things too, in person he was just the funniest man ever.

“And every night, he was like a genius, he would start to weave comedy threads together, just hanging out – little joke here, joke there, joke here, joke there – and then by the end of the night he would weave them all together in this crescendo of hilarity.”

In a joint statement, Friends co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, along with executive producer Kevin Bright, described their own heartbreak.

“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing,” they said.

“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.”

They added: “This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”

Meanwhile, Perry’s family released their own statement to US publication People, 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.”

They added: “You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love."

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