Matthew Perry, one of the stars of the popular TV situation comedy Friends was found dead Saturday in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home, according to information given to reporters by the local police department.
Authorities responded about 4 p.m. to his home, where Perry, 54, was discovered unresponsive. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, did not cite a cause of death.
However later reports said that he was found dead in a hot tub, and appeared to have drowned.
No drugs were found at the scene, sources said. Additionally, no foul play is suspected, according to law enforcement sources. A representative for Perry did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s robbery-homicide detectives are investigating the death. The cause of death will be determined at a later date by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
“We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry,” Warner Bros. Television Group, which produced “Friends,” said in a statement to The Times. “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.”
“We are incredibly saddened by the too soon passing of Matthew Perry,” NBC, which aired the series for all 10 seasons, said in its own statement to The Times. “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.”
Saturday evening yellow-and-black LAPD crime scene tape blocked off the entrance to Blue Sail Drive, a tony street just off the Pacific Coast Highway at the crest of a hill with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.
Shortly after 7 p.m., as multiple helicopters whirred overhead, Perry’s mother, Suzanne, and her husband, broadcaster Keith Morrison, arrived on the scene. Morrison declined to comment. An LAPD officer at the scene said he had no information and that he did not know when any would be forthcoming.
Peter, a neighbor of Perry’s on Bluesail Drive who declined to give his last name Saturday evening, said he only spoke to the actor once, for five minutes, and that he was “very pleasant” and a “nice guy.”
“It’s shocking,” Peter said as he waited for the LAPD, who had barred journalists from passing the police tape, to approve him for entry. “He’s been redoing this house forever and he seemed fine. It’s very sad.”
After small roles in Growing Pains, Beverly Hills 90210 and Dream On, Perry auditioned for and won the role of sarcastic and neurotic Chandler Bing in Friends, which soon brought him fame and wealth.
The comedy, about six friends living in New York City, quickly became a phenomenon, winning multiple Emmys and scoring record ratings; the 2004 finale reached more than 52 million viewers in the US, making it the most watched TV episode of the 2000s.
Perry was known to have problems with addiction to pain-killers, which he said started after he was prescribed Vicodin after an accident, and also with alcohol, for which he attended Alcoholics Anonymous, but first reports were that no drugs were found at the scene of his death.
He wrote about his drug addiction in detail in an autobiography called , Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing and described how he would take 55 Vicodin tablets daily, after visiting several different doctors to get prescriptions.
Born in Massachusetts in 1969 to an American father and a Canadian mother, Perry grew up in Canada as his mother worked as a press aide to former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
Sources: Los Angeles Times, BBC, CNN.