In a joint statement shared with EW, co-creators Marta Kauffman, David Crane, and executive producer Kevin Bright said they remain "shocked and deeply, deeply saddened" by Perry's passing. Paying tribute to the late actor, they commended his work on the hit sitcom, in a role that only he could play.
"It still seems impossible," the trio wrote of his death. "All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives."
The statement continues, "He was a brilliant talent. It's a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew's case, there are no truer words. From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us."
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Matthew Perry on 'Friends'
Perry was reportedly found dead in his hot tub on Saturday after an apparent drowning, reports TMZ, citing law enforcement sources. The outlet reported that no drugs were found at the scene. A law enforcement officer told The New York Times that there was no indication of foul play.
"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," the trio said in their statement. "He was always the funniest person in the room. More than that, he was the sweetest, with a giving and selfless heart. We send all of our love to his family and friends."
Referencing the show's episode title formula, they added, "This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken."
NBCU Photo Bank Matthew Perry
Friends, which ran from 1994-2004, starred Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow as six 20-somethings living in New York City. A mega hit, the series ran for 10 seasons and has continued to grow its fan base thanks to newfound success on streaming platforms. Reflecting on the series ahead of the 2021 reunion special that brought the cast members back together, Perry gave his take on the show's enduring popularity.
"It was a character-driven funny, not timely funny," he told People. "They didn't make timely jokes. They didn't make jokes about O.J. Simpson. They made character-driven jokes about people — and people are going to come back time and time again and watch that."
Kauffman, Crane, Bright and the six stars reunited for the 2021 reunion special on Max.
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