The surviving cast of the hit sitcom Friends say they are mourning the “unfathomable” death of their co-star Matthew Perry over the weekend.
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer released a joint statement to People, CNN and the BBC late Monday that marked their first comments since Perry was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Saturday at age 54.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew,” the statement signed by the five actors said. “We were more than just cast mates. We are a family.”
The co-stars said they would have more to say about Perry and his death “as and when we are able,” adding they were sending their thoughts and love to Perry’s family, friends and fans.
“There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss,” the statement said.
Global News has not independently received the statement.
The cause and manner of Perry’s death are still being determined by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office, following the completion of an autopsy with toxicology tests.
Perry’s death came one year after the publication of his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which chronicled his decades-long struggle with addiction to prescription painkillers and alcohol. At the time, Perry said he had been sober for about 18 months.
Perry, Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc and Schwimmer were catapulted to worldwide fame shortly after Friends debuted in 1994. The sitcom remained a highly watched hit throughout its 10 seasons and remains popular on streaming.
The cast reunited for a reunion special in 2021 on HBO Max where Perry talked about their continued bond, which lasted well beyond the end of the show.
“The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it. That was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long and that was it,” Perry said.
“You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night,” he continued. “And that’s the way it worked.”
The co-creators of Friends, Marta Kauffman and David Crane, as well as executive producer Kevin Bright, wrote in a statement that they “are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing.”
Several actors who co-starred on Friends have shared tributes to Perry since his death on Saturday including Paul Rudd, Paget Brewster and Aisha Tyler.
Morgan Fairchild, who played mother to Perry’s Chandler Bing on the show, and Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler’s sometime girlfriend Janice, also expressed their heartbreak.
“The world will miss you Matthew Perry,” Wheeler wrote in a message on Instagram.
“The joy you brought to so many in your too short lifetime will live on,” she added. “What a loss.”
— with files from Global’s Kathryn Mannie, the Associated Press and Reuters