'We are a family': Friends cast 'so utterly devastated' at death of Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry, known for playing Chandler Bing in the US sitcom Friends, was found dead on Saturday. ITV News' Sally Biddulph reports

Stars of the American sitcom Friends have paid tribute to Matthew Perry saying they are "so utterly devastated" in a joint statement following the actor's death aged 54.

Perry, known for playing the witty, unlucky-in-love Chandler Bing, was found dead on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles.

While a postmortem has been conducted, the cause of death has been "deferred," meaning additional steps will now be required to reach a conclusion, according to CNN.

In a joint statement, the other five stars of the cast - Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer - have paid tribute.

"We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family," reads their statement, published by PEOPLE magazine.

"There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss."

"In time we will say more, as and when we are able," the statement continues. "For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world."

The cast of Friends have paid tribute to Perry (third left) in a joint statement. Credit: AP

Hank Azaria, who starred as Phoebe Buffay's scientist beau David before he leaves her brokenhearted for a project in Belarus, opened up on acting alongside Perry for a number of years in the 80s and 90s.

"Matthew was the first friend I made in Los Angeles when I moved there. I was 21 he was 16," Azaria said in a video on social media.

"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."

Also paying tribute to the star was Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler’s on-and-off girlfriend, Janice Hosenstein.

She said she felt “blessed” to have spent creative moments with Perry.

On Instagram, the actress said: “What a loss. The world will miss you Matthew Perry. The joy you brought to so many in your too short lifetime will live on.”

His death has prompted an outpouring of grief across the entertainment industry and beyond.

Sarah, Duchess of York, once made a cameo in the sitcom for an episode that was set in London.

In tribute to the late actor, the duchess, known as Fergie, wrote on X: “I remember being thrilled to have met a natural talent, comedian and brilliant actor.

"It is a tragedy to lose you so early in life, rest in peace dear Matthew… you have given so much joy and laughter to so many."

A makeshift memorial for Perry outside the building known as the 'Friends' building in New York. Credit: AP

American actress Gwyneth Paltrow remembered him as the young man she had met in the summer of 1993.

The Sliding Doors star, 51, posted to her Instagram page and said: “I met Matthew Perry in 1993 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.

“We were both there for most of the summer doing plays. He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with. We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass.

“It was a magical summer. He had shot the pilot of Friends but it had not aired yet. He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner. It was.

“We stayed friends for a while until we drifted apart, but I was always happy to see him when I did.

“I am super sad today, as so many of us are. I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do.”

Perry’s family said that they were “heartbroken” following the “tragic loss” of their son.

His body was found in a hot tub at his home, according to unnamed sources cited by the Los Angeles Times and celebrity website TMZ, which was the first to report the news.

In a statement to US publication People, Perry’s family said of the actors death: “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."

In a joint statement, Friends co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, along with executive producer Kevin Bright, described their shock at Perry’s death.

"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.”

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