Perry — who died at age 54 on Saturday, October 28, after an apparent drowning at his home in Los Angeles — starred as the funny one of the bunch from 1994 to 2004. He shared the screen with Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani) and David Schwimmer (Ross Geller) during the show’s highly successful 10 seasons on NBC.
Whether Chandler was making up silly names for his magazine subscriptions or confessing his feelings for future wife Monica, he was always good for a laugh and a heartwarming moment.
The actor revealed during a March 2017 appearance on Good Morning America that his favorite one-liner from his time on the sitcom was from the season 2 episode “The One With Ross’ New Girlfriend.” Chandler tells Joey, “You have to stop the Q-tip when there’s resistance!” after his buddy asks when 1990 was.
As much fun as the cast had while filming the series, Perry admitted in June 2017 that he refused to participate in a revival. “I have this recurring nightmare — I’m not kidding about this. When I’m asleep, I have this nightmare that we do Friends again and nobody cares,” he told Variety. “We do a whole series, we come back, and nobody cares about it. So if anybody asks me, I’m gonna say no.”
Aniston noted during a December 2018 interview on The Late Late Show With James Corden, that Perry was not the only one with hesitations. “The girls always say we would love to do it again, and the boys are a little less excited about it for some reason,” the actress said.
While Chandler was a lovable goof onscreen, Perry faced with darker struggles behind the scenes. He battled addictions to both drugs and alcohol in addition to working through depression and anxiety.
During Friends: The Reunion, which debuted in April 2021 on Max, Perry recalled how hard he was on himself while filming. “I felt like I was gonna die if they didn’t laugh. It’s not healthy for sure, but I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn’t laugh, and I would sweat and go into convulsions,” Perry said. “If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get, I would freak out. I felt like that every single night.”
Friends cocreators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and their fellow executive producer Kevin S. Bright said they were “shocked and deeply, deeply saddened” by Perry’s sudden death.
“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,” the trio shared in a statement to Us Weekly on Sunday, October 29. “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 concluded: “We send all of our love to his family and friends. This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”
Watch the video above to relive some of the most iconic moments Perry delivered as Chandler on Friends.