Matthew Perry’s family and Friends co-stars pay tribute to ‘funniest man ever’

Matthew Perry’s family, friends and co-stars have paid tribute to the actor who has been described as “the funniest man ever”.

Perry, who was known for playing Chandler Bing on the American sitcom Friends, has died at the age of 54.

The PA news agency understands that officers from the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a radio call just after 4pm on Saturday for a death investigation of a male in his 50s.

Hank Azaria and Matthew Perry
Hank Azaria (left) said Matthew Perry was ‘like a brother’ to him (Ian West/PA)

Tributes have poured in following the news of his death, including from fellow Friends cast members.

Hank Azaria appeared in several episodes of the sitcom, playing Phoebe Buffay’s love interest David, and said that Perry was like a “brother” to him.

In a video posted to his Instagram page he said: “Matthew was the first friend I made in Los Angeles when I moved there. I was 21 he was 16.

“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.”

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.”

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 are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing,” they said.

“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.”

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

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

Posting to her Instagram account, 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.”