Matthew Perry’s family have said that they are “heartbroken” following the “tragic loss” of their son.
The actor, known for playing Chandler Bing on the American sitcom Friends, has died aged 54.
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, the PA news agency understands.
The actor was found dead at his Los Angeles home, according to coroner’s records, and an investigation into how he died is ongoing, with the possibility of it taking weeks before a cause of death is determined.
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.”
Perry’s 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 joint statement Friends co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, along with executive producer Kevin Bright, described their shock.
“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.”
Celebrities have been paying their respects to the actor with American actress Gwyneth Paltrow remembering Perry 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.”
Elsewhere, visitors to the Friends’ Experience in Dublin, Ireland – which showcases sets, props and costumes from the show – have said that Perry’s jokes and performances as Chandler Bing will live on.
Irma Varivoda, 18, from Bosnia and Herzegovina who is living in Dublin, told the PA news agency: “This is the one where we all lost a friend.
“I was really shocked and sad but honestly I think this was the best way to pay him respect and come here and we are going to miss him but Chandler is going to live for ever. Rest in peace, Matthew.”
In Bexleyheath, Darren, 44, the owner of Friends-themed Central Park cafe, told the agency that the late Perry was a “talented actor” who “could have gone a lot further” without his struggles with drugs and alcohol.
“He was only 54 years old – far too early to pass away”, he said.
Friends co-stars have also come forward to share their memories and offer their condolences.
Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler’s on-and-off girlfriend, Janice Hosenstein, 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.”
Perry, who was nominated for an Emmy for his role in Friends, starred alongside Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Courteney Cox – who played Perry’s on-screen wife, Monica Geller.
The actors reunited on screen for the first time in 2021 after the show ended its celebrated 10-year run in 2004, having become a pop culture phenomenon.