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Cast of Friends were 'destroyed' when they heard of Matthew Perry's death, says director who worked on show

The cast of Friends were “destroyed” when they heard that Matthew Perry had died. The actor, who shot to fame as Chandler Bing on the classic sitcom alongside Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox and David Schwimmer, died on Oct 28 at the age of 54 in an apparent drowning.

Now, Friends director James Burrows has admitted he was “like a brother” to his co-stars.

Speaking on the American morning TV show Today, Burrows said: “I had to have a couple of days to just let it soak in. He was part of a family and he was the first one to not be a part of that family anymore. I texted the girls the day we found out and they were destroyed. It’s a brother dying.”

Burrows directed the pilot of the hit series and went on to be at the helm of 14 more episodes over the course of its 10-season run and remembered Perry’s performances as the “perfect meld” between himself and his character.

He added: “He was really funny, he was a little awkward too. Chandler was awkward, and Matthew was awkward too. It was a perfect, perfect meld. His facial expressions were amazing and we could always cut to him.”

For years before his death, Perry had been struggling with addiction but Burrows went on to reflect that everyone had been “so proud” of him when he had been “doing better” before his death.

Burrows said: “We were so proud of him these last couple of years that he was making a remarkable recovery. It’s so sad. I want him to be remembered as a wonderful actor, a funny man and a wonderful friend to a lot of people.”

Matthew Perry died in a suspected drowning, and police said there were no signs of foul play at the scene of his death, but the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division has taken over the investigation into his shock passing.

Media outlet TMZ reported on Oct 31: “It may come as a surprise to some because foul play is not suspected at this point, but cops say it’s just standard procedure for (its Robbery Homicide Division to investigate) high-profile cases.”


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