Matthew Perry's Family Breaks Their Silence On His Tragic Death

On October 28, Matthew Perry was found unresponsive at a Los Angeles home, per TMZ. Insiders shared that he was discovered dead in a jacuzzi. He was 54 years old. Following Perry's unexpected death, tributes for the "Friends" star have begun pouring out, and those closest to him have broken their silence with a touching message.  

Perry's family has released a statement to People about the devastating news. "We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother," they shared. "Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend." Turning to Perry's fanbase, the family added, "You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love."

While the "17 Again" actor was still alive, Perry enjoyed an especially close relationship with his parents, who were by his side in his darkest moments.

Matthew Perry's parents supported him through tough times

Matthew Perry is survived by his father John Bennett Perry, mother Suzanne Morrison, and stepfather Keith Morrison, per People. John and Suzanne separated less than a year after Matthew was born, with Suzanne then marrying Keith in 1981. In spite of Suzanne and John's split, the actor's parents came together to support their son. During Matthew's 2018 hospitalization for a burst colon, his parents were right there with him. "They were both standing at the edge of my bed," he told Diane Sawyer on ABC News. "I was like, 'Whoa, I must be really sick for this to be happening."

John, Suzanne, and Keith headed to Matthew's home hours after his death, per Page Six. Photos shared by the outlet showed the star's loved ones in the car, appearing solemn and depleted. Just days before his death, Matthew took to Instagram to share a sweet snap of him and his dad. John was all smiles, with Matthew captioning the photo, "Here is me, and my father John, both holding a beverage."

Matthew Perry had an interesting relationship with his parents

The love between Matthew Perry and his parents was and is undeniable; however, they weathered unfortunate trials as a family. For example, Matthew's memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and The Big Terrible Thing," revealed that his father, John Bennet Perry, abandoned him as a baby. "I'm told, my father took me out of my car seat, handed me into my grandfather's arms, and, with that, he quietly abandoned me and my mother," wrote Matthew (via Today). Fortunately, Matthew and his father cultivated a bond later in life. However, things still weren't perfect. "I saw his face more often on TV or in magazines than I did in reality," Matthew admitted. However, he also called his father his "hero."

In a different portion of the memoir, Matthew made the startling revelation that his parents willingly gave him a drug called phenobarbital so that he'd sleep as a baby. "I'm told I took phenobarbital during the second month of my life, between the ages of thirty and sixty days," wrote Matthew (via Showbiz 411). The drug would cause Matthew to "conk out," inspiring laughter from his father, though he noted that it wasn't a cruel response. "Stoned babies are funny," he wrote. Matthew also stated that he didn't blame his parents for their decision, which a doctor agreed with at the time. And though Matthew made sure not to connect his addiction with his parent's decision, he did reveal that he was prescribed phenobarbital during drug detoxes later in life.

Matthew Perry's father was in a Friends episode ...

Matthew Perry's family wasn't just there for his lowest moments. They also got to experience the highs of his life and career. For example, Matthew's father, actor John Bennett Perry, once appeared in an episode of "Friends." In the 1998 episode titled "The One With Rachel's New Dress," John played the role of Mr. Burgin — the father of Rachel Green's then-boyfriend. Unfortunately, Rachel met them under embarrassing terms, after they accidentally walked in while she was posing in lingerie. John (as Mr. Burgin) responded by saying, "I like her. She seems smart." His quip garnered raucous laughter from the audience.

This wasn't the first they'd team up for acting gigs. 1997's "Fools Rush In," saw John take on the role of Matthew's fictional father. The irreverent rom-com starred Matthew and Salma Hayek as a couple grappling with an unexpected pregnancy and eventual marriage. According to The Messenger, Matthew once cited "Fools Rush In" as his "best film" on social media. And though it's no secret that Matthew's fame eventually surpassed his father's, according to Extra TV, John actually helped get his son into the business. As the outlet reported, Matthew's earliest acting role came decades before he'd land his iconic role in "Friends." As a child, Matthew had a brief role on "240-Robert," where John starred from 1979-1981.