Matthew Perry – star found underwater, memorial grows and Whoopi Goldberg fights tears

Friends fans have flocked to New York's West Village to lay flowers and heartfelt tributes for the late Matthew Perry.

The hit sitcom, which ran from 1994 to 2004 and focused on the lives of Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), Joey Tribbiani (Matt Le Blanc), Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) and Chandler Bing (Matthew), was of course primarily shot at the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles, but its apartment building's exterior was that of 90 Bedford Street.

Interviewed by Variety at the emotional scene, one fan, Catherine Schmitt, commented: "It feels strange to feel sad about it, but it really has been a sad morning. It's been my comfort show since I can remember. I can't imagine watching it now without feeling deep sadness."

Samantha Cheung told the publication: "I wanted to visit because the show gave me a lot of comfort growing up. It captures what young adulthood is like and how important your friends are during that time of your life."

She added that it taught her invaluable life lessons such as "don't take life too seriously, you can make light out of bad things" and "it's okay to joke around".

On Monday, the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that Matthew was found underwater but "repositioned" by his assistant.

A spokesperson for the LAFD told the Los Angeles Times: "An adult male patient was deceased prior to first response arrival. The patient was found by a bystander who had re-positioned the victim where the head was out of water. Firefighters pulled the victim out of the jacuzzi and did a quick medical assessment to find he was deceased."

The reported bystander is Matthew's assistant, who is supposedly the one who found him, according to past reports.

The actor played pickleball for two hours before coming home and sending his assistant out on an errand. Reportedly when they returned they found him underwater and called first responders.

As he was found underwater, he appeared to have drown but no official cause of death has been made, as an initial autopsy was "deferred" while the state performs a toxicology report. Investigators said they believed there was no foul play involved in his death and no illegal drugs were found at the scene.

Whoopi Goldberg counts herself among the actor's fans, and the Sister Act star fought back tears on The View as she lead a heartbreaking tribute.

Discussing Matthew's passing, Whoopi, 67, said she was 'beyond heartbroken' at the news as she honoured the late actor's wish to be 'remembered for helping people'.

Addressing viewers on Monday's show, she began: "You know, we were all beyond heartbroken,' before taking a noticeable pause in which she appeared to regain her composure before adding, "to hear about the sudden passing of Matthew Perry."

Whoopi continued: "He was just 54 years old and we were very lucky to have him here last year when he was really open about overcoming his struggles with addiction, and he was really passionate about helping other people get through it."

The View then aired an archive interview of Perry chatting to panellist Joy Behar, 81, during an appearance on The View in November 2022, where he advised addicted people to "get the right help".

He said: "You have to have professionals in the business, you cant just be with a group of people who don't know anything about this, because as much as I wanted to quit that day when Jenny [Jennifer Aniston] came up to me and said "we know", I couldn't – it just wasn't an option."

"But if you raise your hand to the right people, you get the right help, and you don't be alone with it, you have a chance out of it – and that's what I did."

Following the clip, Whoopi took a deep sigh and said: "He was quite something, and really a funny guy. A really good, funny guy."

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