The cause of actor Matthew Perry’s death at his residence Saturday will require additional investigative steps by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office before reaching a conclusion, according to records from the agency.
The medical examiner updated its online record for Perry on Sunday afternoon, listing his cause of death as “deferred.”
“In cases where the cause of death cannot be determined at the time of autopsy, a deferred certificate will be issued until additional studies have been completed,” according to the LA coroner’s guidelines.
An autopsy has been conducted, but examiners are awaiting the results of toxicology reports in order to determine Perry’s cause of death, the medical examiner’s office told CNN on Sunday. Such reports can take weeks to complete.
Investigators are planning to use the toxicology reports to determine whether any foreign substances may have contributed to Perry’s death, according to a law enforcement source.
The Los Angeles Police Department Robbery-Homicide Division is investigating Perry’s death, but a law enforcement source told CNN that no foul play is suspected. On Sunday, the medical examiner’s records indicated the actor’s remains were ready to be released to his next of kin.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey told CNN a 911 call came in Saturday at 4:07 p.m. for a water rescue emergency. LAPD responded at 4:10 p.m. and characterized the call as a death investigation shortly after.
Perry, 54, was found “unconscious in a stand-alone jacuzzi,” a spokesperson for the LA Fire Department told CNN in a statement Monday.
Perry’s parents, John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Morrison, along with his step-father, “Dateline” correspondent Keith Morrison, were seen arriving at the actor’s home Saturday night amid the police response.
On Sunday, Perry’s family released a statement to People magazine saying that they were “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,” the statement said. “You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”
An open book
Perry was candid about his struggles.
He opened up about his recovery from addiction and his dedication to helping others in his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir,” which he released in November 2022.
“The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘yes’ and follow up and do it,” he said while appearing on the “Q With Tom Power” podcast last year to discuss his book.
Perry went on to say that he wanted to be remembered “as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker” and that “his paramount thing is that he wants to help people.”
“That’s what I want,” he said.
Perry was battling addiction at the height of his career on “Friends” and said during the interview that because of this, he wasn’t able to watch the show.
Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc co-starred alongside Perry on “Friends,” which ran from 1994 to 2004.
The actors have yet to comment on Perry’s death.
On Sunday, “Friends” co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright released a statement to CNN, saying they were “shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing.”
“It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives,” their statement said. “He was a brilliant talent. It’s a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew’s case, there are no truer words. From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us.”
The statement added: “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…This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”
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