Matthew Perry Cause of Death Revealed

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 14: Actor Matthew Perry arrives at the 9th Annual Dinner Benef
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Friends star Matthew Perry’s cause of death has been revealed weeks after he was found dead at his Los Angeles home at the age of 54.

Perry, the much-loved comedic actor, forever immortalized as Chandler Bing on the hit 1990s sitcom Friends, died of heart failure on October 28. Now an autopsy released by the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner says Perry had died of was listed as acute effects of ketamine.

Drowning, coronary artery disease, and buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid use disorder, were also listed as contributing factors.

Perry was found dead under the water in his hot tub by an employee at his Los Angeles home on October 28.

Early reports speculated that the actor may have drowned. Others surmised that the Fools Rush In star might have taken illicit drugs, given his history of addiction and decades-long substance abuse.

But according to Perry, he had been sober the two and a half years leading up to his death.

In October 2022, while promoting his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry told the New York Times that he had been sober for 18 months, which included his 2021 appearance in Friends: The Reunion.

The day after Perry’s death, a report released by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner said the actor’s cause of death was “deferred,” and the medical examiner’s office requested further investigation.

An initial toxicology test showed there was no fentanyl or meth in Perry’s system at the time of his death, which tracked with the actor’s claim that he had become sober after decades of substance abuse.

Instead, the Whole Nine Yards star had died of was listed as ‘acute effects of ketamine.
On the day of his death, Perry spent some of his final moments playing pickleball, a sport that he “fell in love with” and “really wanted to use” for his recovery, Matthew Manasse, the actor’s pickleball coach, told NBC News.

People with heart conditions should take precautions when using a hot tub, as hot water can be taxing on the heart, the Cleveland Clinic cautions.

“A sudden rise in body temperature creates significant stress on your cardiovascular system, predominantly via a cascade of adjustments resulting in an elevated heart rate,” Dr. Rimmerman, a cardiologist, warned on the clinic’s website.

“The higher heart rate — especially in the presence of reduced heart function, heart arrhythmias and coronary artery blockages — can cause a cardiac event such as blood flow problems and, in the worst case scenario, manifest as a heart attack,” the cardiologist added.

Five days before his death, Perry posted a photo of himself in his hot tub to his Instagram account. The image would end up being the actor’s final post.

After the news of Perry’s death reached the public, a video of the actor relishing his “very close relationship” with God went viral.

“I believe there is a higher power. I believe I have a very close relationship with him that’s helped me a lot,” Perry told Bill Maher last year.

In a 2022 interview with reporter Tom Power, the Numb star revealed that the first time he prayed was when he was dealing with substance abuse, and that he had asked God to make him famous, as believed that fame might be the answer to his problems.

“That prayer was, ‘Please, God, make me famous. You can do anything you want to me; just make me famous,'” Perry said. “Three weeks later, I got Friends — and God did not forget about the second part.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and X/Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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