Matthew Perry died from acute effects of ketamine, medical examiner says

Actor Matthew Perry died from the acute effects of ketamine in an accident, authorities said Friday.

Perry, 54, died Oct. 28 at his Los Angeles-area home.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office specified the cause of Perry’s death in a statement released Friday.

“Contributing factors in Perry’s death include drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine (used to treat opioid use disorder). The manner of death is accident,” the statement said.

On the day of Perry’s death, first responders went to a home in Pacific Palisades based on a 911 call at 4:07 p.m. about a “water emergency” of an unknown type, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Perry was found unresponsive in a pool at his home, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The actor had taken drugs in the past but had been “reportedly clean for 19 months,” according to the report. The coroner said he was reported to have been having ketamine infusion therapy to deal with depression and anxiety, and his last treatment was 1 1/2 weeks before his death.

Perry had played pickleball earlier in the day, the report says, and his assistant, who lives with him, found him face down in the pool after returning from errands.

The assistant told investigators Perry had not been sick, had not made any health complaints, and had not shown evidence of recent alcohol or drug use.

Perry was best known for his role as Chandler Bing, one of the key cast members on “Friends.” Perry, who played a statistical analyst on the show, was known for his sarcasm and witty one-liners.

The show, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, dominated prime time.

Perry struggled with alcohol and drug use and had multiple stints in rehab. In his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry told a harsh reality of addiction.

It was a stark contrast from the joy he brought to his adoring fans.

In the memoir, Perry addressed his alcohol use, his addiction to Vicodin following a jet-ski accident, and almost dying in 2019 after his colon burst because he abused opioids.

In the book, Perry said he began abusing substances at 14 and landed the role on “Friends” a decade later. Fame increased his dependency on alcohol and drugs. At one point, according to the memoir, he took nearly five dozen pills a day. His weight fluctuated from 128 pounds to 225 pounds.