Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sitcom Actors Who've Sadly Passed Away

TV creates a kind of immortality for its actors that can seem surreal, especially when the screen goes black, and we remember how much time has passed since the program aired. On the television screen, children remain children, and unless the script decrees it, no one ever dies. 

So it can be jarring to see how actors have aged, to learn the trajectories of their lives, and in some cases, to discover they're no longer with us. The most popular sitcom star is no less mortal than any of us, even if they remain forever young in decades-old TV shows. For better or worse, that can change the way we watch those programs. It's a different experience seeing a sitcom star delivering their famous catch phrase when you know they'll never say it, or anything else, again.

For those actors who remain in our memories and in the shows that brought us so much laughter, here are some sitcom actors you may not know have sadly passed away.

Max Wright

From 1986 to 1990, NBC brought its viewers "ALF," a series about a family sheltering Gordon Shumway, aka the titular ALF (alien life form) — a fuzzy, smart-mouthed being from the planet Melmac who occasionally tried to eat the family cat. The father and husband of that family was Willie Tanner, portrayed by Max Wright. For four seasons, Wright played the straight man to the wisecracking ALF puppet, an experience that eventually soured enough that Wright reportedly didn't bother saying goodbye to anyone on his last day of work on the series. Co-star Anne Schedeen — who played Willie's wife, Kate — told People that on the last day of filming, Wright "walked off the set, went to his dressing room, got his bags, went to his car, and disappeared."

In 1995, Wright was diagnosed with lymphoma, which went into remission after radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Wright told People that his work was on the decline after "ALF," but that after his diagnosis and subsequent remission, he "came back to life after being on the edge, with a tremendous gusto for the things I love." Among other things, he scored a regular appearance on the Norm McDonald sitcom "Norm" and received a Tony nomination for his work on the Anton Chekhov play "Ivanov." Unfortunately, Wright's lymphoma didn't stay in remission. It returned, and Wright succumbed to the disease in 2019 at the age of 75.

Lisa Robin Kelly

Lisa Robin Kelly is best known for her recurring role as Laurie Forman on "That '70s Show." For the first five seasons, Kelly played the mean older sister to Eric (Topher Grace) and the "other girl" to Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), but in the sixth season, Kelly was replaced in the role by Christina Moore. Kelly blamed alcoholism for her departure from the sitcom, also saying her alcohol abuse began after she suffered a miscarriage. "I had lost a baby," she told ABC in 2012. "As a result of that, I lost it. I lost everything, and I was abusing alcohol." 

At the time, she said she was ready for a comeback, but unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards. From 2010 to 2013, Kelly had a number of run-ins with the law. She was charged with driving under the influence in North Carolina in 2010 (via TMZ), and in 2013, she was arrested for DUI again when she reportedly parked her car on California's I-5 freeway, blocking a lane of traffic. She was also arrested twice in 2012 for more allegedly violent crimes. She was charged with corporal injury upon a spouse in March 2012, and that November (per Fox News), both Kelly and her husband, Robert Joseph Gilliam, were arrested after an alleged domestic disturbance.

Kelly's battle with addiction didn't end well. She died shortly after checking in to rehab in August 2013. The L.A. County Coroner deemed her death was due to accidental "multiple drug intoxication." She was 43.

John Ritter

John Ritter was a staple of American television for decades. Best known as Jack Tripper on the long-running sitcom "Three's Company," Ritter didn't slow down after that show or its spin-offs ended. In the late '80s, he helped coin the term "dramedy" with "Hooperman." In the early '90s, he led the political satire "Hearts Afire" as senatorial aide John Hartman, and he played memorable film roles like the concerned friend and store owner Vaughan in 1996's Oscar-winning "Sling Blade." 

Ritter's final role proved to be as protective father Paul Hennessy on "8 Simple Rules," based on W. Bruce Cameron's book "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter." Hennessy had an official list of rules for any boy unlucky enough to be dating either of his daughters, such as "you make her cry, I make you cry" and "safe sex is a myth — anything you try will be hazardous to your health." 

In September 2003, while rehearsing for the sitcom, Ritter was taken to the hospital after vomiting and complaining of chest pains. Initially, he was treated for a heart attack, but it was later discovered he had a tear in his aorta. Ritter died during surgery. He was 54 years old, a week shy of his 55th birthday. 

Shelley Morrison

Shelley Morrison enjoyed a long, fruitful acting career, including regular appearances as Sister Sixto on Sally Field's late '60s sitcom "The Flying Nun." But the role she became best known for wouldn't come until 1999, with the Season 1 finale of "Will and Grace." The pill-popping Karen (Megan Mullally) mentions the character of Rosario as early as the series premiere, but we don't actually meet her until the episode "Object of My Rejection," when Karen gets Jack (Sean Hayes) to marry Rosario so she won't be deported. 

Rosario wasn't meant to show up beyond that Season 1 finale, but she proved a popular character. While the Salvadorian woman works as Karen's maid over the course of the series, we learn that — among other things — she has a degree in clinical psychology, performed with Jennifer Lopez, and somehow rakes in $350,000 per year. 

Morrison was asked to reprise the role of "Ro-Ro" for the 2017 revival of "Will and Grace," but by that point, Morrison had retired from acting for good. Then, in December 2019, news broke that Morrison had passed away "from heart failure after a brief illness" at the age of 83.

Merlin Santana

While he died much too young, Merlin Santana had a decades-old career in sitcoms. In the early '90s, he played the recurring role of Stanley — boyfriend of the Huxtables' youngest daughter, Rudy (Keshia Knight Pulliam) — on "The Cosby Show." Not long after, Santana's character Marcus proved to be one of the most popular parts of "Getting By," a short-lived sitcom about two single mothers and their children.

Merlin's last big regular sitcom spot was as the young ladies' man Romeo Santana on WB's "The Steve Harvey Show." The same year that series ended, Santana was murdered in his car in Los Angeles. Santana was only 26 years old when he was shot in the head by Damien Andre Gates, apparently because Gates erroneously believed Santana had been making sexual advances toward his girlfriend, Monique King, who was a minor at the time. Gates was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus 70 years in prison for the murder of Santana and attempted murder of Brandon Quintin Adams, who was in the car with Santana. King was sentenced to 10 years in juvenile custody. 

Philip McKeon

From 1976 to 1985, audiences enjoyed the antics happening in Mel's Diner on "Alice," a sitcom based on the 1974 Martin Scorsese film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." For the pilot episode of "Alice," Alfred Lutter — who played the titular widow's son in the film — reprised the role of Tommy Hyatt. But for each of its subsequent episodes, Philip McKeon played the young Tommy. 

McKeon started his career as a child model and scored the spot on "Alice" when the show's lead, Linda Lavin, saw him in a Broadway performance of "Medea and Jason" and recommended him for the role. After Mel's Diner finally closed its doors, McKeon's acting work was sparse. He worked on the other side of the camera starting in the early '90s to the mid-00s, working as a producer on 1995's "Murder in the First" and 2005's "The Jacket," among others. 

A few years before his death, McKeon moved to Wimberly, Texas, to be closer to his family and host his own talk radio show. In December 2019, McKeon died from a long illness at the age of 55. 

Yvette Wilson

Yvette Wilson began her career as a stand-up comic, and she also made audiences laugh on the big screen in 1994's "House Party 3" and 1995's "Friday," among others. But she was best known for her role on UPN's "Moesha." When the teenage characters of "Moesha" needed a place to hang out, they went to The Den owned by Andell Wilkerson, played by Wilson. The actress went on to reprise the role of Andell on the spin-off "The Parkers."   

Unfortunately, Wilson passed away from multiple illnesses in June 2012 at the age of 48. On the Give Forward page (via The Washington Post) that Wilson's friend Jeffrey Pittle created to help cover her medical costs, Pittle wrote that Wilson was being told by doctors that her cervical cancer, which had been in "extended retreat," was coming back more aggressively than ever. At the same time, she'd already been struggling with kidney disease, having endured kidney transplant surgery and dialysis treatments.

Lamont Bentley

Lamont Bentley played neighbor, friend, and sometimes love interest to Moesha (Brandy Norwood) on "Moesha" and its spin-off "The Parkers." Before those series, he was Crazy K in 1995's "Tales from the Hood." An aspiring rapper as well as an actor, Bentley took on the role of Tupac Shakur for the 2001 TV movie "Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story," and that same year, he appeared with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in "The Wash." Plus some of his earliest work was on the short-lived but critically acclaimed Fox series "South Central." 

In January 2005, Bentley was on his way home from the screening of the short film "Shards" when he got into a single-car accident. Bentley reportedly lost control of his vehicle while heading toward a freeway off-ramp. After the car plowed through a fence and rolled down an embankment, Bentley was thrown from the car and into traffic, where he was hit by five other vehicles. Shortly afterward, he died from his injuries. He was 31 years old.

Earl Hindman

During the eight seasons of the hit sitcom "Home Improvement," one of its most popular characters was also its least visible. With his face always obscured — usually by their shared fence — Earl Hindman's Wilson W. Wilson Jr. acted as confidant to Tim Taylor (Tim Allen) and doled out Yoda-like wisdom to the tool-obsessed Tim. Audiences didn't get to see the character's entire face until the series finale's curtain call, though in the meantime, Home Improvement occasionally had fun with the audience by showing the bottom half of his face but not the top. 

Hindman had been working in film and television since the late '60s, mainly in smaller roles. He appeared in the 1981 military school drama "Taps" and the 1985 Western "Silverado," and he enjoyed recurring roles on popular TV shows like "Spenser: For Hire" and "The Equalizer." Before "Home Improvement," he was best known as Detective Lieutenant Bob Reid on the soap opera "Ryan's Hope." Sadly, four years after the end of "Home Improvement," the man who brought us Wilson had to give another goodbye. In December 2003, Hindman died of lung cancer at the age of 61.  

Gary Coleman

While he'd already appeared on television including on sitcoms like "Good Times" and "The Jeffersons," the role Gary Coleman will always be remembered for is Arnold Jackson on "Diff'rent Strokes." Coleman played the youngest of two Harlem-born brothers taken in by successful businessman Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain). Todd Bridges played Arnold's older brother, Willis, leading to Coleman's catch phrase, "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" — usually uttered whenever Willis said something his younger brother wasn't happy about.

Along with ongoing legal and financial struggles, Coleman dealt with severe health issues all of his life. While Coleman was adamant about not sharing specifics, we know that his relatively short stature was due to kidney disease. Along with dialysis treatment, Coleman underwent at least two kidney transplants that were ultimately unsuccessful, and a year before his passing, he had heart surgery, after which he was seriously ill with pneumonia.   

We may never know for sure, but it seems likely it was one or more of these issues that ultimately led to Coleman's death. Coleman died in 2010 after falling down the stairs in his home and hitting his head. He'd suffered a number of seizures in the preceding months, and it's believed that may have been what caused the fall. The injury eventually led to a brain hemorrhage from which he didn't recover. 

Andrew Koenig

For the first four seasons of the incredibly popular '80s sitcom "Growing Pains," Andrew Koenig played Richard "Boner" Stabone, best friend to Kirk Cameron's Mike Seaver. His character left the show in Season 4's "Semper Fidelis," when he decided to drop college to join the Marine Corps. 

Koenig's acting work after "Growing Pains" wasn't extensive, though he had some other memorable claims to fame. He was the son of Walter Koenig, best known as Pavel Chekov from "Star Trek: The Original Series" and the subsequent films. Along with some other acting work — including voice work on the "G.I. Joe" animated series — Andrew Koenig starred in one of the most famous fan films of all time. He played the Joker in "Batman: Dead End," in which the Dark Knight faces the xenomorphs from the "Alien" films, as well as the ruthless hunters from the "Predator" franchise.

In the '90s and 2000s, Koenig became an outspoken activist and gained notoriety in his efforts to draw more attention to China's support of the military dictatorship ruling Burma. He was arrested in 2008 for interrupting Pasadena's Rose Parade by blocking a float advertising the Beijing Olympics and holding up a sign that said "China: Free Burma." 

In February 2010, Koenig's body was found hanging from a tree in Vancouver's Stanley Park. Walter Koenig confirmed at a press conference that his son had taken his own life, later writing that Andrew died after "a long battle with depression" and urged other depression sufferers to reach out for help.

James Avery

Years before Will Smith became a top-tier movie star, he was better known as half of the hip hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, who became household names with their 1988 single "Parents Just Don't Understand." That fame helped Smith eventually bridge the worlds of hip hop and acting with "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." In the show, Smith played a fictionalized version of himself who's sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Bel-Air after a confrontation with a violent gang. And over the course of the series, James Avery would become one of the most well-loved father figures on American television as Smith's Uncle Phil. 

Along with his role on "Fresh Prince," Avery was known for his exceptional voice work. He was the voice of the villain Shredder in the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" animated series, as well as James Rhodes, aka War Machine, in the '90s "Iron Man" cartoon. Most of his live-action roles were of the smaller variety, and in a 2007 interview with the New York Film Academy, he was candid about missing the spotlight, saying, "You can either be a movie star or an actor. I'm an actor. [But] I've done pretty good."

Avery died in December 2013 due to complications from open heart surgery. He was 68. 

David Strickland

David Strickland's acting career was tragically short. He enjoyed one-off appearances during the '90s, leading to popular recurring roles on the sitcoms "Sister, Sister" and "Mad About You." But in 1996, he was tapped for the part he'll forever be known for — as young, eager rock reporter Todd Stities on the Brooke Shields-led "Suddenly Susan." 

Behind the scenes, Strickland suffered from mental health and substance abuse issues. "Suddenly Susan" co-star Nestor Carbonell told People that Strickland would relapse into drug use "once every two months, sometimes once every six months." Carbonell went on to say Strickland would "have a bad episode, and we'd all worry about it for a night or two, and he'd resurface as if nothing had happened."

Strickland was reportedly off his prescribed medication and upset about much of his role in the 1999 rom-com "Forces of Nature" being left on the cutting room floor when he and Andy Dick flew to Las Vegas in March 1999. The pair reportedly bounced from strip club to strip club, partying hard, and on March 22, Strickland was found in his motel room, where he'd hanged himself with a bed sheet. 

On "Suddenly Susan," the decision was made to make art imitate life. On the season three finale, "A Day in the Life," Stitie's co-workers panic when he goes missing. They tell stories about Todd, interspersed with clips of out-of-character interviews with the cast. The episode ends with the police calling to report Todd's fate, which is left ambiguous. 

Bob Saget

For over four decades, Bob Saget made his living as a television host, stand-up comedian, actor, and producer. Although his career took him through many different projects, Saget captured hearts as girl-dad Danny Tanner on "Full House" for almost a decade. The sitcom was a career-maker for the comedian, who also returned for the reboot, "Fuller House," in 2016. In addition, Saget hosted "America's Funniest Home Videos" for almost 10 years and made cameos in dozens of other television shows. In the later stages of his career, he broke from his wholesome Danny Tanner image with several raunchy but hilarious comedy specials. 

In January 2022, the 65-year-old actor died while staying in an Orlando hotel during a comedy tour. However, the exact details of his death initially baffled investigators. Three months later, it was reported that although authorities believed he died of an accidental head injury, the circumstances surrounding the injury were still unknown. The damage was severe, but there were no noticeable indicators of how exactly it occurred. A year after his death, officials still weren't sure how Saget sustained his fatal injury, but there was no evidence of foul play or drug use involved in his death.

Dustin Diamond

The original "Saved By The Bell" wouldn't have been the same without Samuel "Screech" Powers, a lovable nerd played by Dustin Diamond. Although he took on other small parts throughout his career, Screech remained Diamond's most famous character. The actor starred in this role across the original series' four seasons and reprised it in "Saved By The Bell: The College Years." Diamond again played Screech as Principal Belding's (Dennis Haskins) assistant in "Saved By The Bell: The New Class." Furthermore, he appeared in two TV movies based on the popular franchise. 

Sadly, Diamond died in 2021 when he was only 44 years old. Many of his former costars paid tribute to him on social media, including Mario Lopez, who posted a photo of himself and the late actor on Instagram and expressed his sadness about Diamond's death. According to an article by the University of Colorado Cancer Center, the actor's untimely death came just a few weeks after receiving a cancer diagnosis. The report further explained that his official cause of death, Stage 4 small cell carcinoma, can spread rapidly before causing noticeable pain, which was a significant factor in why he died so quickly after diagnosis. 

Michelle Thomas

"Family Matters" character Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) found himself in the arms of a jealous woman when he started dating Myra Monkhouse (Michelle Thomas). Although he eventually found Myra's possessive nature too hard to handle, fans still loved Michelle Thomas' hilarious portrayal of this overenthusiastic young woman. Thomas starred in this recurring role for 55 episodes and is among the most memorable side characters of the hit series. Before "Family Matters," Thomas also appeared in "The Cosby Show," and she later starred as Callie Rogers in "The Young and the Restless." 

Sadly, the young actress' career ended just when it was getting started. In 1998, she died of cancer when she was only 30. The actress was diagnosed with Intra-abdominal Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor in 1997, and attempts to eradicate this uncommon cancer were ultimately unsuccessful. Although she has been dead for over 20 years, costars still remember Thomas fondly. To commemorate what would have been her 51st birthday, several members of the "Family Matters" cast gathered to share their memories of the actress, speaking warmly of her talent and kind nature. 

Leslie Jordan

"Will and Grace" made audiences laugh for 11 seasons, with a nearly 10-year gap between Seasons 8 and 9. Of all the many side characters in the series, socialite Beverley Leslie (Leslie Jordan) had some of the most hilarious lines. This staunch conservative regularly exchanged snappy insults with Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) and stole the show whenever he appeared onscreen. Besides appearing on "Will and Grace," actor Leslie Jordan left his mark on dozens of television shows and movies, demonstrating a unique talent for making audiences laugh. 

But in January 2023, paramedics unsuccessfully tried to revive Jordan after he was found unresponsive in his car following an accident. The actor had arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which caused a sudden cardiac dysfunction and led to his death. Although there was some question as to whether the accident caused his death, an autopsy revealed that his official cause of death was indeed cardiac dysfunction. Jordan was 67 when he died and was an avid Instagram user. Fittingly, many of the comedian's fans took to his platform of choice to bid him a fond farewell.

Markie Post

Although the 2023 "Night Court" revival is undeniably funny, the original 1984 sitcom is still a classic in its own right. Markie Post played Christine Sullivan for eight seasons of the series, leaving a hilarious impression on fans. Post also appeared in other sitcoms and dramas, including regular stints on "The Fall Guy," "Hearts Afire," and "Chicago P.D.," as well as cameos and guest spots in "Cheers," "The Love Boat" and "Scrubs." However, film audiences likely remember her as Mary's mom from the 1998 movie "There's Something About Mary." 

In 2021, the actress died of cancer at age 70, and she was mourned by her fellow actors. The article highlighted tributes from several of Post's former castmates, including a touching tweet from "Night Court" alum John B. Larroquette. Post reportedly remained dedicated to her craft even after her cancer diagnosis, taking on several acting projects while seeking chemotherapy treatments.

Adam Rich

Being a child actor is difficult for many, and "Eight Is Enough" star Adam Rich wasn't shy about admitting his mental health struggles in adulthood. Rich started appearing on the popular sitcom as Nicholas Bradford when he was just nine years old, and he had already made several television appearances before taking on that role. Over time, he slowly faded from the Hollywood landscape, appearing in fewer and fewer roles before his last small project in 2003. Then, in 2021, he took to Twitter to explain his struggles with drug addiction and spread awareness about mental illness. 

Sadly, 54-year-old Rich died early in 2023. His cause of death was initially unconfirmed pending further investigation, but law enforcement officials later stated that the actor had likely been dead for some time before they discovered his body. The report also pointed to a white, powdery substance found at the scene, creating speculation that the actor's death may have been drug-related. Regardless of how he died, Rich's openness about his mental illness during the latter half of his life is an important example of the need for less stigma surrounding these issues. 

Cindy Williams

In the late 1970s, "Laverne and Shirley" gave sitcom fans a hilarious glimpse at two young women trying to navigate adult life as friends and roommates. Although the women had a strong bond, they were also polar opposites, which created many of the show's funniest elements. Of course, the show wouldn't have been complete without its two stars, Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams. Whereas Marshall's Laverne was strong-willed and outspoken, Williams' Shirley was quieter and more easygoing. Her sunny disposition made her a lovable character in all eight seasons of the series. Aside from this role, Williams enjoyed a long, successful career across multiple television genres. 

Early in 2023, Williams' children announced that the 75-year-old actress died peacefully after an unspecified illness. Interestingly, Williams died at the same age as her former "Laverne and Shirley" costar Marshall, who passed away in 2018. Many of Williams' colleagues expressed condolences and shared positive memories on social media after her death. Ron Howard, who had a long history of working with the actress, tweeted that he was lucky to have participated in multiple projects alongside Williams. 

Fred Willard

Unfortunately, cardiac arrest is a common cause of death for many, including 86-year-old "Modern Family" star Fred Willard. His daughter Hope announced the sad news on Twitter and indicated that her father was at peace when he died. Before his death, the actor spent decades making audiences laugh as offbeat characters. Fans responded to the tweet, expressing their sadness at the loss of such a longstanding actor. This included Ben Stiller, who tweeted that he felt fortunate to have worked with Willard. 

Willard's body of work included modern film comedy classics such as "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" and "Best in Show," but some of his most memorable roles found him in the world of sitcoms, where he often played quirky father figures. For example, "Everybody Loves Raymond" fans likely remember him as Hank MacDougall, Amy's (Monica Horan) eternally funny father. Of course, Willard's recurring role as Frank Dunphy on "Modern Family" is also a standout. His good-natured, playful personality perfectly fit Willard, who played this role in 14 episodes of the award-winning series.

Alan Thicke

In the late 1980s, Alan Thicke became a fan-favorite sitcom father on "Growing Pains." His character, Dr. Jason Seaver, is a psychiatrist who trades his hospital job for a life as a stay-at-home dad. He chooses to work from home so his wife, Maggie (Joanna Kerns), can resume her career as a journalist. Of course, the situation is imperfect, but the series is heartwarming and hilarious with Thicke at the helm. In addition to his time as Dr. Seaver, the actor appeared in over 100 different film and television projects, including cameos in other sitcoms, dramas, and even some animated series. 

In December 2016, Thicke died of a rare cardiac condition with symptoms similar to a heart attack. Thicke suffered a ruptured aorta, which requires a quick diagnosis and immediate emergency surgery in order not to be fatal. According to the report, Thicke's cause of death mirrored that of fellow actor John Ritter, who died in 2003. Sadly, as an article from HCA Healthcare Today explained, Thicke died just three hours after collapsing at a hockey rink, indicating that the condition was not treated in time. After his death, friends and fans posted condolences on social media, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who tweeted about Thicke's Canadian pride. 

Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Somers had scored a number of small, sometimes uncredited roles in movies and TV shows in the late 1960s and early '70s, and she made an instant impression in George Lucas' 1973 film, "American Graffiti," as the blonde in the white Thunderbird. But she would become a far bigger sex symbol, her posters adorning bedroom walls nationwide, when she landed the role of Chrissy, the dizzy roommate of Jack (John Ritter) and Janet (Joyce DeWitt), on the ABC sitcom "Three's Company."

Somers was fired from the show in 1980 after completing its fifth season, with her role reduced dramatically as the season went on. She claimed it was because she had fought to get paid the same salary as John Ritter, with network executives refusing to grant her request and letting her go. She continued to book both regular and guest roles on TV, as well as perform live in Las Vegas, but also reinvented herself as an author, penning 25 books on everything from health to poetry. She also served as spokesperson for the exercise device known as the ThighMaster.

Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and eventually prevailed against it, although some of her views on medicine and treatment were controversial. The cancer returned in 2023, and this time Somers succumbed, passing away at her Palm Springs home on October 15 of that year. She would have turned 77 the next day.

Matthew Perry

"Friends" was one of the biggest sitcoms on television during a time when some of the all-time ratings winners in the genre — "Seinfeld," "Home Improvement," "Roseanne," etc. — were also airing. And while "Friends" was an ensemble show through and through, the fan-favorite character of many was the ever-sarcastic and endearingly anxious Chandler Bing, played by Matthew Perry. A little-known TV actor at the time, Perry — like his "Friends" costars — was vaulted to superstardom in the role. 

"Friends" was undoubtedly his biggest success, but it wasn't the only sitcom Perry appeared in. He also played opposite Thomas Lennon for three seasons of CBS's 2015 revamp of "The Odd Couple," which was well-received and even earned Perry two People's Choice Award nominations. He also starred in the sitcoms "Mr. Sunshine" (2011) and "Go On" (2012), though each only received a single season, while also appearing in films like "Fools Rush In" and "The Whole Nine Yards."

Sadly, "The Odd Couple" would prove to be Perry's last sitcom role. In October 2023, the actor was found unresponsive in his home hot tub, with first responders saying he was already deceased before they arrived. No foul play was suspected, and TMZ reported that initial toxicology tests showed no meth or fentanyl present in his body. Just two years earlier, Perry had joined his "Friends" castmates for the show's long-awaited reunion special, an even more poignant watch now than it was in 2021.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues or mental health, or is struggling or in crisis, contact the relevant resources below: