Friends star Matthew Perry was found underwater in hot tub by his assistant

The aide lifted the actor’s head clear in a bid to save him but it was too late.

First responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department arrived at his home at 4.07pm on Saturday and declared him dead.

An LAFD spokesman said: “An adult male patient was deceased prior to first response arrival.

“The patient was found by a bystander, who had repositioned the victim where the head was out of water.

“Firefighters pulled the victim out and did a quick medical assessment to find he was deceased.”

Prescription drugs were found at the home but no recreational drugs.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed a post-mortem had been completed but the results are dependent on a toxicology report, which can take weeks.

An online record has the status of the 54-year-old Friends star’s cause of death was listed as “deferred” since it’s “pending additional investigation”.

The LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division is handling the inquiry and stated that “foul play is not suspected at this time”.

It declined to comment on what may or may not have been recovered on the scene as “the investigation is ongoing”.

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It emerged yesterday that Matthew was “never happier” as he had been in the run-up to his death, according to those close to him.

Sources in daily contact with him said he was in a buoyant mood after moving into his new house in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood of LA three weeks ago.

On top of being excited about his newly designed home, he was playing racket sport pickleball up to five times a week to help him remain sober in his battle against drink and drugs.

Matthew, nominated for an Emmy for his role as Chandler Bing in Friends which ran from 1994 to 2004, had recently committed to starring in a movie – a drama.

He was also said to be working on other projects as well as coming up with ideas for scripts.

US website TMZ reported his “outlook on life was optimistic and he was sober and felt content”.

The upbeat state of the actor, who had been to rehab on a number of occasions, explains why his family and friends were so shocked at his untimely death over the weekend.

Actress Ione Skye shared heartbreaking final text messages she received from him just two weeks before he died.

These also illustrated that he was in a good place mentally.

She reminisced in an Instagram post about her work alongside the late River Phoenix in the 1988 film A Night In The Life Of Jimmy Reardon, which marked Matthew’s movie debut.

The 54-year-old actress uploaded an old photograph of herself and Matthew, together with their text exchange.

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Ione also expressed her grief over his passing with the caption: “I’m very, very sad. Loved this guy.”

In their final series of texts, Matthew sent a heartfelt message to Skye on October 15, stating, “Hi! I hope all is well. I was meditating (I meditate now) and ‘In Your Eyes’ started playing. And I instantly thought of how beautiful you are.”

This alluded to Ione’s famous scene in the romantic drama Say Anything.Skye responded warmly, expressing her pleasure at hearing from Perry and noting how much she enjoyed their time together, writing: “Good to hear from you. I only have nice memories with you.”

He replied: “Me too. That one afternoon, I was just sitting in my apartment and there you were.”

Further tributes have continued to come in for the actor, who also appeared on stage and in film.

But the main cast of Friends who he starred alongside – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow – have not commented.

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Aisha Tyler, 53, who portrayed Dr Charlie Wheeler, the girlfriend of David’s character Ross, for nine episodes, wrote on Instagram that Matthew “had a gentleness and generosity of spirit that was unparalleled”.

She added: “I learned how to tell a joke perfectly just by watching him work.

“And I will never forget the moment he leaned in, on my first night of taping Friends, to tell me warmly, ‘Get ready for your life to change’.

“Rest well, Matthew Perry. Thank you for the kindness and laughter.”

Elliott Gould, who played Monica and Ross’s father in the sitcom and became Chandler’s father-in-law after he wed Monica in series seven, also paid tribute to Matthew.

He described him as “kind, thoughtful, smart, funny and just a terrifically, talented actor”.

Elliott, 85, continued in his social media post: “Matthew told me he was so honoured to be working with me. What he didn’t know until I told him, was that it was my privilege to play his father-in-law.

“My heart goes out to his wonderful family.

“He will be missed by so many but he will never be forgotten.”

Marta Kauffman and David Crane, the Friends co-creators, along with executive producer Kevin Bright issued a joint statement expressing their love for the late actor, who they said “was always the funniest in the room”.

They added: “We are 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.

“He was a brilliant talent.”

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