Several beloved actors from the popular TV show Friends have passed away in recent years, leaving behind a tragic legacy.
The show, created by Martha Kauffman, profoundly impacted fashion, pop culture, and humor in the 1990s, shaping the zeitgeist for a decade. Despite the passing of time, the show’s witty dialogue remains iconic, and fans can still quote it with ease and relevance to their own lives.
Friends told the heartwarming story of six close friends who brought audiences hours of laughter and a tale of love and friendship. However, the passing of 40 supporting actors who played various roles on the show has left a void in the hearts of its fans. These actors may not have been the main characters, but they played significant roles in the show’s success.
40+ Friends Actors Who’ve Sadly Passed Away
Fans of “Friends” were left in shock on October 28, 2023, upon learning of the untimely passing of Matthew Perry at the age of 54. While the exact cause of his death remains unknown, reports from media outlets such as NBC News and TMZ suggest that it may be related to an incident in which he was found in a hot tub at his Los Angeles residence.
Matthew Perry was widely recognized for his iconic portrayal of Chandler Bing, the quick-witted and sarcastic source of humor within the close-knit “Friends” circle. Chandler was a dependable source of clever quips and unwavering support, regardless of the group’s predicaments.
Throughout the 10-season span of the show, Chandler underwent remarkable character development among the six friends. Initially depicted as a commitment-phobic, somewhat immature corporate worker—a portrayal familiar to many in their 20s—his journey saw significant growth and responsibility, primarily as his relationship with Monica evolved towards the end of Season 4 and into Season 5. Their eventual marriage in Season 7, Episode 23, “The One With Monica And Chandler’s Wedding,” and the arrival of twins in the series finale, “The Last One,” showcased his transformative journey.
Leibman portrayed the character of Rachel’s father, Dr. Leonard Green. He passed away in 2019.
Although she appeared in only one episode, the judge who presided over the hilarious dispute between Ross and Rachel left a lasting impression. The late Conchata Ferrell, who played the role, passed away in 2020. Ferrell was also well-known for portraying Berta in the popular sitcom Two And A Half Men.
James Michael Tyler
James Michael Tyler, known for his role as Gunther, passed away at 59 in 2021 after an extended battle with cancer. In the series, Gunther worked as a manager and waiter at Central Perk, the show’s iconic coffee house. Throughout the show’s ten seasons, he harbored a crush on Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel, which became a running gag among fans.
Robin Williams’ cameo appearance alongside his friend, Billy Crystal, in Central Perk remains one of the most unforgettable moments in the show. Interestingly, their appearance was not initially planned for the script but rather a spontaneous decision made by the writers who took advantage of the opportunity of them being in the same building across the street from where Friends was being filmed. Robin Williams passed away in 2014.
Ron Glass played Ross’s divorce lawyer, who benefitted significantly from Ross’ divorce. He passed away in 2016.
Mary Pat Gleason
Mary Pat Gleason played the role of the sharp-tongued receptionist Nurse Sizemore. She passed away in 2020.
Max Wright played the role of Terry, the manager of Central Perk, in the show Friends. Terry was notoriously intolerant of Phoebe’s singing and even made Rachel retake her waitress training under Gunther’s supervision. He passed away in 2019.
In the show Friends, the actor who owns the restaurant Allesandro, where Monica is offered the head chef position, makes a brief appearance. He is seen shouting at Monica after she writes a highly critical review of his establishment. He passed away in 2015.
She played Mrs. Burkart, The Widow, who delayed the payment of Monica and Phoebe’s catering services. She passed away in 2007.
In season 3, episode 10 of Friends, titled “The One Where Rachel Quits,” Sandra Gould played the role of an elderly woman. Sandra Gould passed away in 1999.
Andrey Rosey Brown
Andrey Rosey Brown portrayed the delivery man who brought a bed to Monica’s apartment. He passed away in 2006.
She played Joey’s grandmother, who doesn’t speak English, to watch him in Law & Order. She passed away in 2008.
He played Joey’s tailor, who took advantage of Chandler when taking his inseam. He passed away in 2016.
He played The Hombre Man, working as a perfume sprayer in a showroom, where he engaged in a rivalry with Joey. He passed away in 2017.
In “The One Where Rachel Quits,” Shelley Berman portrayed Mr. Kaplan Jr., Rachel’s supervisor when she began working at Fortunata Fashions. He passed away in 2017.
He played Ethan, the high school senior Monica started dating after he lied about his age. He passed away in January 2020.
She played Frances, Phoebe’s adoptive grandmother. She passed away in 2017.
In the “The One After The Superbowl, Part 1” episode of Friends, Willard portrayed the character of Dean Lipson. In Modern Family, he had a recurring cameo, where he played Phil’s (Ty Burrell) father, Frank Dunphy. He passed away in 2020.
In the season 6 episode “The One That Could Have Been” of Friends, Gleason played the role of Jack, Phoebe’s boss at an investment firm. He passed away in 2016.
In “The One Where Ross Is Fine” episode of Friends, Kellie Waymire played Colleen, a friend of Phoebe and an adoptive mother. She passed away in 2003.
On Friends, Hagerty played the role of Mr. Treeger, the superintendent of the building. He passed away in 2022.
One of Phoebe’s massage clients, Mrs. Adelman, passes away on the massage table; Leeds portrays the character of Mrs. Adelman’s husband. He passed away in 1998.
In the fourth season of Friends, in the episode titled “The One with Joey’s Dirty Day,” Joey secures a new acting role, which happens to be a high-profile gig in a movie featuring the iconic Charlton Heston. He passed away in 2008.
In the sixth season’s “The One with Rachel’s Sister,” Alexis Arquette played a Central Perk customer. Then, in season seven’s “The One with Chandler’s Dad,” Arquette appeared as a server at a Las Vegas drag club where Chandler’s father performed. He passed away in 2016.
During the fifth season of Friends, in the episode titled “The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS,” Collins appeared as a fictionalized version of himself and did what he did best – host. He passed away in 2012.
She plays Iris, Monica’s aunt, who helps Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe how to play poker. She passed away in 2008.
Alaina Reed Hall
Reed Hall appeared as The Admissions Woman in the “Friends” episode where Ross’ pet monkey swallowed a Scrabble tile. She passed away in 2009.
In “Friends,” Roat portrayed Burt, a colleague of Ross in the paleontology department. He passed away in 2022.
In “The One Where Heckles Dies,” Dayton portrayed Buddy Doyle, an attorney who handles Mr. Heckles’ will, leaving everything in his client’s apartment to the women. He passed away in 1999.
Ralph Manza played an older man who was Ross’ neighbor. He passed away in 2000.
Peter Dennis played Sherman Whitfield, a benefactor who took Chandler’s seat in The one where no one is ready. He passed away in 2009.
Penny Santon played Nonna Tribbiani, Joey’s grandma, who can speak English. She passed away in 1999.
Cyndi Martino played Henrietta, a contestant who competes with Joey on Pyramid with Donny Osmond. She passed away in 2015.
Terry Rhoads played a maitre d’ who who Chandler tries to smoothly tip in season 7. He passed away in 2013.
Jackie Bright plays two characters; in The One with the Birth, he plays a janitor, and in Barry and Mindy’s wedding episode, he plays Mr. Weinberg. He also had a small Cameo in In Joey, the friend’s spinoff. He passed away in 2006.
Fritzi Burr played Mrs. Weinberg in Barry and Mindy’s Wedding episode and Mrs. Tedlock in the Stoned Guy episode. She passed away in 2003.
Steve Susskind played the priest who would marry Chandler and Monica in replacement of Joey. He passed away in 2005
Jack Riley played an airline passenger in the season 1 finale, where Rachel found out about Ross’s feelings about her. He passed away in 2016
Alice Drummond played Nana, Ross, and Monica’s grandmother in the ‘Nana Dies Twice’ episode. She passed away in 2016.
Jack Ong played a scientist at Ross’s museum in the episode where Joey became the museum tour guide. He passed away in 2017
Heathcote Williams portrayed a drunken wedding guest at Ross and Emily’s nuptials who mistakenly believed Monica to be Ross’s mother. He passed away in 2017.