“Friends” star Maggie Wheeler mourns Matthew Perry, her onscreen love interest: 'The world will miss you'

“Friends” star Maggie Wheeler mourns Matthew Perry, her onscreen love interest: 'The world will miss you'

Maggie Wheeler is paying tribute to her Friends love interest Matthew Perry, who died Saturday at age 54.

"What a loss," Wheeler wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of onscreen couple Janice (Wheeler) and Chandler (Perry). "The world will miss you, Mathew Perry. The joy you brought to so many in your too-short lifetime will live on. I feel so very blessed by every creative moment we shared."

Wheeler, 62, made several guest appearances throughout the 10-season sitcom as Chandler's on-and-off girlfriend, Janice Hosenstein. The recurring character is best remembered for her nasally voice, obnoxious laugh, and signature catchphrase: a drawn-out, "Oh. My. God!"

Wheeler and Perry most recently shared the screen during the 2021 Friends reunion special, in which she discussed the origins of Janice's distinct laugh.

"Matthew Perry is so funny, and the minute I set eyes on him and he opened his mouth I thought, 'Oh God, I'm gonna lose it, I'm gonna crack up. This character needs a laugh because I'm not gonna be able to get through a single scene with this guy,'" she recalled.

After recreating Janice's laugh on the special, she said to Perry, "Thank you, Matthew, for inspiring that."

Matthew Perry and Maggie Wheeler
Matthew Perry and Maggie Wheeler

NBC Studios/Everett Matthew Perry and Maggie Wheeler on 'Friends'

Perry was reportedly found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home after first responders were called for a cardiac arrest. There were no signs of foul play and no drugs found at the scene, report the Los Angeles Times and TMZ, which cited law enforcement sources.

Several other stars have expressed their grief over Perry's death, including Paget Brewster, who played Chandler's season 4 love interest, Kathy.

"I'm so very sad to hear about @MatthewPerry," she wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "He was lovely to me on Friends and every time I saw him in the decades after."

While Chandler ultimately found love within the show's main friend group, pairing up with Courteney Cox's Monica, Wheeler continued her guest appearances on the series as Janice wove in and out of their lives.

"The writers created this fabulously weird character that you love to hate," Wheeler said of Janice in a 2015 interview with EW. "This crazy girl who is not particularly self-aware who still gets to be at the party. This interloper, this outsider managed to find her way into this little community of friends, and I think that was a vehicle for a lot of viewers who were sitting around in front of their televisions going, 'Well, how do I hang out with those people?'"

Perry starred in Friends alongside Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer. He is also known for his roles in shows including Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Go On, and a reboot of The Odd Couple, as well as films like Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, and 17 Again.

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