EXCLUSIVE: Friends’ Helen Baxendale looks sombre in first sighting since Matthew Perry’s sudden death – amid claims main cast are ‘working on a joint statement’ about late co-star
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Friends star Helen Baxendale looked sombre as she was seen for the first time since the death of her former co-star, Matthew Perry.
Perry was found dead in his hot tub on Saturday afternoon of a suspected drowning, though the LA County coroner’s office currently list’s the case status of the actor’s death as ‘open.’ An autopsy has been scheduled.
Baxendale, 53, joined the sitcom in series four, playing Ross’ (David Schwimmer) English love interest Emily Waltham for 14 episodes.
The actress, who previously called the cast of Friends ‘very nice and professional’, cut a low profile in Richmond on Monday as she took her dog for a walk, keeping her head down and checking her phone on several occasions.
It’s been two decades since she starred in the American sitcom but her character featured in one of the show’s most memorable storylines.
Downcast: Friends star Helen Baxendale looked sombre as she was seen for the first time since the death of her former co-star, Matthew Perry, on an outing in Richmond on Sunday
Tragic loss: Perry was found dead in his hot tub on Saturday afternoon of a suspected drowning (pictured on Friends with Baxendale)
Memories: Baxendale, 53, joined the sitcom in series four (pictured with L-R Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc)
Her relationship with Ross dominated series four of the show, with their marriage after Ross said his ex Rachel Green’s [Jennifer Aniston] name instead of hers at the altar.
After appearing in Friends, Baxdale enjoyed a lengthy stint in British series Cold Feet.
She was last seen on screen in 2019’s TV drama, Agatha and the Midnight Murders.
Friends, which followed the lives of six friends in their 20s living in New York, was a smash hit across the globe when it aired between 1994 and 2004, and re-runs still remain hugely popular years later.
Perry starred as Chandler Bing in the popular sitcom, alongside Aniston as Rachel, Courteney Cox as Monica, Matt LeBlanc as Joey, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe and Schwimmer as Ross.
The main stars are yet to break their silence on their close friend’s death – and are said to be ‘reeling’ in the wake of Perry’s sudden passing.
Showbiz correspondent Kinsey Schofield told GB News on Monday morning that the stars are set to release a joint statement in the coming days.
She told the channel: ‘New information is that the core cast of Friends is currently working on a joint statement they can release.
‘According to sources they are reeling about the death of Matthew Perry, they say that he was their brother, and that they fiercely protected him through some of his toughest times.
‘They believe that this is incredibly unfair, according to one of Lisa Kudrow’s friends, and no one saw this coming because they felt like he was in a really good place that he had one of his best years.’
The speculation follows a source telling Page Six that the cast is ‘reeling’ from the loss of their ‘brother’ Matthew.
‘The cast is reeling from the loss of their brother, because that’s what Matty was — their brother,’ an industry source told the news outlet on Sunday, adding: ‘It’s just devastating.’
Solo stroll: The actress, who previously called the cast of Friends ‘very nice and professional’, cut a low profile as she took her dog for a walk
Distracted: Baxendale kept her head down and was seen checking her phone on several occasions
Low-key: Baxendale donned a polo neck jumper and jean shorts for the outing
Fresh air: She looked downcast as she stepped out for a short stroll with her pet pooch
Memories: She previously said of Friends ‘I am very proud and delighted to have been in such an amazingly successful and international show’
Famous face: It’s been two decades since she starred in the American sitcom but her character featured in one of the show’s most memorable storylines
Cute couple: Baxendale joined the show in series four, playing Ross’ English girlfriend and then fiancée Emily Waltham in 14 episodes of the sitcom (pictured with Schwimmer)
Baxendale’s involvement in the sitcom was recently brought up by TV director James Burrows, who claimed the actress was ‘nice but not funny’.
As a result the attempted comedy ‘was like clapping with one hand’, said the director, who noted that Schwimmer had ‘no one to bounce off.’
Speaking about her experience on Friends previously, Cold Feet star Helen said of the cast: ‘They were all very nice and professional. We were never great mates though.
‘People expect because it is called Friends that everyone was great friends, but they were real professionals. They’d been doing it for years and I was one of many guest stars to appear.
REVEALED: Chilling 15-second dispatch call to first responders sent to Matthew Perry’s house
Aerial images show Perry’s pool and hot tub
‘I am very proud and delighted to have been in such an amazingly successful and international show.’
‘It’s always a talking point and it was a very clever set up – even now young people especially seem to love it.
‘But it doesn’t feel like part of my life at all now. I look upon it as a strange surreal little blip in my life almost like a dream.’
Helen was written out of the sitcom earlier than the producers had intended because she and her partner, film director, producer and writer David L. Williams, were expecting their first child.
She told The Daily Mail in 2012 that she has no regrets about leaving the show, noting: ‘I had a little glimpse of what fame holds, and I decided it held a load of nothing. It contained nothing that mattered.
‘Some people can deal with that well; it sits on their shoulders fine. But it wasn’t for me.’
‘Friends was great fun, but I was just there so they could make some funny jokes about England. And I was also expecting, and you have to be thin out in America.’
On Sunday afternoon, the coroner released his body to the family, but said they are yet to determine a cause of death.
The Medical Examiner’s office can release initial results within days, or it can take six to eight weeks for final results of toxicology tests to come back.
A LAPD source told The New York Post: ‘We responded to the 1800 block of Blue Sail Rd for a death investigation on a male 4:10 p.m. this afternoon. He was in his 50s.’
No drugs were found at the scene with authorities ruling out foul play.
Sources did say that anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications were found inside the property, including pills for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Final photograph: Perry is pictured on October 22 – the last time he was seen in public. His cause of death is deferred, pending toxicology tests
Friends have said that star seemed ‘fatigued’ in his last days, and in his final post on Instagram, shared earlier this week, he posted images of him in his pool.
The caption read: ‘Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good? I’m Mattman.’
Perry had a long battle with drugs and alcohol, was a smoker and had multiple health issues.
Perry wrote in his memoir, published last year, that he had spent $9 million trying to get sober, revealing he had been to 6,000 AA meetings, gone to rehab 15 times, and been in detox 65 times.
Perry, who never married but dated a number of stars including Julia Roberts, has been candid and public about his problems with drugs and alcohol.
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