Matthew Perry’s death certificate reveals ‘Friends’ star’s time of death, names Keith Morrison as ‘informant’

Matthew Perry’s official death certificate has been released almost two weeks after the “Friends” star died at the age of 54.

The death certificate, obtained by Fox News Digital, said the actor died at 4:17 p.m. Oct. 28 at his home in Pacific Palisades, California, near Los Angeles.

Perry’s stepfather and longtime “Dateline” correspondent Keith Morrison, 76, was listed as the “informant,” the person, usually a family member, who provides personal information about the deceased on the certificate. 

Matthew Perry’s official death certificate has been released nearly two weeks after the actor’s death at the age of 54. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

The document said Perry was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles Nov. 3. Perry’s family and former “Friends” co-stars, including Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Courteney Cox attended the private ceremony in Los Angeles.


The Hollywood Hills cemetery is not far from the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, California, where Perry and his castmates filmed the hit sitcom during its 10-year run from 1994 to 2004.

The certificate cited Perry’s occupation as “actor” in the “entertainment” industry for 38 years. Perry’s cause of death was listed as “deferred.” 

A photo of Keith Morrison

The death certificate said the “Friends” star died at 4:17 p.m. Oct. 28 at his Pacific Palisades home. Perry’s stepfather, “Nightline” contributor Keith Morrison, was listed as the “informant.” (MEGA/GC Images)

Perry died after an apparent drowning in a hot tub at his home, law enforcement sources previously confirmed to Fox News Digital.

On Oct. 29, a representative for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office confirmed to Fox News Digital the actor’s autopsy had been completed and toxicology reports were pending.

The coroner initially listed “other significant conditions” as a cause of death, and he said Perry’s body was “ready for release” before removing his case from the county website.

Dr. Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner of New York City, forensic pathologist and Fox News contributor, explained that while toxicology tests take time, information reportedly leaked by law enforcement may indicate that a full report is already completed.

“They’ve got pretty much 99% of what they’re going to get at this point as far as information goes, and they can release it now or they can wait for a couple more weeks because they’re looking for some unknown drug,” Baden told Fox News Digital.

A photo of the cast of "Friends"

Perry was laid to rest Nov. 3 in a private ceremony attended by all of his “Friends” co-stars.  (Jon Ragel/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal)

No foul play is suspected, and no illegal drugs were reportedly found at the home. Initial tests indicated neither fentanyl nor meth was found in the actor’s system at the time of his death, according to TMZ, citing law enforcement sources.

“They might be doing microscopic slides, but it’s now about almost two weeks, so the toxicology should be finished,” Baden explained. 


“I imagine what they’re doing right now is discussing the findings with the prosecutor and the family, and that in good time it will be when they should release the findings.”

As Baden previously told Fox News Digital, “[O]ften [when there] is a great interest in a death, there’s delay to do a more extensive toxicology than normal.”

Matthew Perry smiling

Perry’s cause of death was listed as “deferred” on the death certificate. (NBC)

Baden noted that the release of toxicology results could be pending for many reasons.

“If it’s a drug overdose, they oftentimes — that itself will delay it,” he said. “They’re making a decision, and it doesn’t sound that there’s any reason the prosecutors should be involved with this. There’s no foul play unless it’s an illegal drug, and they’re trying to find out, you know, how he got the drug.


“If there are illegal drugs, the police would be involved … how he got illegal drugs.”

The “Friends” actor was already dead when first responders arrived at the home to find him “unconscious in a stand-alone hot tub,” according to a release provided by Capt. Erik Scott. “A bystander had brought the man’s head above the water and gotten him to the edge, then firefighters removed him from the water.”

Matthew Perry in a black sweater soft smiles in front of red curtain

The case has since moved to the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, which is not uncommon as the agency often works with high-profile cases. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Scott added that, following a “rapid medical assessment,” the man was “deceased prior to first responder arrival” and that circumstances are under investigation by the LAPD and the LA County Medical Examiner.


The case has since moved on to the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, which is not uncommon because the agency often works with high-profile cases.

In an October 2022 interview with The New York Times, Perry said he had been sober since early 2021. In a Fox News Digital interview with Perry’s friend, who saw the beloved star one day before he died, she said he was “100% sober.”

Perry had been candid about his addiction and sobriety journey, and he previously founded the Perry House, a men’s sober living facility in Malibu, California, which he ran for two years before closing the business to find an easier access location to serve more members of the community.

Fox News Digital’s Tracy Wright contributed to this report. 

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