‘Friends’ Stars Tribute Matthew Perry With Touching Messages
After a few weeks of grieving and processing, the cast members of Friends are paying tribute to the late Matthew Perry.
The actor — best known for playing Chandler Bing on the popular '90s sitcom — was found dead in the backyard hot tub of his home on Oct. 28, 2023.
In his memory, several of his castmates have written touching messages about Perry to share with the world, as well as behind-the-scenes photos.
LeBlanc was the first to address Perry's death publicly on social media. He played Chandler's friend and roommate Joey Tribbiani, which meant plenty of time together on set.
"Matthew," he begins, "It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life. It was an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend."
"I will always smile when I think of you and I’ll never forget you. Never. Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love," he continues, lightheartedly adding, "And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me."
LeBlanc included several onscreen snaps with Perry and a behind-the-scenes photo of the cast engaged in a group hug.
Cox, who played Monica Geller, shared her feelings on the loss of her onscreen husband — a romance which started in Season 4 of Friends.
"I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day," she writes. "When you work with someone as closely as I did with Matthew, there are thousands of moments I wish I could share. For now here’s one of my favorites."
She added an outtake from the episode titled "The One with the Truth About London."
"To give a little backstory, Chandler and Monica were supposed to have a one night fling in London. But because of the audience’s reaction, it became the beginning of their love story, " she explains. "In this scene, before we started rolling, he whispered a funny line for me to say.
He often did things like that. He was funny and he was kind."
Schwimmer and Perry played Ross and Chandler, best friends from college who had continued their friendship past graduation. The actor included a photo of the the two in their retro Miami Vice-esque looks from the episode called "The One With Thanksgiving Flashbacks," which Schwimmer now says makes him smile and grieve.
"Matty," he writes. "Thank you for ten incredible years of laughter and creativity.I will never forget your impeccable comic timing and delivery. You could take a straight line of dialogue and bend it to your will, resulting in something so entirely original and unexpectedly funny it still astonishes."
"And you had heart," he continues. "Which you were generous with, and shared with us, so we could create a family out of six strangers."
"I imagine you up there, somewhere, in the same white suit, hands in your pockets, looking around—'Could there BE any more clouds?'" he adds.
Aniston also shared her grief on social media, adding a behind-the-scenes photo with Perry and a screenshot of a text thread between the two of them. She also included a clip of Chandler saying goodbye to her character Rachel Green in an episode called "The One With Rachel's Going Away Party."
"Oh boy, this one has cut deep," she confesses. "Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before. We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep."
"And we loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be," she continues.
"For Matty, he KNEW he loved to make people laugh. As he said himself, if he didn't hear the ‘laugh’ he thought he was going to die. His life literally depended on it. And boy did he succeed in doing just that. He made all of us laugh. And laugh hard."
"Matty, I love you so much and I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain. I talk to you every day ... sometimes I can almost hear you saying 'could you BE any crazier?'" she adds.
On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Kudrow — who played Phoebe Buffay on the series — posted the following about her late co-star:
Shot the pilot, Friends Like Us, got picked up then immediately, we were at the NBC Upfronts. Then…
You suggested we play poker AND made it so much fun while we initially bonded. Thank you for that.
Thank you for making me laugh so hard at something you said, that my muscles ached, and tears poured down my face EVERY DAY.
Thank you for your open heart in a six way relationship that required compromise. And a lot of “talking.”
Thank you for showing up at work when you weren’t well and then, being completely brilliant.
Thank you for the best 10 years a person gets to have.
Thank you for trusting me.
Thank you for all I learned about GRACE and LOVE through knowing you.
Thank you for the time I got to have with you, Matthew.
Perry was 54 years old when he was found lifeless in the hot tub of his Los Angeles home on Oct. 28. Entertainment Tonight obtained a copy his death certificate, which revealed the time of his death was 4:17PM, and that his body was identified by his stepfather, Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison.
Friends ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004. After a resurgence in popularity — with many binge-watching the show during the pandemic — the cast got together for a reunion. The highly-anticipated get-together took the cast and fans down memory lane, visiting old sets from the show.
The sitcom and the reunion are both available for streaming on Max (formerly HBO Max).
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Gallery Credit: Jess