Celebrities, fans and Friends co-stars, including Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc, have all paid tribute to actor Matthew Perry, who is best known for starring as Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom.
Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub on 28 October and his cause of death not yet confirmed. He was jut 54-years-old.
Since his passing, numerous fans and fellow actors alike have shared their fond memories of Perry, including some who starred alongside him on Friends, such as Courteney Cox (who starred as Monica Gellar), Matt LeBlanc (best known as Joey Tribbiani), Maggie Wheeler (who played Janice) and Kathleen Turner (who played Chandler Bing's father). Jennifer Aniston (who played Rachel Green), David Schwimmer (Ross Gellar), and Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay) also shared moving tributes.
Sharing a sweet throwback picture of herself with Perry, Kudrow wrote on Instagram: "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."
Her moving tribute continued: "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."
Penning an emotional tribute to her co-star, Perry, on Instagram, Jennifer Aniston said "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," she wrote in a touching post.
"This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be. 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."
"In the last couple weeks, I've been pouring over our texts to one another. Laughing and crying then laughing again. I'll keep them forever and ever. I found one text that he sent me out of nowhere one day. It says it all," added Aniston, attaching the accompanying text to her post. The sweet exchange shows a text sent from Perry to Aniston, featuring a photo of the pair together on-set. "Making you laugh just made my day. It made my day," he wrote, to which his co-star and friend replied: "Awww the first of THOUSANDS of times."
Signing off her post, Aniston wrote directly to Perry. "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?' Rest little brother. You always made my day…"
Like Aniston, David Schwimmer has drawn comfort from his memories of Perry, and there's a particular, hilarious catchphrase he keeps calling to mind.
Thanking Perry for his friendship in a post to Instagram, Schwimmer said: "Matty, 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. Which you were generous with, and shared with us, so we could create a family out of six strangers."
Referencing his post, which featured a picture of the pair donning their best 80s fashion during their college years, he added: "This photo is from one of my favorite moments with you. Now it makes me smile and grieve at the same time.
"I imagine you up there, somewhere, in the same white suit, hands in your pockets, looking around— 'Could there BE any more clouds?'"
Courteney Cox, who spent years working closely with Perry (as the pair portrayed one of Friends' most beloved couples) praised her onscreen partner for his humour and kindness when sharing a tribute to him on Instagram.
"I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day," she penned.
As part of her post, Cox shared behind-the-scenes footage of the moment Monica and Chandler first spent the night together (thus starting their romance), complete with the audience's rapturous applause, which lasted so long it had to be cut from the final footage.
"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. 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," Cox captioned the clip.
"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."
A week or so after Matthew Perry's funeral (3 November), his co-star, Matt LeBlanc, shared a series of poignant images of the pair along with a touching caption about how much their time together on the show meant to him.
"Matthew, It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life," LeBlanc began.
"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. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me."
Wheeler shared a moving Instagram post that recalled her time playing Perry's on-screen girlfriend, Janice. "What a loss. The world will miss you Matthew 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 ♥️"
As part of her tribute, Kathleen Turner recalled a memory of Perry coming to see her in a play, "He came to see one of my Broadway shows and he came backstage. When he saw me, he yelled out, ‘Hey dad’ and everyone thought it was pretty cool. I think it was for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
"[It was] at least 10 years [ago] at some event. I liked him. He had a good sense of humour and a good heart. He liked other people, which, to me, is terribly important, especially for an actor. It's extremely sad when you think about how young [he was]."
Actor Selma Blair, who appeared in the Friends episode 'The One With Christmas In Tulsa', paid tribute with a post on Instagram which read: "My oldest boy friend. All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams."
Fairchild, who played Chandler Bing's mother on Friends, shared a sweet post on Instagram, writing: "I'm heartbroken about the untimely death of my 'son', Matthew Perry. The loss of such a brilliant young actor is a shock. And such a sweet, caring man, too! I’m sending love and condolences to his friends and family, especially his dad, John Bennett Perry, who I worked with on Falcon Crest & Flamingo Rd. Lovely family and such a heavy loss! 💔💔💔 "
The three co-creators of Friends have issued a joint statement in memory of Perry. "We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew's passing. It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives.
"He was a brilliant talent. It's a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew's case, there are no truer words. From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us. We will always cherish the joy, the light, the blinding intelligence he brought to every moment — not just to his work, but in life as well. He was always the funniest person in the room. More than that, he was the sweetest, with a giving and selfless heart."