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Brotherhood Beyond Friends: Matt LeBlanc’s Farewell to Co-Star Matthew Perry

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Brotherhood Beyond Friends: Matt LeBlanc’s Farewell to Co-Star Matthew Perry

(L-R) Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer arrive at the 28th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 13, 2001. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

11/14/2023

Updated: 1/5/2024

LOS ANGELES—Actor Matt LeBlanc paid heartfelt tribute to his late “Friends” co-star Matthew Perry Nov. 14, making his first public comments since Mr. Perry was found dead at his Pacific Palisades home.
“Matthew, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye,” Mr. LeBlanc wrote on his Instagram page, in a post accompanied by a series of photos of the pair on the “Friends” set.
“The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life,” Mr. LeBlanc wrote. “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.”
Mr. LeBlanc’s character Joey and Perry’s Chandler were roommates and best friends on the long-running comedy.
Mr. LeBlanc is the first “Friends” cast member to publicly comment individually on Mr. Perry’s death. He and the other members of the cast—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer—issued a joint statement two days after Mr. Perry’s Oct. 28th death.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew,” the cast said in that statement. “We were more than just cast mates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”
“In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
Mr. Perry, 54, was found in a hot tub at his home. A cause of death has not been determined.
The actor openly spoke of his years-long struggle with addiction. He became addicted to Vicodin during his time on “Friends”—and had done multiple stints in rehab, including during filming of the show.
In 2022, Mr. Perry published a memoir detailing his troubles with drugs and alcohol, his issues with weight gain and loss, and other facets of his at times tumultuous lifestyle, including a harrowing account of an emergency surgery following a gastrointestinal perforation, which nearly took his life.
“Friends” cocreators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, and executive producer Kevin Bright issued a joint statement earlier saying, “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,” the statement continued. “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.”
“We send all of our love to his family and friends. This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”
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