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'Friends' cast mourns late co-star Matthew Perry in joint statement

Matthew Perry's "Friends" co-stars are "utterly devastated" by the loss of the actor, who died Saturday.
'Friends' cast mourns late co-star Matthew Perry in joint statement
Posted at 5:31 PM, Oct 30, 2023

The lead cast of "Friends" have paid an emotional tribute to their co-star Matthew Perry, two days after the 54-year-old was found dead at his home.

In their first public statement on the loss, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer shared their love for their "Friend" in a joint comment to People on Monday.

"We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew," the statement read. "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."

Perry was renowned for playing Chandler Bing in the hit comedic sitcom "Friends" from 1994 to 2004, during which each of the six co-stars appeared in every episode of the show's 10 seasons.

Once the show ended, the six actors remained close, even reuniting for a televised special in 2021.

Last year, Perry shared in his memoir, "Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing" about his special relationships with the cast and how they helped him battle his alcohol and opioid addiction, which at one point led him to take 55 pain pills a day.

At the time of the book's release, Perry told People his castmates were "understanding" and "patient" while he struggled behind the scenes on the show.

"It's like penguins. In nature, when one is sick or very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up and walk around until that penguin can walk on its own. And that's kind of what the cast did for me," he told the publication.

SEE MORE: 'Friends' star Matthew Perry dead after suspected drowning

"Friends" co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane along with executive producer Kevin Bright released a statement to Deadline Saturday regarding the loss of Perry, saying "we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives."

"It's a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew's case, there are no truer words," their statement read. "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."

Other "Friends" natives and former co-stars of Perry's have also paid tribute to the actor, including Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler Bing's on-and-off girlfriend.

"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," she said.

Salma Hayek, who co-starred with Perry in the 1997 romantic comedy "Fools Rush In," also shared her "profound sadness" upon hearing the news.

"Throughout the years, he and I found ourselves reminiscing about that meaningful time in our lives with a deep sense of nostalgia and gratitude," she said. "My friend, you are gone much too soon, but I will continue to cherish your silliness, your perseverance, and your lovely heart."

And beyond Hollywood, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared his sentiment.

"Matthew Perry's passing is shocking and saddening," he said. "I'll never forget the schoolyard games we used to play, and I know people around the world are never going to forget the joy he brought them. Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved — and you will be missed."

Perry was found dead in his Los Angeles home's hot tub at around 4 p.m. Saturday, according to reports from multiple publications. An investigation into his cause of death is ongoing.

Last year on the "Q with Tom Power" podcast, Perry said he most wanted to be remembered for his actions toward others after his death.

"The best thing about me, bar none, is if somebody comes up to me and says: 'I can't stop drinking. Can you help me?' I can say yes and follow up and do it," he said. 

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