The world learned of shocking news on October 28, 2023, when it was confirmed that Friends actor Matthew Perry died at the age of 54 in an apparent drowning at his Los Angeles home. He is largely remembered for his role in the 1990s sitcom, but also for his substance abuse problems that complicated his acting career. In 2022, Perry said that he “would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well. Was a seeker. And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people.” His co-star Jennifer Aniston sat with Reese Witherspoon in a conversation for Variety talking about how she was talking to him over text the day he died and that she believes he will be remembered the way he wanted and more.
She was texting him that day
Aniston confirmed that Perry was doing well in his life, saying, “He was happy. He was healthy. He had quit smoking. He was getting in shape.” She continued, “He was happy — that’s all I know. I was literally texting with him that morning, funny Matty. He was not in pain. He wasn’t struggling. He was happy.” During their discussion, Aniston emphasized how Perry had really taken the initiative toward “getting healthy” right before he died, despite being “dealt a tough one.”
“I miss him dearly. We all do. Boy, he made us laugh really hard,” she said. Following his death, tributes from friends, colleagues, and journalists poured in, which Aniston explained were “so beautiful” to read. For her, she just hopes “he can know that he was loved in a way he never thought he was.”
Witherspoon talked about seeing their friendship
Witherspoon also joined in reflecting on her friendship with Perry, as well as seeing his friendships with his Friends colleagues for herself after starring as a guest in the show’s sixth season. “You all were so close. It’s incredible what was born of those friendships, and how you guys have always taken care of each other for years and years. It’s really beautiful and set standards for our business, as well, with the way you respected each other,” she explained.
Expressing her gratitude to have been even a small part of the show, she continued by saying, “I feel lucky that I got to be on that show and I walked in like Alice in Wonderland, watching the most popular cast do this whole thing.” She noted the cast’s chemistry on set, saying how she remembered “going home and going, oh, they’re in another league. They’re on another planet on comedy levels that I’ve never seen my entire life, pivoting on a dime and working on each other’s energy and it was extraordinary.”
Aniston’s tribute to Perry
Aniston also took to Instagram to pay tribute to her late friend, writing a heartfelt goodbye to Perry beneath a slideshow of photos beginning with an old photo of them behind the scenes. She wrote, “Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before.” Including the rest of the Friends cast, she wrote, “We loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us.”
“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,” the post continued. “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.”