Matthew Perry’s death was a shock to the world. The Friends star passed away at his home outside of Los Angeles, California, on October 28, and days later, he was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The entire cast of Friends, including Jennifer Aniston, were in attendance to bid a final farewell to their beloved co-star and friend.
Aniston became a vital person for Perry outside of the spotlight. According to him, she was the one friend who helped him the most with his addiction and supported him all the way.
Matthew Perry’s family, friends, and colleagues were shocked when the news about his death was made public. But it appears that Jennifer Aniston has had the most difficulty dealing with it.
As of today, Friends is considered one of the biggest sitcoms in history, staying on television for ten seasons and a total of 236 episodes. Moreover, the six main actors became celebrities for life, reaching superstardom worldwide. And they were paid handsomely – in fact, Matthew Perry and his five co-stars were said to have been received a whopping $1 million per episode during the last season.
Matthew Perry on ‘Friends’
Matthew Perry was the last one to be cast, and it was a home run. Sadly, his time on the show was also when his life took a sharp turn as his addiction became more serious.
It took a long time, but in 2021, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, and Matthew Perry reunited for the first time, reminiscing and remembering their time on Friends. It was bittersweet and emotional, as their lifelong bond will never fade.
For Matthew Perry, it became extra emotional. He nearly began crying.
“The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it,” he explained on HBO’s Friends: The Reunion special. “That was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long, and that was it.”
“You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night. And that’s the way it worked,” he added.
Matthew Perry loved his time on Friends, though there were several years when his addiction and alcoholism had escalated, with his co-stars trying to help him in the best way possible.
Although he said it “felt like we’d all been together in a previous life,” he also worried about being unable to work on other projects, given that everyone thought of him as Chandler.
“I’m not complaining. If you are going to be typecast, that’s the way to do it,” Matthew Perry wrote in his memoir. “But in recent years, I’ve come to understand just what Friends means to people. And we knew from the very start that it was something very, very special.”
Matthew Perry didn’t recall three years of filming ‘Friends’
Matthew Perry’s character, Chandler Bing, was not at all what the actor was when the camera was shut off. In 1997, Perry was in a jet ski accident. He was prescribed Vicodin, and his addiction went in a downward spiral.
“It wasn’t my intention to have a problem with it,” he told People in 2002. “But from the start, I liked how it made me feel, and I wanted to get more.”
While Perry was always showing up to work and cracking jokes as Chandler, outside of work, his addiction worsened.
“I had this odd rule that I would never drink on a set,” Perry told The New York Times. “I went to work in extreme cases of hangovers. It’s so horrible to feel that way and have to work and be funny on top of that.”
“I don’t remember three years of it,” Perry revealed in an interview with the BBC about filming Friends while struggling with his addiction. “I was a little out of it at the time — somewhere between Seasons 3 and 6.”
As mentioned, the cast became a family. Therefore, it was easier for them to recognize that something was wrong with Perry and decide to act.
At one point, Matthew Perry took 55 Vicodin a day and weighed 128 pounds. He didn’t know how to stop. But his friends on set acted and confronted him about his drinking.
Jennifer Aniston became a crucial part of Matthew Perry’s life
The turning point was when Schwimmer, Aniston, LeBlanc, Kudrow, and Cox gathered in his dressing room, telling him that they could smell the alcohol.
“I thought I was hiding it so well. But I wasn’t in a position to stop, Perry shared, adding that Jennifer Aniston “was the one who reached out the most.”
Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston had a very special relationship. And in the beginning, even before Friends began filming, Perry had a crush on Jennifer.
Speaking with Diane Sawyer in 2022, Perry said they had met before filming the hit sitcom. The actor even asked Aniston out on a date but recalled how she turned him down and suggested they’d be better off as friends.
Even so, he still admired her greatly.
“I was like, ‘Is three seconds too long?’” Matthew Perry recalled about the time he would have on set with Aniston. “And then I write in the gratitude part about her letting me do that.”
Meanwhile, Sawyer suggested that he had had “serial” crushes on Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox, his on-screen crush and later on-screen wife.
“How can you not have a crush on Jenny, and Courteney (Cox), and Lisa (Kudrow)?” Perry said. “So it made it kinda difficult to go to work because I had to pretend I didn’t have these (crushes).”
While nothing happened between them, even so, the actors had made a deal not to date or hook up with each other.
“There was a rule that we had, it was really important to the six of us that we kept a friendship, that we were friends. And if we were hooking up or if there was any strangeness going on, that might mess with things,” Perry told Access in 2021.
“We weren’t equipped to deal with it”
Matthew always had a massive place in Jennifer Aniston’s heart. She played a critical part in trying to help him the best she could. In a 2004 interview with Diane Sawyer, Aniston broke down in tears when discussing “the idea of even losing” Matthew Perry.
“He’s struggled,” Aniston said, referencing Perry’s battle with addiction. “We didn’t know; we weren’t equipped to deal with it. Nobody had ever dealt with that, and at the idea of even losing him… he’s having a road, but he’s all right.”
Sadly, Aniston’s biggest fear was realized when Matthew Perry was found dead at his home in the Pacific Palisades, California, on October 28.
The Friends cast shared an emotional statement afterward. They were all in attendance when the actor was buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
An entire industry mourned Perry, and for his co-stars on the hit sitcom, it hit closer to home.
And according to a Hollywood insider, Jennifer Aniston has been struggling with the loss of Matthew Perry the most.
“All five of the Friends cast are in real bad shape, but Jen’s by far taking this the worst,” the Hollywood insider told Woman’s Day.
“She’s torturing herself with each and every scenario where she could have done this or should have said that. She was one of the last people to speak to him, and she’d planned on calling him on Sunday [the day after he died]. She’s been going over every word, but no one could have known.”
Matthew Perry was “like a brother” to Jennifer Aniston
The insider stated, “The real pain is the fact she’s been with him almost every step of the way. She had huge hopes for a big comeback for Matthew, and they were talking about working on a new script together. There was so much to look forward to, but even Jen knows it was his body that gave out, not Matthew.”
“She knows he wanted to live, which makes his premature death unbelievably cruel. He had so much more to give. She’s absolutely crushed, and it will take her a long time to recover. She will never be convinced she didn’t do everything she could to save him, but she truly did. The world had Matthew Perry for a lot longer than expected thanks to Jen and Courteney Cox helping him through those dark times.”
Matthew Perry was an essential part of Jennifer Aniston’s life. Less than a year ago, she lost her father, veteran TV soap star John Aniston.
The fact that she’s lost two of the most influential men in her life in less than a year has, according to an Express source, not been easy on her.
“It’s hit her that she’s lost two of the most important men in her life in the space of 12 months and she’s reeling,” the source said.
“[Matthew Perry] was like a brother to her. Jen was badly hit by her father’s death and was really only coming to terms with his passing when the terrible news about Matty hit her like a ton of bricks. She’s still in a state of shock over him, and now the anniversary of her dad’s death has plunged her into even deeper grief. She’s utterly distraught.”
Matthew Perry death certificate released
A few days ago, Matthew Perry’s death certificate was released. It stated that he died at 4.17 pm at his California home and was unresponsive at the scene by the time first responders arrived.
His official cause of death is still to come, as the toxicology reports are pending. However, initial toxicology reports found that the star did not have meth or fentanyl in his system at the time of his death.
Speaking to Fox News on Friday. Dr Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner of New York City, said a full toxicology report could already be done.
“They’ve got pretty much 99 per cent of what they’re going to get at this point as far as information goes, and they can release it now, or they can wait for a couple more weeks because they’re looking for some unknown drug,” Baden said.
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