The passing of Matthew Perry left a void in the hearts of his fans, family, and cast-mates. Probably best known for the role of witty Chandler Bing in the iconic series Friends, Perry was always ready to crack jokes that made millions laugh while he was fighting his demons and struggled with alcohol and drug addiction.
Perry’s addictions spiraled downward after he was prescribed Vicodin following a jet ski accident in 1997.
“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.”
Sadly, his problems only grew bigger and bigger.
“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,” the late actor 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.”
The relationship Perry shared with his five best friends on screen translated into equally profound friendships off screen. His cast-mates, who were well aware about everything Perry was going through, tried helping him and were very supportive, not only during the ten years the series was filmed but later on as well.
“I thought I was hiding it so well. But I wasn’t in a position to stop, Perry shared.”
One of the actors who reached out to Perry the most was Jennifer Aniston.
Aniston stood by his side through thick and thin and she was the one who stayed in close contact with him during his ups and downs.
A friend of hers told Daily Mail, “Nobody shed more tears for Matthew during the darkest points of his struggles with addiction than Jennifer.”
“All five of the Friends cast are in real bad shape, but Jen’s by far taking this the worst,” a 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.”
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.”
That the bond between Perry and Aniston was as close as that of the characters they portrayed was obvious from the 2021 reunion. Back then, it was uncertain whether Perry would take part in it due to his battle with his addictions, but Aniston insisted she wouldn’t want a reunion without him.
She was convinced he would eventually overcome his addictions, but just two years following the reunion, Perry died, and Aniston has utterly been heartbroken ever since. She has always aspired to be supportive and be there for Perry, but the truth is that she has always dreaded this day could come.
Perry and Aniston first met around three years before being cast for the roles of Chandler and Rachel. In his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which he published last year, Perry wrote how he attempted to date her, but she declined.
When they reunited again on the set of Friends, their friendship blossomed, and nothing romantic ever happened between them.
Before losing her longtime friend, Aniston lost a central figure in her life, her dad, veteran TV soap star John Aniston.
A source close to the actress told Express that’s she’s not having it easy.
“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.”
Following Perry’s passing, his family founded a non-profit organization in his honor. “It is important to us, as a family, to honor Matthew’s legacy, the late Friends star’s family said in a statement to People. “The potential that the Matthew Perry Foundation has to help those suffering from this disease is something we are proud to bring to the world.”
In honor of Giving Tuesday, Aniston urged her fans to donate to Perry’s foundation.
“For #GivingTuesday please join me and Matty’s family in supporting his foundation – which is working to help those suffering with addiction,” Aniston wrote in a post on her Instagram Story. “He would have been grateful for the love.”
Not only Aniston, but the rest of the crew of Friends also paid tributes to their late friend, and now, they want to acknowledge the importance of his presence in their lives publicly, and people close to them believe they would have the chance to do that at the yearly Emmy Awards that will be hosted at the Peacock Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, California in January.
“When it comes to Matthew’s death, emotions are still running high, and it is still a very touchy situation, which is totally understandable,’ a source told DailyMail.
“But Jen, Lisa, and the rest of the cast want to honor him publicly at some point and give him the tribute he so rightfully deserves – and there have been rumblings to do it at next year’s Emmys.”
The source added, “They all would love to get together on stage to speak about him and also have their own unique moment sharing memories about him and telling the world about the man he was in real life. If they can all agree on a worthy tribute and get the blessing of his family, they will absolutely get together to make that night a special moment for Matthew and all who loved him.”
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