After famed Friends actor Matthew Perry tragically passed away on October 28, an outpouring of love, support, and touching tribute posts began hitting the internet from a wide range of performers and fans alike. Perry’s former Friends co-star, Matt LeBlanc, who portrayed the perpetually hungry aspiring actor, Joey Tribbiani, took to Instagram to share his tearful goodbye.
Matt LeBlanc Says Goodbye
In it, LeBlanc cites the pair’s shared time on the set of the long-running sitcom as one of the best in his life, while expressing “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.”
Joey And Chandler’s Best Memories
The Instagram post contained a gallery of several iconic moments Matt Leblanc and Matthew Perry shared while filming Friends, including the two sitting in a rowboat in an empty apartment, embracing in a welcoming hug, and the whole cast sharing a huddle during the final moments of the show’s production.
In the tribute, LeBlanc carefully and respectfully addresses his deceased friend’s long-standing battle with alcohol and drug addiction, expressing “you’re finally free.” Perry recently detailed his issues with drugs and alcohol in his 2022 book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.
Matthew Perry’s Open Battle With Addiction
Before Matthew Perry’s sudden death, the star selflessly used his own experience with addiction to support and uplift others who may be struggling, bringing awareness and care to the issues plaguing the modern health crisis. Perry was found dead in a large hot tub on his Los Angeles property, with many questions still plaguing the public about the actual cause. For now, the authorities have stated that no foul play is expected, though no official toxicology report has been released to the public.
Friends Say Goodbye
LeBlanc’s recent post, which was shared to his following of just under 10 million Instagram users, was the first solo goodbye the Friends actor offered to the public, following a joint statement from the shared cast, which was delivered days after Matthew Perry’s death was announced.
The original statement contained sentimental words of parting and sorrow from LeBlanc as well as David Schwimmer, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and Jennifer Anniston. Together, the ensemble expressed familial statements of grief while asking for time and space to individually process this devastating loss.
The Friends Reunion
Before Matthew Perry’s untimely passing, the Friends actors reunited for HBO Max’s reunion special in 2021, with Perry and his co-stars sharing a sentiment that they all view each other as real-life friends. In the special, the actors can be seen offering humorous, light-hearted jabs at one another while waxing poetic about where they imagine their characters’ lives would be today, had the cameras kept rolling. Perry posited that his character, Chandler Bing, would have grown up to be a successful comedy writer with a warm home full of loving family.
In reality, Matthew Perry never married or fathered children of his own, though the star did fulfill one lifelong goal of successfully writing and producing a stage play. The play, The End of Longing, premiered in 2016, with Matt LeBlanc in attendance to share his support for his former co-star. In LeBlanc’s closing statement on his Instagram tribute, he concluded his thoughts by humorously offering “I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”