Matt LeBlanc and Courteney Cox paid heartfelt tribute to their late “Friends” co-star Matthew Perry Tuesday, making their first public comments since Perry was found dead at his Pacific Palisades home.
“Matthew, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye,” LeBlanc wrote on his Instagram page, in a post accompanied by a series of photos of the pair on the “Friends” set.
“The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life,” LeBlanc wrote. “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. Never.
“Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”
LeBlanc’s character Joey and Perry’s Chandler were roommates and best friends on the long-running comedy.
Cox, whose character Monica married Perry’s Chandler on the series, posted on Instagram a video of the scene — and a humorous outtake — in which the pair first connected romantically while in London.
“I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day,” Cox wrote. “When you work with someone as closely as I did with Matthew, there are thousands of moments I wish I could share. For now here’s one of my favorites. To give a little backstory, Chandler and Monica were supposed to have a one night fling in London. But because of the audience’s reaction, it became the beginning of their love story. In this scene, before we started rolling, he whispered a funny line for me to say. He often did things like that. He was funny and he was kind.”
The social media posts were the first individual comments from the “Friends” cast following Perry’s death. The entire cast — Cox, LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer — issued a joint statement two days after Perry’s Oct. 28th death.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew,” the cast said in that statement. “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, 54, was found in a hot tub at his home. A cause of death has not been determined.
The actor openly spoke of his years-long struggle with addiction. He became addicted to Vicodin during his time on “Friends” — and had done multiple stints in rehab, including during filming of the show.
In 2022, Perry published a memoir detailing his troubles with drugs and alcohol, his issues with weight gain and loss, and other facets of his at-times tumultuous lifestyle, including a harrowing account of an emergency surgery following a gastrointestinal perforation, which nearly took his life.
“Friends” co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright issued a joint statement earlier saying, “We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing. It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives.
“He was a brilliant talent,” the statement continued. “It’s a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew’s case, there are no truer words. 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. He was always the funniest person in the room. More than that, he was the sweetest, with a giving and selfless heart.
“We send all of our love to his family and friends. This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”