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Lauren Graham Recalls Matthew Perry’s ‘Really Happy Year’ Before Death: ‘Such Joy in Being Around Him’

Lauren Graham Says Friend Matthew Perry Was Really Happy Before His Death 2
Matthew Perry and Lauren Graham Denise Truscello/WireImage

Lauren Graham opened up about the “happy year” her friend Matthew Perry had before his death.

“This last year, he was so proud of the book he wrote and of how many people it touched,” Graham, 56, shared during a CBS Mornings appearance on Thursday, November 16, referring to Perry’s 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. “It was a success that gave him a level of happiness that I hadn’t seen in him for a really long time, so that’s a nice memory.”

The actress said she is “still in shock” about Perry’s sudden passing. “I mean, it’s a really tragic loss, and he leaves his beautiful work behind,” Graham added. “That’s something to be thankful for, and again, the book really meant something to him, so it was a really happy year for him.”

For Graham, reflecting on her bond with Perry has helped amid the grief. “No one made me laugh as hard. Just tears, streaming. There was just such joy in being around him and being his friend,” she concluded.

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The Los Angeles coroner’s office confirmed late last month that Perry died after an apparent drowning at age 54. Police responded to a call of someone in cardiac arrest at a Los Angeles home, where they found the actor unconscious in a hot tub. While an initial autopsy was completed, Perry’s cause of death was “deferred” pending a toxicology report.

Before his death, Perry formed a friendship with Graham after working together on the 2008 film Birds of America. Perry even included a photo of himself and Graham in his memoir, with the caption reading, “Me and the beautiful Lauren Graham.”

Lauren Graham Says Friend Matthew Perry Was Really Happy Before His Death
Lauren Graham and Matthew Perry J.Sciulli/WireImage

Graham offered Perry a shout-out as well in her own memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can.

“The only bright spot, dude-wise, was at an event where I met Matthew Perry,” she wrote in the 2016 book, reflecting on a period in her life when she was single. “He became my longtime Friend Who I Almost But Never Exactly Dated, or FWIABNED.”

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Before his death, Perry was candid about the ups and downs he faced after rising to stardom. While playing the role of Chandler Bing on Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004, Perry became addicted to Vicodin following a Jet Ski accident, which eventually led to alcohol abuse.

In 2000, he was hospitalized with pancreatitis and ultimately started detoxing while still filming Friends. Perry made multiple attempts to get sober over the years and later detailed his journey in his memoir.

“So much has been written about me in the past. I thought it was time people heard from me. The highs were high, the lows were low. But I have lived to tell the tale, even though at times it looked like I wouldn’t. And it’s all in here. I apologize it’s not a pop up book,” he tweeted ahead of the book’s release in November 2022.

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A source exclusively told Us Weekly at the time that Perry was excited yet nervous about his memoir’s release.

“Despite his upbeat attitude, there’s still a sense of underlying nervousness since he’s thrown his heart and soul into this project,” the insider shared. “Going into so much detail about his darkest days and sharing those secrets he held onto for all these years has been no easy process. But he’s very happy with how it’s all turning out.”

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