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Lisa Kudrow Reflects on How She ‘Initially Bonded’ With Late ‘Friends’ Costar Matthew Perry

Lisa Kudrow Mourns Friends Costar Matthew Perry in Heartfelt Tribute
Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow. Donato Sardella/WireImage for Lollipop Theater Network/Getty Images

Lisa Kudrow has joined her fellow Friends alums in mourning the death of their costar Matthew Perry.

“Shot the pilot, Friends Like Us, got picked up then immediately, we were at the NBC Upfronts. Then… You suggested we play poker AND made it so much fun while we initially bonded. Thank you for that,” Kudrow, 60, wrote via Instagram on Wednesday, November 15, sharing a throwback photo of herself and Perry. “Thank you for making me laugh so hard at something you said, that my muscles ached, and tears poured down my face EVERY DAY.”

The tribute continued, “Thank you for your open heart in a six way relationship that required compromise. And a lot of ‘talking.’ Thank you for showing up at work when you weren’t well and then, being completely brilliant. Thank you for the best 10 years a person gets to have. Thank you for trusting me.”

Kudrow concluded her caption, “Thank you for all I learned about GRACE and LOVE through knowing you. Thank you for the time I got to have with you, Matthew.”

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Perry died at his Los Angeles home on October 28 at age 54. According to a spokesperson from the Los Angeles Fire Department, Perry was already “unconscious in a stand-alone jacuzzi” when first responders arrived on the scene. “A bystander had brought the man’s head above the water and gotten him to the edge, then Firefighters removed him from the water upon their arrival,” the spokesperson said last month. “A rapid medical assessment, sadly, revealed the man was deceased prior to first responder arrival.”

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner conducted an initial autopsy, but the results were inconclusive pending a toxicology report. His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Perry’s Hollywood career spanned decades, but he was best known for playing Chandler Bing on Friends from 1994 to 2004. Kudrow previously issued a joint statement with costars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc on October 30.

“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” the actors said. “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”

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The former castmates added: “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 was laid to rest in a private funeral on November 3. Following the service, the remaining Friends leads began sharing personal and heartfelt tributes to their late costar.

LeBlanc, 56, shared several photos of himself and Perry on the sitcom’s set via Instagram on November 14. “It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life,” he began in a message addressed to Perry. “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.”

He added, “Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”

Cox, 59, followed suit later that day. “I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day,” she wrote via Instagram, telling fans there are “thousands of moments” she’d love to share from her time working with Perry.

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Schwimmer, 57, and Aniston, 54, subsequently honored Perry in social media statements of their own.

“Oh boy this one has cut deep,” Aniston began on November 15. “Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before. We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep. And we loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be.”

Aniston noted that she had been revisiting her text exchanges with Perry, sharing a screenshot of one message she was sent “out of nowhere one day.” Perry sent a photo of the twosome together, writing, “Making you laugh just made my day. It made my day,” with a smiley face. Aniston replied, “Awww the first of THOUSANDS of times …”

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