‘You’re finally free’: Matt LeBlanc pays tribute to Matthew Perry

Matt LeBlanc has paid tribute to his late Friends co-star Matthew Perry, saying some of his “favourite times” were spent with the actor.

On Tuesday, more than two weeks on from Perry’s death, LeBlanc posted a poignant message to his Instagram page saying goodbye to his friend. Alongside a selection of pictures showing the pair in their roles as Joey Tribbiani and Chandler Bing in the hit US sitcom, LeBlanc, 56, wrote: “Matthew. It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye.

“The times we had together are honestly among the favourite times of my life. It was an honour 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.”

Friends cast members LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston gathered for Perry’s funeral service at the Forest Lawn cemetery on 3 November, according to US reports.

In a joint statement to US publication People, Perry’s fellow co-stars said they were “utterly devastated” and described their relationship as “more than just cast mates”. “We are a family,” they said.

Other more minor cast members paid tribute after Perry’s death. Maggie Wheeler, who played Chandler’s on-and-off girlfriend Janice Hosenstein, said in an Instagram statement that she felt “blessed” to have spent creative moments with Perry.

The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria, who played David – a love interest of Phoebe, played by Kudrow, in several episodes of the show – said in a video posted to his social media that his “genius” friend Perry had helped to get him sober.

In 2022, Perry released his memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing in which he spoke candidly on dealing with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Matthew Perry Foundation was set up in the star’s memory after his death, promising to continue his commitment to “helping others struggling with the disease of addiction”.

Los Angeles police responded to a radio call just after 4pm on 28 October for a death investigation of a male in his 50s, the PA news agency understands. A statement from Capt Erik Scott of the Los Angeles fire department to PA said they had found a “male unconscious in a stand-alone Jacuzzi”.

The Guardian