Friends co-star Matt LeBlanc has finally broken his silence on the death of former cast mate, Matthew Perry.
In a statement two weeks in the making, the 56-year-old actor made a post on Instagram to address the loss of Perry, who died of an apparent drowning on October 28 at age 54.
In the post, that included classic shots of himself and Perry on-set, LeBlanc had these words to say:
“It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life,” LeBlanc said in a note addressed to “Matthew” alongside personal and show images.
“It was an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend.”
The actor also said he will “always smile” when thinking of Perry and insisted, “I’ll never forget you. Never.”
“Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love.”
In the spirit of the hilarious character he played on the show, Joey Tribbiani, LeBlanc ended the tribute with a light-hearted joke: “And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”
Perry, who struggled with addiction, once remarked, “When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned — I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that. Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”
In the actor’s memory, the Matthew Perry Foundation was launched to help those struggling with addiction.
The Cast And Crew Of Friends Mourn
Perry’s passing has left Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer “utterly devastated.”
In a statement to People, the Friends cast wrote, “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. 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.”
They continued, “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.”
The television show’s co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane joined executive producer Kevin Bright to release a separate statement.
The trio wrote, “We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing,” they wrote. “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.”