Celebrity

Zac Efron Pays Tribute to Matthew Perry

Friends, family and fans have paid tribute.
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Actor Matthew Perry has sadly passed away, aged 54.

The beloved Friends star was reportedly found by first responders in a jacuzzi at a Los Angeles home on October 28, with TMZ reporting that Perry’s cause of death was as a result of drowning. 

WATCH: Friends ‘Pivot’ Scene. Article continues after video. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, authorities were called to Perry’s address at approximately 4:00 p.m. local time, with TMZ reporting that first responders had initially been dispatched following a call of a cardiac arrest. 

TMZ further outlines that there were reportedly no drugs found at the scene, with the death also reportedly not being treated as suspicious. 

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Matthew Perry has passed away aged 54. (Credit: Getty)

Best known for his role as Chandler Bing in the 90s sitcom Friends, Matthew Perry first made his acting debut in 1979 as a guest star on the police drama series 240-Robert. 

With his prolific career spanning over 35 years, Perry has starred in a number of fan-favourite films and television series, including Almost Heroes, 17 Again, The Good Wife, and The Odd Couple. 

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Friends and co-stars have paid tribute to the late actor. (Credit: Getty)

Julia Roberts, who dated the actor in the early ’90s, has broken her silence on the death of her ex-boyfriend. 

“The sudden passing of anybody so young is heartbreaking,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I think that, you know, it just helps all of us just appreciate what we have and to keep going in a positive way as best we can.”

Julia and Matthew became close in the early 1990s before the actress made a guest appearance on the second season of Friends

The couple dated for a number of years before Matthew called it off in 1996. In his 2022 memoir, the actor shed light on the relationship, sharing that his drug and alcohol addiction at the time made him feel as if he was “not enough” for the star. 

“Dating Julia Roberts had been too much for me,” he wrote in his memoir. “I had been constantly certain that she was going to break up with me. Why would she not?”

“I was not enough; I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unlovable. So instead of facing the inevitable agony of losing her, I broke up with the beautiful and brilliant Julia Roberts.”

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Julia appeared on an episode of friends before dating Matthew. (Credit: Getty)

Following news of his death, a number of Matthew’s friends and co-stars have paid tribute, including Gwyneth Paltrow who took to Instagram to share insight into her friendship with the late actor. 

“I met Matthew Perry in 1993 at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts,” Gwyneth wrote in her caption. “We were both there for most of the summer doing plays. He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with.”

“We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass. It was a magical summer. He had shot the pilot of Friends but it had not aired yet. He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner. It was.”

“We stayed friends for a while until we drifted apart, but I was always happy to see him when I did. I am super sad today, as so many of us are. I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do.”

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Selma Blair was one of many to pay tribute to Matthew following news of his death. (Credit: Instagram)

Elizabeth Hurley, who starred alongside Matthew in the 2002 movie Serving Sara also took to Instagram to pay tribute to the “incredibly talented comedian and a lovely man.” 

“My oldest boy friend,” Selma Blair wrote in her own post dedicated to Matthew. “All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me. And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams.”

Watch Below: Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts on ‘Friends’

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Matthew’s Friends family have also paid tribute to the actor who appeared as Chandler in the long-running television series. 

Maggie Wheeler, who appeared on the hit show as Chandler’s on-again-off-again girlfriend Janice in early seasons was one of the first to pay tribute to the late actor. 

“What a loss,” she wrote on Instagram. “The world will miss you Matthew Perry . The joy you brought to so many in your too short lifetime will live on. I feel so very blessed by every creative moment we shared.”

“He had a gentleness and generosity of spirit that was unparalleled,” Aisha Tayla shared. “I learned how to tell a joke perfectly just by watching him work.”

“I will never forget the moment he leaned in, on my first night of taping Friends, to tell me warmly, “get ready for your life to change.” Rest well, Matthew Perry. Thank you for the kindness and laughter.”

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Matthew’s Friends co-stars have also paid tribute. (Credit: Getty)

Friends‘ co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane as well as executive producer Kevin Bright also paid tribute to their fallen star.

“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing,” they shared in a statement. “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.”

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Hank and Matthew (Credit: Getty)

Hank Azaria, who played Phoebe’s boyfriend David in later seasons of Friends also took to Instagram to pay tribute to his longtime friend following his passing. 

“Matthew was the first friend I made in Los Angeles when I moved there. I was 21, he was 16,” he explained in the lengthy video tribute to “the funniest man ever.”

“Matthew and I became really good friends and we were really more like brothers for a long time. We drank a lot together, we laughed a lot together, we were there for each other in the early days of our career.”

“I really loved him. A lot of us who were close to him felt like we lost him to drugs and alcohol a long time ago because — as he documented in his autobiography — there was so much suffering.”

“I’m a sober guy for 17 years, and I wanna say that, the night I went into AA, Matthew brought me in,” Hank shared. “The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together.

“He was so caring and giving and wise. And he totally helped me get sober. And I really wish he could’ve, you know, found the – found it in himself to stay with the silver life more consistently.”

“But it’s heartbreaking, for those of us who loved him and knew him really well, personally,” Hank continued. “We just missed him. We just missed him. It’s one of the terrible things about this disease, is it just takes away the person you love.”

“He just lived to laugh and every night he would – he was like a genius. He would weave — he would start to weave comedy threads together, just hanging out. A joke here, a joke there. A joke here, a joke there. And then by the end of the night, he’d weave them all together in this crescendo of hilarity. Most nights you spent with Matthew you were crying laughing by the end.”

 “As an actor, he was so brilliant. I just wish we – the world — I and the world — could have gotten what the rest of his career would’ve been.”

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Salma and Matthew. (Credit: Getty)

Salma Hayek, who starred in Fools Rush In alongside Matthew shared her own tribute to the late actor in a tribute on Instagram. 

“Two days ago, I woke up to the shocking news that Matthew Perry is no longer with us. It’s taken me a couple of days to process this profound sadness,” the actress wrote alongside a number of photos of the pair. 

“There is a special bond that happens when you share dreams with someone, and together you work towards them. I was very moved last year when Matthew shared on his Instagram stories how much he loved Fools Rush In, and how he thought that that film we did together was probably his best movie.”

“Throughout the years, he and I found ourselves reminiscing about that meaningful time in our lives with a deep sense of nostalgia and gratitude. My friend, you are gone much too soon, but I will continue to cherish your silliness, your perseverance, and your lovely heart. Farewell, sweet Matthew, we will never forget you.”

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(Credit: Getty)

Matthew’s Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer issued a joint statement to People on Monday, October 30. 

“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,” the statement read. 

“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.”

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(Credit: Getty)

Zac Efron, who co-starred alongside Matthew in 17 Again also remembered the late actor. 

During an interview with PEOPLE at the premiere of The Iron Claw he explained that he would be open to playing Matthew in a future biopic after the actor previously expressed he would want Zac for the role.

“I’m honoured to hear he was thinking of me to play him,” he told the publication. “We’ll see. I’d be honoured to do it.”

During the interview, he also reminisced on the experience of working together on the comedy in 2009.

“He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together,” he said. “I looked up to him, I learned comedic timing from that guy. I mean, when we were filming 17 Again, it was so surreal for me to look across and have him be there, because I’ve learned so much from him, from his whole life.”

As he accepted his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December, Zac paid tribute to Matthew, who was “so kind and generous with me.” 

“Collaborating with him and [director Burr Steers] — it was so much fun and really did propel me and motivate me in so many ways,” Efron recalled. “It really pushed me into the next chapter of my career, and for that, thank you so much, Matthew. Thinking about you a lot today.” 

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“It was an honour to share the stage with you.” (Credit: Getty)

In the weeks following Matthew’s passing, his Friends co-stars took to social media to share their tributes to their beloved colleague and friend. 

“Matthew. It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favourite times of my life,” Matt LeBlanc shared to Instagram.

“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,” he continued.

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

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“I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty.” (Credit: Getty)

Loved by fans as Chandler’s on-screen romance Monica, Courteney Cox shared, “I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day.”

“When you work with someone as closely as I did with Matthew, there are thousands of moments I wish I could share,” she continued, sharing a heartwarming anecdote of her on-screen relationship. 

“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.”

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Lisa Kudrow shared a letter of gratitude to her late co-star. (Credit: Getty)

On November 15, Lisa Kudrow shared a heartwarming tribute to her long-time co-star, sharing a letter of gratitude. 

“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.” 

“Thank you for making me laugh so hard at something you said, that my muscles ached, and tears poured down my face EVERY DAY. 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. 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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“You always made my day.” (Credit: Getty)

Jennifer Aniston continued the tributes to her late friend, writing, “Oh boy this one has cut deep… 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. For Matty, he KNEW he loved to make people laugh. As he said himself, if he didn’t hear the ‘laugh’ he thought he was going to die. His life literally depended on it. And boy did he succeed in doing just that.”

“He made all of us laugh. And laugh hard. In the last couple weeks, I’ve been pouring over our texts to one another. Laughing and crying then laughing again. I’ll keep them forever and ever. I found one text that he sent me out of nowhere one day. It says it all.”

“Matty, I love you so much and I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain. I talk to you every day… sometimes I can almost hear you saying “could you BE any crazier?”,” Jennifer continued, adding, “Rest little brother. You always made my day.” 

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“This photo is from one of my favorite moments with you. Now it makes me smile and grieve at the same time,” David wrote alongside the above image. (Credit: Getty)

“Matty, Thank you for ten incredible years of laughter and creativity,” wrote David Schwimmer. 

“I will never forget your impeccable comic timing and delivery. You could take a straight line of dialogue and bend it to your will, resulting in something so entirely original and unexpectedly funny it still astonishes. And you had heart. Which you were generous with, and shared with us, so we could create a family out of six strangers.”

“I imagine you up there, somewhere, in the same white suit, hands in your pockets, looking around—“Could there BE any more clouds?”.”

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