Friend’s Star Matt LeBlanc’s Heartfelt Tribute to Co-Star Matthew Perry

Joey has a final, touching tribute to Chandler.

In a heart-tugging Instagram post on Tuesday, Matt LeBlanc became the first of the Friends family to release a solo statement addressing the death of Matthew Perry.

“Matthew,” the post began, “it is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life.

“It was an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend,” it continued. “Spread your wings and fly, brother, you’re finally free. Much love.”

LeBlanc, the lovable lunkhead Joey Tribbiani to Perry’s sardonic Chandler Bing in Apartment 19, couldn’t resist one last zinger: “And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”

Here’s the full post, which featured several photos of the two actors, including some of them embracing:

LeBlanc is the first individual core cast member to publicly comment on Perry, who was found dead in his hot tub on Oct. 28. Previously, the show’s surviving stars — LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer — issued a joint statement on Oct. 30 addressing their “unfathomable loss.”

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

“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 cast was known for being incredibly tight, with their bond growing stronger over the iconic sitcom’s 10 seasons, from 1994 to 2004. Perry wrote that they met on the set of Monica’s apartment with the instruction to just talk to each other — and it was a natural flow. “We talked and joked, about romance, our careers, our loves, our losses,” he wrote. As LeBlanc told Oprah Winfrey in 1995, “I think we all came together with an open mind to get along and bond as quick as possible — and I think that’s what happened. We all hit it off right away.”

In recent days, several others have shared tributes to Perry, who was 54. Earlier this week, Michael J. Fox revealed that Perry made a sizable donation to the Back to the Future star’s Parkinson’s foundation.

“I hope this isn’t indiscreet, but when they first made their big sale and were made millionaires for the rest of their lives, he wrote a big fat check to the foundation,” Fox told Entertainment Tonight. “We were really early on and trying to find our feet, and it was such a vote of confidence.”

“And it wasn’t accompanied by any self-aggrandizing or anything,” Fox continued. “He was just like, ‘Take it and do your best.’ I loved that.”

Meanwhile, Zac Efron, who co-starred with Perry in the body-swapping comedy 17 Again, said he would be “honored” to play Perry in a biopic — something Perry once mused about.

“I’m honored to hear he was thinking of me to play him,” Efron told People, adding that he was “devastated” by Perry’s death.

“He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together,” Efron continued. “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.”


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