Friends actors gather for private funeral to celebrate life of co-star Matthew Perry

4 November 2023, 00:03 | Updated: 4 November 2023, 07:37

Friends stars gathered for a private funeral for Matthew Perry
Friends stars gathered for a private funeral for Matthew Perry. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Matthew Perry's Friends co-stars were among the guests at a private funeral service for him, after he died last Saturday aged 54.

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Perry, who played Chandler Bing in the hit US sitcom from 1994-2004, died in his jacuzzi last Saturday afternoon, prompting an outpouring of grief from fans, friends and family.

He was buried in an hour-long service at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles on Friday.

Jennifer Aniston, 54, Lisa Kudrow, 60, Courteney Cox, 59, and David Schwimmer, 57, arrived together dressed in black.

Matt LeBlanc, 56, was later seen outside the church in conversation with his former co-stars.

Also at the funeral were Perry's mother Suzanne Morrison, 84, his father John Perry, 82, and his stepfather Keith Morrison, 76.

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Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry. Picture: Getty

Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc and Schwimmer earlier told of their grief at Perry's death.

"We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew," they said in a joint-statement.

"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. 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 Friends cast
The Friends cast. Picture: Getty

Marta Kauffman, one of the creators of Friends, said that Perry was "happy and chipper" before his death.

She told NBC: "He didn't seem weighed down by anything. He was in a really good place, which is why this seems so unfair.

"He seemed better than I had seen in a while. I was so thrilled to see that. He was emotionally in a good place. He looked good. He quit smoking."

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry. Picture: Getty

Kauffman said that she was shocked when she first heard of Perry's death.

"My first impulse was to text him, honestly," she said. "And then deep sadness. It's hard to grasp. You know, one minute he's here and happy, and then poof.

"I lost a friend, in multiple ways. And what's amazing is the outpouring from the fans who lost a friend of theirs, too. And I hope wherever he is, he feels it.

David Crane, a co-creator of the show, said: "Given the journey he'd been on, and we were all aware of it, there was always a part that was kind of bracing for something like this.

Tributes and flowers for Matthew Perry
Tributes and flowers for Matthew Perry. Picture: Getty

"I was concerned about him. Knowing that he'd been through everything he'd been through, and every time he had surgery they're giving him opioids for pain, and the cycle starts over again."

Murder police are investigating Perry's death, despite there having been no indication of foul play.

The Friends star is believed to have drowned in his hot tub following a cardiac arrest.

Police in Los Angeles said it is standard procedure for cops from the Robbery Homicide Division to investigate high profile cases.

It is believed Perry had sent his assistant out on an errand, and when she returned she found him unresponsive in his hot tub.

Friends ran for ten years
Friends ran for ten years. Picture: Getty

An initial post-mortem was inconclusive and a toxicology report has been requested.

Perry's death on Saturday devastated an army of fans who loved the sitcom. Its popularity endures today.

He had years of struggles with drug and drink addiction and was open about that, especially in his final few years as he offered support to others going through similar problems.

Perry died at his LA home
Perry died at his LA home. Picture: Alamy

Police found only anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication at his home.

Perry had been described as "fatigued" in the days running up to his death, but had played pickleball at a nearby country club on Saturday morning.

Tributes were left at his LA home and outside the New York flat that served as the exterior to his character Chandler's apartment in the show.