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Jennifer Aniston Says Matthew Perry Was Happy and Healthy in His Final Days

Longtime friend Jennifer Aniston wants the world to know that Matthew Perry was healthy, happy, and on a pursuit before death.

Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston in the 'Friends' reunion. Image: HBO Max

Matthew Perry is a five-time Emmy-nominated American and Canadian actor. He gained fame when he starred in the hit television sitcom Friends in 1994. On October 28th, 2023, reports surfaced that the 54-year-old actor accidentally drowned at his Los Angeles home.

In an interview for Variety with Reece Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston spoke about Perry for the first time since his passing. She wanted the world to remember Perry as someone who “was healthy. He had quit smoking. He was getting in shape. He was happy—that’s all I know. I was literally texting with him that morning, funny Matty. He was not in pain. He wasn’t struggling.”

Aniston continued, saying, “he was on a pursuit. He worked so hard. He really was dealt a tough one. I miss him dearly. We [cast of Friends] all do. Boy, he made us laugh really hard.”

Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry in Friends. Image: NBC/NBCU photo bank

Aniston and Perry became friends on the set of their sitcom Friends almost 30 years ago. While Perry said the cast was close, he noted that Aniston reached out the most in the years following Friends. During an interview with Diane Sawyer, he said he was grateful for Aniston’s friendship and support during his battles with addiction.

Towards the end of the Variety interview, Aniston commented on the outpour of admiration and love Perry’s inspirational story has accumulated since his passing, saying, “It’s so beautiful. I hope he can know that he was loved in a way he never thought he was.”

Perry’s struggles with addiction

Aniston’s positive words about her friend are especially powerful because Perry wasn’t always happy and healthy. For almost 30 years, he struggled with addiction. According to his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, he started drinking when he was just 14 years old

In an interview with Tom Power on the podcast Q with Tom Power, Perry urges anyone struggling with addiction to get help and be honest about it “because the secrets are what kill us.”

Later in the interview, he said that when he was in rehab at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, a ‘spiritual guy’ told him, “Just remember it’s not your fault.” He was astounded, couldn’t believe his ears. He said learning that alcoholism was a disease and not a reflection of the type of person he was saved his life.

He told Powers that “the best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘yes’ and follow up and do it.” With this purpose in mind, Perry wrote his memoir. He wanted to bring awareness to the disease of addiction.

Perry chooses his own legacy

Perry wanted his legacy to be one of support and understanding rather than fame. This is why, along with turning his former California mansion into a rehab facility called Perry House, he became an advocate for rehabilitation. He also made a point to be outspoken about his own struggles with addiction. He was a big supporter of the Obama Administration’s efforts to make drug courts that aid rehabilitation a key part of combating addiction in the U.S.

He even wrote a blog post for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, saying, “Over time, I learned that drug courts are a wonderful solution to one of the biggest problems facing our criminal justice system: people suffering from substance-use disorders who are caught in the cycle of arrest and incarceration,” and that “many of these individuals require treatment, not a jail cell, and drug courts provide them a means of getting the treatment they need.”

Have you read Matthew Perry’s memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Written By

Ella Shauman has recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. She loves to travel, write, and spend time with family and friends.

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