Matthew Perry's loved ones gathered to honor his memory at his funeral on Friday.
The beloved actor and author, known for his iconic role as Chandler Bing on Friends, died Oct. 28 at age 54 at his Pacific Palisades home in Los Angeles.
Perry's former Friends co-stars, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer attended the memorial at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles near Warner Bros Studios, where the hit NBC sitcom was filmed, People reported.
Perry’s father, John Bennett Perry, and stepfather, Keith Morrison, were also seen at the two-hour funeral, Deadline reported.
“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 group wrote in the statement. “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.”
Several other former co-stars and friends have shared how much Perry meant to them. Bradley Whitford, who co-starred with Perry in Aaron Sorkin's 2006 series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, spoke of Perry's “huge, open heart and a pyrotechnical, joyous brain" in an Instagram post, noting, "most beautiful parts of Matt made him the most vulnerable to the monster that he would have to fight for the rest of his life."
While a cause of death has not yet been released, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed an autopsy was completed, according to People. However, the cause of death is "deferred" since it's "pending additional investigation." There were no illicit drugs found at the scene, the Los Angeles Times reported. Foul play is not suspected to have played a role in his death.
On Friday before the funeral, the establishment of the Matthew Perry Foundation was announced. Sponsored and maintained by public charity the National Philanthropic Trust, the organization will work to help those who struggle with addiction, which Perry spoke and wrote about candidly in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. The charity is already functioning and is accepting donations, and will be “guided by [Perry's] own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible.”
“In the spirit of Matthew Perry’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction, we embark on a journey to honor his legacy by establishing the Matthew Perry Foundation, guided by his own words and experiences, and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible,” a statement from the foundation read.
Perry previously spoke at length about how he hoped to be remembered for his mission to help others struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
“When I die, as far as my so-called accomplishments go, it would be nice if Friends were listed far behind the things I did to try to help other people,” he said on a November 2022 episode of the Q with Tom Power podcast. “I know it won’t happen, but it would be nice.”
He went on to say that the "best thing about me, bar none, is that if an alcoholic or drug addict comes up to me and says, ‘Will you help me?’ I can say yes and follow up and do it."