Jennifer Aniston Devastated by the Loss of Matthew Perry: A Bond Beyond Friendship

Matthew Perry’s sudden passing sent shockwaves around the world. The star of Friends passed away at his residence outside Los Angeles, California, on October 28, and shortly thereafter, he was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The entire Friends cast, including Jennifer Aniston, gathered to offer their final farewells to their cherished co-star and friend.

For Perry, Aniston held a significant role outside the glare of the spotlight. According to him, she was the one friend who played a crucial role in aiding his battle with addiction, providing unwavering support every step of the way.

The revelation of Matthew Perry’s death left his family, friends, and colleagues in disbelief. However, it seems that Jennifer Aniston has been grappling with the loss more intensely than others.

As of today, Friends stands as one of the greatest sitcoms in history, running for ten seasons and a total of 236 episodes. The six main actors, including Matthew Perry, achieved lasting celebrity status, attaining worldwide superstardom. Notably, during the last season, Perry and his co-stars were reported to have received a staggering $1 million per episode.

Matthew Perry’s Involvement in ‘Friends’

Perry was the final cast member to join the show, and his addition proved to be a resounding success. Regrettably, his time on Friends coincided with a significant downturn in his life as his struggles with addiction deepened.

In 2021, after a considerable duration, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, and Matthew Perry reunited for the first time, reflecting on their experiences and memories from Friends. The reunion was bittersweet and emotional, underscoring their enduring bond.

For Perry, the reunion carried extra emotional weight. He came close to tears, describing the post-show gatherings and parties as profoundly meaningful.

“The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it,” he shared on HBO’s Friends: The Reunion special. “That was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long, and that was it.”

“You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night. And that’s the way it worked,” he added.

While Perry cherished his time on Friends, there were several years marked by the escalation of his addiction and alcoholism. Throughout this period, his co-stars made efforts to support him in the best way they could.

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While Matthew Perry expressed that being part of Friends “felt like we’d all been together in a previous life,” he also grappled with concerns about potential limitations on working on other projects, given the pervasive association of him with the character Chandler.

“I’m not complaining. If you are going to be typecast, that’s the way to do it,” Matthew Perry wrote in his memoir. “But in recent years, I’ve come to understand just what Friends means to people. And we knew from the very start that it was something very, very special.”

Behind the Scenes Struggles Matthew Perry’s portrayal of Chandler Bing contrasted starkly with his off-screen persona. In 1997, Perry experienced a jet ski accident that led to a prescription for Vicodin, triggering a downward spiral into addiction.

“It wasn’t my intention to have a problem with it,” he revealed to People in 2002. “But from the start, I liked how it made me feel, and I wanted to get more.”

While Perry maintained professionalism on set, delivering jokes as Chandler, his addiction intensified outside of work.

“I had this odd rule that I would never drink on a set,” Perry disclosed to The New York Times. “I went to work in extreme cases of hangovers. It’s so horrible to feel that way and have to work and be funny on top of that.”

“I don’t remember three years of it,” Perry admitted in an interview with the BBC about filming Friends while grappling with addiction. “I was a little out of it at the time — somewhere between Seasons 3 and 6.”

The Friends cast, having formed a close-knit family, was attuned to Perry’s struggles, and their bond facilitated their recognition that something was amiss with him, prompting them to take action.

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At a certain juncture, Matthew Perry found himself consuming a staggering 55 Vicodin pills per day, and his weight plummeted to 128 pounds. Trapped in the throes of addiction, he felt powerless to halt the destructive cycle. However, it was the intervention of his friends on the Friends set that marked a turning point.

Jennifer Aniston emerged as a pivotal figure in Matthew Perry’s life during this tumultuous period. The critical moment occurred when David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, and Courteney Cox gathered in Perry’s dressing room, confronting him about the pervasive scent of alcohol.

“I thought I was hiding it so well. But I wasn’t in a position to stop,” Perry admitted, emphasizing that Jennifer Aniston was the one who reached out to him the most.

The bond between Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston was particularly special. Even before Friends began filming, Perry harbored a crush on Aniston. In a 2022 interview with Diane Sawyer, Perry revealed that they had met before the iconic sitcom, and he had even asked Aniston out on a date. Despite her turning him down and suggesting they remain friends, Perry continued to hold a deep admiration for her.

“I was like, ‘Is three seconds too long?’” Matthew Perry reminisced about the moments he shared on set with Aniston. “And then I write in the gratitude part about her letting me do that.”

Meanwhile, Sawyer brought up Perry’s crushes on Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox, with Perry acknowledging that it was challenging to go to work pretending not to have these crushes.

“How can you not have a crush on Jenny, and Courteney (Cox), and Lisa (Kudrow)?” Perry mused. “So it made it kinda difficult to go to work because I had to pretend I didn’t have these (crushes).”

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Despite an agreement among the Friends cast not to date or engage romantically with each other, Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston maintained a close friendship. Perry emphasized the importance of preserving their camaraderie, citing a rule they had established to avoid any complications.

“There was a rule that we had, it was really important to the six of us that we kept a friendship, that we were friends. And if we were hooking up or if there was any strangeness going on, that might mess with things,” Perry explained to Access in 2021.

Matthew Perry remained a significant presence in Jennifer Aniston’s heart, and she played a crucial role in supporting him during his struggles. In a 2004 interview with Diane Sawyer, Aniston became emotional when discussing the possibility of losing Perry.

“He’s struggled,” Aniston acknowledged, referring to Perry’s battle with addiction. “We didn’t know; we weren’t equipped to deal with it. Nobody had ever dealt with that, and at the idea of even losing him… he’s having a road, but he’s all right.”

Tragically, Aniston’s fears materialized when Matthew Perry was found dead at his home in the Pacific Palisades, California, on October 28. The Friends cast issued an emotional statement, and they all attended Perry’s burial at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

The loss of Matthew Perry deeply affected the entire entertainment industry, but according to a Hollywood insider, Jennifer Aniston has been particularly struggling with the tragedy.

“All five of the Friends cast are in real bad shape, but Jen’s by far taking this the worst,” the Hollywood insider conveyed to Woman’s Day.

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Jennifer Aniston is reportedly grappling with intense feelings of guilt and self-blame following the death of Matthew Perry. According to a Hollywood insider, she is torturing herself with thoughts of what she could have done differently and is haunted by the scenarios where she might have made a difference.

“She’s torturing herself with each and every scenario where she could have done this or should have said that. She was one of the last people to speak to him, and she’d planned on calling him on Sunday [the day after he died]. She’s been going over every word, but no one could have known,” the insider revealed.

The source emphasized that Matthew Perry was “like a brother” to Jennifer Aniston, and she had been with him almost every step of the way. Aniston had significant hopes for Perry’s comeback and the prospect of working on a new script together. Despite her efforts, she understands that it was Perry’s body that gave out, and not something within her control.

“The real pain is the fact she’s been with him almost every step of the way. She had huge hopes for a big comeback for Matthew, and they were talking about working on a new script together. There was so much to look forward to, but even Jen knows it was his body that gave out, not Matthew,” the insider explained.

Despite the immense pain and grief, the insider noted that Jennifer Aniston will never be convinced that she didn’t do everything she could to help Matthew Perry. She played a crucial role, along with Courteney Cox, in helping him through dark times, and they provided him with support.

The loss of Matthew Perry adds to the challenges Jennifer Aniston has faced in the past year, having lost her father, veteran TV soap star John Aniston, less than a year ago. The source mentioned that losing two of the most important men in her life within 12 months has been incredibly difficult for her.

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The impact of Matthew Perry’s death has been profound for Jennifer Aniston, as he was like a brother to her. Aniston was still grappling with the loss of her father when she received the devastating news about Perry, plunging her into deeper grief. The anniversary of her father’s death has added to her distress, and she is described as being utterly distraught.

“[Matthew Perry] was like a brother to her. Jen was badly hit by her father’s death and was really only coming to terms with his passing when the terrible news about Matty hit her like a ton of bricks. She’s still in a state of shock over him, and now the anniversary of her dad’s death has plunged her into even deeper grief. She’s utterly distraught,” the source revealed.

The recently released death certificate for Matthew Perry indicated that he died at his California home at 4:17 pm and was unresponsive when first responders arrived. The official cause of death is pending, awaiting the results of toxicology reports. Preliminary toxicology reports indicated the absence of meth or fentanyl in his system at the time of his death.

Dr. Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner of New York City, suggested that a full toxicology report could already be completed, stating, “They’ve got pretty much 99 per cent of what they’re going to get at this point as far as information goes, and they can release it now, or they can wait for a couple more weeks because they’re looking for some unknown drug.” Baden said.

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