Matt LeBlanc's Final Goodbye To Matthew Perry On Instagram Will Leave You In Tears

The world was shocked to find out that Matthew Perry, the beloved star of "Friends," had died at age 54 on October 28, 2023. While fans were saddened by the news, his family and friends were, of course, even more deeply impacted by the loss. Perry's "Friends" castmates summarized their first reaction to the news of Perry's death in a joint statement released to People, saying: "We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family." The "Friends" cast noted that more would be said in time.

The first public comment from one of the core "Friends" cast members about Perry's passing came from Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey Tribbiani. LeBlanc posted a heartbreaking tribute to his dear friend and co-star on Instagram that helped show how close the two really were and how much Perry is already missed. Along with several iconic images of the two of them from "Friends," LeBlanc wrote a message directly to Perry: "Matthew It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life."

LeBlanc closed out his tribute to Perry with a joke

Matt LeBlanc went on in his Instagram tribute to Matthew Perry: "It was an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend. I will always smile when I think of you and I'll never forget you. Never." The relationship between Joey and Chandler was one of the best on "Friends," and it seems like the love and affection they had onscreen extended offscreen too.

LeBlanc, who once described Perry as his "little brother" to People, also alluded to the struggles that Perry faced in his life in his post: "Spread your wings and fly brother you're finally free. Much love." Perry had been open about the ups and downs of his addiction recovery journey, particularly in his 2022 memoir, "Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing." Then, in a way that was reminiscent of the playful relationship that existed between Chandler and Joey on "Friends," LeBlanc ended his post to Perry with, "And I guess you're keeping the 20 bucks you owe me." 

In the comments, people expressed their love for Perry and sympathy for LeBlanc and the grief that he's feeling. Fans also left comments on previous social media posts of LeBlanc's, as well as on the pages of the other "Friends" stars, asking for them to post about Perry's death. At the time of writing, only Courteney Cox has posted an individual tribute, sharing on Instagram that "there are thousands of moments I wish I could share." 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The two remained friends long after Friends

Matt LeBlanc's Instagram tribute to his late friend, Matthew Perry, carries even more emotional weight when one recalls the genuine connection the two stars shared both onscreen and off. Back in 2016, LeBlanc expressed his admiration for Perry to People, saying, "I love that guy! I can not see him for five years and then get in a room together and still have that shorthand with each other," (via Hello! magazine). 

Despite their deep friendship, the two never managed to make another project together, but they continued to support each other professionally regardless. When Perry made his playwriting debut with 2016's dark comedy "The End of Longing," LeBlanc celebrated his achievement by sharing a snapshot of them on Instagram, captioning it: "[Perry] and the cast were great. Way to go, bro." 

The actor's touching reference to Perry's struggles in his heartfelt tribute is not the first time LeBlanc has opened up about the topic either. In 2002, the "Friends" star revealed to People that he had tried to intervene with Perry's addiction, admitting, "I tried to talk to him. There wasn't a response." As LeBlanc reasoned, "It's such a personal struggle; they need to bottom out on their own." His words and actions throughout his friendship with Perry serve as a reminder of the profound connection the former co-stars shared, which will undoubtedly endure even after Perry's passing.