How Jennifer Aniston Hopes Friends Fans Will Honor Matthew Perry's Legacy

"Friends" actor Matthew Perry died on October 28, 2023. One of Perry's co-stars and real-life friends, Jennifer Aniston, took to her Instagram story the following month to ask people for donations to the Matthew Perry Foundation. She shared a post from the foundation's Instagram account and said, "For #GivingTuesday please join me and Matty's family in supporting his foundation — which is working to help those suffering with addiction" (via People). Aniston added the foundation's website link and continued, "He would have been grateful for the love."

Shortly after Perry's death, People shared that Perry had been working on starting a foundation for those struggling with addiction. On November 3, 2023, it was announced that the Matthew Perry Foundation had been formed in his honor by people who loved him. The announcement for the nonprofit said, "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" (via Deadline).

Perry's family is also passionate about the endeavor and its mission to help people struggling with addiction. They told People, "The potential that the Matthew Perry Foundation has to help those suffering from this disease is something we are proud to bring to the world."

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).

Matthew Perry was 'really grateful' for Jennifer Aniston's support

In Matthew Perry's memoir "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," he outlined knowing Jennifer Aniston a few years before working on "Friends" and being turned down for a date. Over the course of their decade on "Friends," they became great friends. Despite being close, Perry and Aniston never took their real-life relationship past platonic. An insider said the there was "fear it would impact their close friendship. So it was a typical brother-sister type relationship where they really watched out for each other" (via the Daily Mail).

Perry also wrote in his memoir about the time Aniston came into his trailer and said, "'I know you're drinking'" (via Business Insider). Perry questioned how she knew. Perry's book said, "'We can smell it,' she said, in a kind of weird but loving way, and the plural 'we' hit me like a sledgehammer."

Diane Sawyer asked Perry about that exchange during their 2022 ABC News interview. He said, "Imagine how scary a moment that was. [Aniston] was the one that reached out the most. You know, I'm really grateful to her for that." On why he did the interview with Sawyer, Perry said, "It was important to me to do something that would help people." Aniston and his family are fulfilling his wish by spreading the word about the foundation in his name.

Jennifer Aniston called the Friends cast 'a chosen family'

A source told Page Six that Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox were hit hardest by Perry's death, with Aniston allegedly having a harder time due to him dying shortly before the one-year anniversary of her father's death. On November 15, 2023, Aniston shared a sweet tribute to Matthew Perry on Instagram, which proved their enduring friendship. She shared a throwback photo of them laughing, a text conversation screenshot, and a clip from "Friends" where Chandler says goodbye to Rachel before she moves.

In the post's caption, Aniston expressed her sadness at losing Perry. She said the grieving process includes remembering the happy moments you shared with the person you loved. "And we loved him deeply," Aniston added. "He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be."

The "Murder Mystery" actor also said Perry felt he needed to make people laugh to survive, and that he could do that often. Aniston reminisced on old texts with Perry as well. She ended her caption by saying: "Matty, I love you so much and I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain. I talk to you every day ... sometimes I can almost hear you saying 'could you BE any crazier?' Rest little brother. You always made my day."