Lauren Graham Reveals Matthew Perry's Final Birthday Gift to Her

Lauren Graham has shared more insight into her longtime friendship with Matthew Perry, noting what the actor gave her for her birthday before his death at 54 in October 2023.

By Corinne Heller Apr 07, 2024 11:47 PMTags

Months before his death, Matthew Perry wanted Lauren Graham to share in one of his joys.

The Gilmore Girls alum, 57, is providing more insight into her longtime friendship with the late Friends star, revealing the last birthday gift he got her in March 2023, seven months before he died at age 54.

Graham said Perry sent her "a pickleball set," adding, "He's like really into tennis and pickleball," per Deadline. The Parenthood alum made her comments onstage at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. April 5 during a Q&A for her Have I Told You This Already? book tour.

Graham added that Perry included a birthday card that read, "Be older."

The actor played pickleball four or five days a week and was on the court the morning before he died, according to his friend and mentor, Matt Manasse.

"He fell in love with the sport," he told NBC News after Perry's death, "and he really wanted to use it for his recovery."

The Best Matthew Perry Episodes of Friends

The Whole Nine Yards actor was found dead in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home in October 2023. An autopsy later showed he died from the "acute effects of ketamine," which helped cause him to drown. He had battled addiction to prescription painkillers and alcohol throughout his life and wrote about his sobriety journey in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

Jesse Grant/WireImage for Fusion PR _LA

Graham, who appears with Perry in a photo inside the book, met the actor while filming the 2008 movie Birds of America. During her book tour Q&A, she explained the dynamics of their longtime friendship. "While he was not technically ever a boyfriend, he was an almost in my life," Graham said, adding that the actor was "a friend and a constant."

Graham noted that the pair had reconnected just months before his death. "We would stretch for a year, then he would come back in my life," she said, "and he had just come back in my life last year."

Graham has spoken before about her friendship with Perry. "No one made me laugh as hard," she said on CBS Mornings last November. "I mean, just tears streaming. There was just such joy in being around him and being his friend."

Look back at Perry's life in pictures:


The Boys Will Be Boys star poses for a photo while at the Limelight in New York City.


The Sydney actor takes a break while on the set of the CBS series in Los Angeles, California.


The Friends star sits by the well-known fountain that serves as the backdrop for the show's opening sequence.


The Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing author attends the Scream premiere in Los Angeles.


Perry poses while on the set of Friends as his beloved character Chandler Bing.


The 17 Again star attends the Los Angeles premiere of The Grinch.


The actor hits the red carpet for the premiere of The Whole Ten Yards.


The Mr. Sunshine star attends the Entertainment Weekly and Matrix Men upfront party.


 The Odd Couple actor hangs out backstage at an event in celebration of the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards.


Perry poses for a photo while at the play The End Of Longing.


The American-Canadian actor was front and center at The Circle premiere in New York City.


Perry attends the 2022 GQ Men of the Year party.


Six months prior to his passing, the Almost Heroes star discussed his memoir while on stage at the 2023 Los Angeles Times Festival.

Latest News