Friends Creator Reflects on Final Conversation With Matthew Perry 2 Weeks Before His Death

Friends creator Marta Kauffman recalled her last conversation with Matthew Perry, who died Oct. 28, two weeks ago, noting that he "was in a really good place."

By Elyse Dupre Nov 01, 2023 3:21 PMTags
Watch: Matthew Perry’s ‘Friends’ Co-Stars Mourn His Death

Marta Kauffman will never forget her final conversation with Matthew Perry.

In fact, the pair connected just two weeks before the actor's sudden passing.

"It was great," the Friends co-creator told Hoda Kotb in a Nov. 1 interview on Today. "He was happy and chipper. He didn't seem weighed down by anything. He was in a really good place, which is why this seems so unfair."

Perry—who played Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom throughout its 10-season run—died in an apparent drowning at his Los Angeles home on Oct. 28, his rep and a law enforcement source told NBC News. He was 54 years old. According to a copy of a Los Angeles Medical Examiner report obtained by the outlet, his cause of death has been "deferred," pending the results of a toxicology test.

Kauffman remembered being "in utter shock" when she learned of Perry's passing.

"My first impulse was to text him, honestly," she continued. "And then deep sadness—so much sadness. It's hard to grasp. You know, one minute he's here and happy and then poof. And [he was] doing good in the world. Really doing good in the world."

Stars React to Matthew Perry's Death

Part of that good was helping people battling addiction. Perry shared his own experience in his memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing released last year, detailing the millions of dollars he spent trying to get sober as well as a near-death experience he had in 2018 as a result of his opioid use.

Kauffman said those closest to Perry were "very aware" of his sobriety journey and that she spoke to him about it after the Friends reunion in 2021.

"Yes, I was concerned about him knowing that he'd been through everything he'd been through," she told Today, "And every time he had surgery, they're giving him opioids for pain and the cycle starts over again. So yes, I was concerned about what point in the cycle he was in that moment."

Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

However, Kauffman said Perry seemed to be doing well when she saw him two weeks ago and that he was sober.

"He seemed better than I had seen in a while," she added. "I was so thrilled to see that. He was emotionally in a good place. He looked good. He quit smoking." 

Reflecting on the Fools Rush In star's passing, she then opened up about the hole left in the heart of her and so many.

"I lost a friend in multiple ways, and what's amazing is the outpouring from the fans who lost a friend of theirs too," she shared. "And I hope wherever he is, he feels it."

After news of Perry's passing broke, fans, family members and former colleagues paid tribute. This included his Friends costars Jennifer AnistonCourteney CoxLisa KudrowMatt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, who expressed how they were "utterly devastated" as they "were more than just cast mates. We are a family."

And the creators of Friends could sense their close bond from the beginning in 1994.

"You put six actors together on a show, you don't know what the chemistry between them is gonna be as people, as actors," David Crane, who joined Kauffman in the Today interview, said. "And from day one, the six of them, absolutely you could tell they were gonna be a family. We all were. And in 10 years, you do go through a lot. There's a journey onscreen and offscreen. I think when we talk about Matthew, we were all very aware that our priority was supporting him."

To look back at Perry's life and career, keep reading.


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


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


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