‘Thanks for being a gracious crush’: Celebrities reveal cherished moments with Matthew Perry

Celebrities and people close to Friends star Matthew Perry have been sharing memories of moments they shared with the actor, after his sudden death at 54.

Among the many tributes paid to the sit-com star are stories from his friends, co-stars and other celebrities who crossed paths with him.

‘A gracious celebrity crush’

British comedian and actress Miranda Hart shared a photo of herself on social media, wearing a bright, cabaret-style dress.

“This is what I looked like when I met my all time crush #matthewperry,” she wrote.

“I was filming in the same studios and got the chance to meet him.

“I had often said publicly he should be my husband which was embarrassing to address in first meeting! Plus I forgot this was what I was wearing.

“Half way through our chat I suddenly realised and screamed ‘this isn’t who I am!’

“And proceeded to try and explain in a garbled way as I tried to prove I could well be wife material. He was very gracious in my utter madness.

“Thanks for all you did on and off screen to be there for people. And thanks for being a gracious celebrity crush.”

‘A magical summer’

Gwyneth Paltrow, who had a brief relationship with Perry, recalled meeting the actor before his Friends fame.

“I met Matthew Perry in 1993 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. We were both there for most of the summer doing plays,” she wrote on Instagram.

“He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with. We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass. It was a magical summer.

“He had shot the pilot of Friends but it had not aired yet. He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner. It was.

“We stayed friends for a while until we drifted apart, but I was always happy to see him when I did.

“I am super sad today, as so many of us are. I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do.”

‘We went to meetings together’

Hank Azaria, who played Phoebe’s boyfriend David in Friends, posted on social media that he and Perry were like “brothers”, and revealed that the pair battled alcohol addiction together, crediting Perry with helping him get sober.

“Matthew was the first friend I made in Los Angeles when I moved there. I was 21. He was 16,” he said in a video.

“We were there for each other in the early days of our career and he was to me as funny as he was on Friends, and he was and other things too; in person he was just the funniest man ever.”

Speaking of his drug and alcohol abuse, he said: “I really loved him. A lot of us who were close to him felt like we lost him to drugs and alcohol a long time ago because as he documented in his autobiography there was so much suffering.

Azaria, who said he’s been sober for 17 years, added: “I want to say that the night I went into AA, Matthew brought me in. The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together.

“As a sober person, he was so caring and giving and wise,” he said.

“And he totally helped me get sober.”

‘Hey Dad’

Romancing The Stone star Kathleen Turner, who played Perry’s father in Friends, said she last saw Perry “at least 10 years ago”.

“He came to see one of my Broadway shows and he came backstage,” she told People Magazine.

“When he saw me, he yelled out, ‘Hey dad’ and everyone thought it was pretty cool. I think it was for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf.”

‘Schoolyard games’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who went to primary school with Perry, said he remembered the “schoolyard games” the two played during their younger years.

“Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved – and you will be missed,” he added in his post on X.

On the set of The Whole Nine Yards

Rumer Willis, whose father Bruce Willis starred alongside Perry in The Whole Nine Yards – wrote on her Instagram story: “I’m so sad to hear about Matthew Perry passing.

“When I was a kid and I was on set while he and my dad were doing [The Whole Nine Yards] he was so kind and funny and sweet with my sisters and me.”

“I think his physical comedy and that movie still makes me laugh so much. I know he had many challenges in his life and brought a lot of joy to people with his comedy.

“I hope he can rest peacefully.”

A tricky Valentine’s Day restaurant reservation

American actress Shannen Doherty, best known for Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, reflected on a “lifetime” of friendship with Perry.

“We were a gang way back,” she wrote in a lengthy statement on Instagram.

“We all grew up together going to the Formosa, North and constantly laughing. Matt, Roger, David, Roxana. We played dare and Matt had to say ridiculous things to girls at the bar.

“We just always had fun and supported each other. You would always find us all together in a booth speaking in our own made up language. And yes, Matt always had THAT sense of humour.

“Matt and I had a date and it was on Valentine’s Day. He wanted to get a reservation at a restaurant in Malibu but couldn’t so my dad got the reservation for him.

“We went and he talked about my dad’s Irish persuasiveness the majority of the night. Our friendship spanned a long time. A lifetime really.

“I know many are hurting, especially our little gang. He will be missed by many and definitely by us. Yes. I could be more poetic or say things better but right now, shock and sadness prevail.”

Opening up his home

Journalist and author Jon Ronson, who worked with Perry in 2014 when he wrote and directed The Dog Thrower, said the late actor was “extremely thoughtful and generous”.

“I worked with Matthew Perry nine years ago and got to know him a little,” he added. “He was extremely thoughtful and generous, even letting us stay in his home, for no reason other than kindness.

“Anyway, when someone is that kind, you should let people know, hence this tweet.”

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