“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, 56, wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, November 14. “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.”
He added: “Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”
LeBlanc and Perry became friends after playing pals Joey and Chandler on Friends. The sitcom, which ran from 1994 to 2004, followed a group of friends in New York City and also starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer.
The costars continued to reunite over the years but their Friends reunion for Max in 2021 was the last time they appeared on screen together.
Late last month, the Los Angeles coroner’s office confirmed that Perry died after an apparent drowning at age 54. Police responded to a call of someone in cardiac arrest at a Los Angeles home, where they found the actor unconscious in a hot tub. While an initial autopsy was completed, Perry’s cause of death was “deferred” pending a toxicology report.
Perry’s family later released a statement about how “heartbroken” they are by the loss, which read, “Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”
Friends cocreators Marta Kauffman and David Crane — who spoke with Perry weeks before his death — also paid tribute.
“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing. It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives,” their joint statement with executive producer Kevin S. Bright read on October 29. “He was a brilliant talent. It’s a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew’s case, there are no truer words.”
Meanwhile, LeBlanc and Perry’s other Friends costars — Aniston, 54, Cox, 59, Kudrow, 60, and Schwimmer, 57 — honored his legacy in a heartbreaking joint statement.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” their October 30 statement read. “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss,” read the statement. “In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”