Friends creators say Matthew Perry was ‘happy and chipper’ weeks before his death

Friends co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane revealed that Matthew Perry was “happy and chipper” weeks before his death.

Perry, who shot to international stardom as sarcastic jokester Chandler Bing on the long-running NBC sitcom, was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Saturday 28 October. He was 54.

While his cause of death remains inconclusive pending a toxicology test, sources said there were no signs of foul play. An investigation remains ongoing.

In a recent interview with Today’s Hoda Kotb – which will air on NBC News on Wednesday (1 November) – Kauffman and Crane disclosed that their last conversation with Perry – two weeks before his death – was an upbeat one.

“It was great,” Kauffman told host Kotb. “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.”

Two days after Perry’s sudden death, the lead stars of Friends shared a joint statement with People. “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss,” they wrote.

“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.”

Matthew Perry, David Crane and Marta Kauffman (Getty Images)
Matthew Perry, David Crane and Marta Kauffman (Getty Images)

In his affecting 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry detailed his three-decades-long struggle with alcohol and drugs.

The book chronicled the exacerbation of Perry’s addiction issues under the “white-hot flame of fame”.

“Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name,” he wrote in the book’s opening passage. “My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

In the memoir, he recalled drinking heavily through the first two seasons of Friends, although he said he was never drunk or high on set, and then becoming addicted to the opiate pain medication Vicodin after a jet ski accident while filming Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek in 1996.

Ahead of his book’s release, Perry told Diane Sawyer in October 2022 that Jennifer Aniston was the “one who reached out the most” throughout the ups and downs of his journey towards sobriety.

In a 2004 interview, also with Sawyer, Aniston broke down at the thought of losing Perry.

When asked what Perry doesn’t know about himself, The Morning Show star responded simply: “That he’s all right.

“He’s struggled,” she said, dabbing her eyes with a tissue. “We didn’t know, we weren’t equipped to deal with it. Nobody had ever dealt with that, and at the idea of even losing him... he’s having a road, but he’s all right.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.