Jennifer Aniston Says Matthew Perry 'Wasn't Struggling' Before His Death: 'He Was Happy'

Aniston said her costar "was really healthy" before his sudden death at age 54, her screen sister Reese Witherspoon recalled the "extraordinary" experience of working with Perry and the 'Friends' cast

<p>SGranitz/WireImage</p> Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry


Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry

Jennifer Aniston wants fans to know the truth about Matthew Perry's final days.

In a new interview with Variety, Aniston reflected on the loss of her Friends costar and emphasized that he "wasn't struggling" before his untimely death at age 54 on Oct. 28.

When asked how she'd want the world to remember Perry, Aniston, 54, told the outlet: "As he said he’d love to be remembered. He was happy. He was healthy. He had quit smoking. He was getting in shape. He was happy — that’s all I know."

"I was literally texting with him that morning, funny Matty," she continued. "He was not in pain. He wasn’t struggling. He was happy."

Related: Jennifer Aniston Shares One of the Last Messages She Received from Matthew Perry: 'This One Cuts Deep'

Aniston's Morning Show costar Reese Witherspoon was beside her for the interview and chimed in, "It’s important people know that."

Aniston added, "It is. I want people to know he was really healthy, and getting healthy. He was on a pursuit. He worked so hard. He really was dealt a tough one. I miss him dearly. We all do. Boy, he made us laugh really hard."

<p>Dave Benett/Getty</p> Matthew Perry at the Playhouse Theater in February 2016

Dave Benett/Getty

Matthew Perry at the Playhouse Theater in February 2016

Addressing the countless tributes that poured in for Perry following his death, Aniston called the support from the Hollywood community "so beautiful."

"I hope he can know that he was loved in a way he never thought he was," she said.

Related: Christina Ricci, Aisha Tyler and Other Friends Guest Stars Remember Matthew Perry

Witherspoon, 47, noted of the Friends cast: "You all were so close. It’s incredible what was born of those friendships, and how you guys have always taken care of each other for years and years. It’s really beautiful and set standards for our business, as well, with the way you respected each other."

"I feel lucky that I got to be on that show and I walked in like Alice in Wonderland, watching the most popular cast do this whole thing. I remember going home and going, oh, they’re in another league," she recalled. "They’re on another planet on comedy levels that I’ve never seen my entire life, pivoting on a dime and working on each other’s energy and it was extraordinary."

In a final note, Aniston said, "I also have to say I think Matthew Perry’s dialect, his way of speaking, created a whole different world. We went with his lead, in a way. It just added something to our joy."

<p>NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty</p> The cast of 'Friends' (from left): Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani and Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

The cast of 'Friends' (from left): Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani and Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay

Related: Matthew Perry's Friends Costars Speak Out After His Death: 'We Are All So Utterly Devastated' (Exclusive)

Perry, who struggled with addiction throughout his life, was found dead at his Los Angeles home at the end of October. Law enforcement sources told TMZ there were no drugs found and the scene, and no signs of foul play were present.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed to PEOPLE that an autopsy has been completed and results are pending a toxicology report. However, an online record has the status of the actor's cause of death currently listed as "deferred" since it's "pending additional investigation."

Following his death, his loved ones across the Hollywood community — including all five of his Friends costars — honored him in touching tributes on social media. Perry's family also honored his legacy by establishing a foundation in his name to support those suffering from substance abuse — something the late actor had been planning to do prior to his death.

Related: Matthew Perry's Lasting Legacy: How He Won Our Hearts and Found a Mission Helping Others with Addiction

When Aniston broke her silence about the loss of Perry on Nov. 15, she shared one of her final text messages from the actor and remembered how he made everyone "laugh hard."

“Oh boy this one has cut deep ... Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before," Aniston wrote in her Instagram tribute beside a photo of herself and Perry from the sitcom’s 2004 finale episode. "We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep. And we loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA."

The Morning Show actress continued, "We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be. For Matty, he KNEW he loved to make people laugh. As he said himself, if he didn't hear the 'laugh' he thought he was going to die. His life literally depended on it. And boy did he succeed in doing just that. He made all of us laugh. And laugh hard."

She said that she had been looking back on their many text conversations, "Laughing and crying then laughing again. I'll keep them forever and ever."

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Two weeks later, Aniston spoke out on social media again and encouraged her followers to contribute to the Matthew Perry Foundation on Giving Tuesday.

“For #GivingTuesday please join me and Matty’s family in supporting his foundation - which is working to help those suffering with addiction 🤍,” Aniston wrote in a post on her Instagram Story in honor of the global day of generosity. "He would have been grateful for the love 🥰”

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