‘It Is With A Heavy Heart I Say Goodbye’: Friends Star Matt LeBlanc Pens Sweet Tribute To Matthew Perry Following His Death

 Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry on Friends.
Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry on Friends.

Matthew Perry’s co-stars from Friends promised there was so much more to say about the actor when they released a joint statement in the days following Perry’s death of a suspected drowning at age 54. Now Matt LeBlanc has posted his own personal tribute to the man who played his best friend and roommate for much of the popular NBC sitcom’s 10 seasons, noting that he’s saying goodbye “with a heavy heart.”

Matt LeBlanc played Joey Tribbiani on Friends, and given his character’s close friendship with Matthew Perry’s Chandler Bing, it’s not hard to believe that the two formed a pretty tight bond that continued long after the sitcom ended in 2004. LeBlanc paid tribute to the late actor on Instagram, writing:

It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life. 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. Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.

Matt LeBlanc included several images of Joey and Chandler together on Friends and one behind-the-scenes shot of the entire main cast gathered together in a group hug. It’s fitting, given the actors’ comedic tendencies, that his caption ended with a joke about not ever getting the money back that Matthew Perry owed him (especially since $20 is next to nothing for the cast members who reportedly still make $20 million a year in residuals from the show).

Also, wasn’t it always Joey who needed to borrow money from Chandler? Anyway, you can see Matt LeBlanc’s sweet message to his friend below:

Several other actors have paid tribute to Matthew Perry in the weeks following his passing. Hank Azaria recalled the actor being even funnier in person than he was as Chandler Bing. Azaria also said Perry was an important part of his sobriety, which I imagine would have made The Whole Nine Yards actor pretty happy, as Perry hoped to be remembered for helping people as much as he is remembered for Friends.

More former Friends guest stars spoke out as well, with Selma Blair saying she loved Matthew Perry “unconditionally.” Paget Brewster, meanwhile, recalled him being “lovely” to her, both on the set of the sitcom and in the decades that followed.

The “Must See TV” program — which also starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer — remains as popular as ever today, and it seems everyone has their own favorite episodes that made us fall in love with Matthew Perry. As hard as his death is for Friends fans everywhere, I can only imagine the heartache that Matt LeBlanc and the others who were closest to him are feeling. If you want to relive the happier days of J-Man and Channy, all 10 seasons of Friends can be streamed with a Max subscription.