Matthew Perry, one of the stars of NBC’s hit sitcom “Friends,” was remembered during the In Memoriam segment of the Emmy Awards, which featured a musical number by singer-songwriter Charlie Puth and the duo The War and Treaty.
The number began with Puth’s popular song, “See You Again,” which the singer originally wrote in memory of Paul Walker, who died in a car accident in 2013. As a memorial slideshow featuring portraits of Hollywood actors and other creatives who died in 2023 played on-screen, the musical trio then transitioned into the “Friends” theme song to honor Perry — whose portrait concluded the slideshow.
Perry died from the “acute effects” of ketamine, a drug sometimes used to treat depression, the Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office said in an autopsy report that was released in December. He was 54.
The autopsy report said Perry was undergoing ketamine infusion therapy every other day for a period of time but had reduced that intake more recently, and his last known infusion was a week and a half before his death. Other contributing factors to Perry’s death included drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder.
Perry rose to stardom in the 1990s as Chandler Bing — a role he landed when he was just 24 — on the popular NBC sitcom and quickly made the character a fan favorite with his deadpan sarcasm and quirky neuroticisms. The role, which he played for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, earned him an Emmy nomination in 2002 for lead actor in a comedy series. (Over the course of his acting career, Perry earned five Emmy nominations , including two nods for his guest role in “The West Wing” and one as an executive producer of 2021’s “Friends: The Reunion” special on Max.)
In his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry detailed his plight with addiction, which began at the age of 14 and increased its grip as his fame from starring in “Friends” rose. At one point, he said in his book, he took nearly five dozen pills a day. The book also described the health challenges he faced as a result of the decades-long battle, including a series of medical episodes in 2018 that included a brief stint on life support and two weeks in a coma.
Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, and Schwimmer first broke their silence about Perry’s death last November, sharing touching individual tributes on social media.
“Matthew. It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye,” LeBlanc wrote in an Instagram post, alongside photos of scenes from “Friends.”
In her tribute, Aniston said: “Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before. 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.”