Jennifer Aniston and the rest of the Friends cast issued a brief statement in the days following Matthew Perry’s untimely passing. The group is undeniably processing a great loss, which feels — at least from a public view — especially tragic since he recently detailed his journey to permanent sobriety in his Friends, Lovers, And The Big Terrible Thing memoir. Perry’s prognosis reached its most crucial point with a 2018 hospitalization, during which doctors gave him a 2% chance to live, but that wasn’t the first time that Perry’s health was seriously in question. He struggled with drug and alcohol addiction throughout several Friends seasons, and his co-stars were alongside him in that journey.
Last year when Perry’s memoir went live, Entertainment Tonight shared a clip from Jennifer Aniston’s 2004 Diane Sawyer interview, in which she began resisting tears when Perry’s name was mentioned. “We didn’t know. We weren’t equipped to deal with it,” Aniston admitted about Perry’s sobriety struggles. “Nobody had ever dealt with that. And the idea of even losing him,” she trailed off. “He’s having a road. But he’s alright.” The “alright” was what Aniston hoped that Perry knew about himself. You can watch the shorter clip above or at around 7:45 in the below (low-quality) full version.
When Perry published his memoir last fall, he declared that he knew the timing was right because he had been sober for 18 months at that point. In that book, he revealed that Aniston was the Friend who “reached out the most” to him during his struggles. As well, he declared that he’d much rather be remembered for helping others attain sobriety than for his decade-long funnyman stint on a primetime TV series.