Matt LeBlanc breaks silence after Matthew Perry’s death

Matt LeBlanc has paid tribute to Matthew Perry, honouring his Friends co-star and real-life pal with a heartfelt message.

Perry was found dead at his home in Los Angeles on 28 October, leaving legions of fans around the world devastated. The actor, who was 54, was laid to rest at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills on 3 November.

The funeral service was attended by all of Perry’s Friends castmates, including Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, and LeBlanc.

LeBlanc, 56, and Perry played Joey and Chandler respectively on the hit Nineties sitcom, with their friendship arc delivering some of the show’s funniest – and most heartwarming – moments.

Honouring Perry’s legacy, LeBlanc shared a series of stills from the show on Instagram.

His caption read: “It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favourite times of my life.

“It was an honour 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,” LeBlanc continued.

“Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”

LeBlanc is the first of the core Friends cast to pay tribute individually to Perry on social media.

In the emotional aftermath of his death, the lead stars released a joint statement asking for time to “process this unfathomable loss”.

In the statement shared with People on 30 October, they wrote: “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.”

“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.”

Earlier this week, Perry’s death certificate was released by the Los Angeles Police Department.

According to the paperwork, his cause of death remains “deferred” pending further investigation, after initial toxicology tests revealed there was “no meth or fentanyl” in Perry’s system at the time of his death.

Despite his incredible professional successes, Perry battled drug and alcohol addictions for a large part of his life, writing about these struggles with alarming honesty in his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

The 17 Again star recalled how these addictions became worse under the “white-hot flame of fame” and that Friends fans would know whether he was was drinking or taking drugs from the way he looked in different seasons.

After his death, the co-creator of Friends Marta Kauffman said the actor sounded “happy and chipper” during their last conversation “which is why this seems so unfair”.

The 67-year-old told Today show host Hoda 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.

“He seemed better than I had seen in a while. I was so thrilled to see that. He was emotionally in a good place, he looked good, he quit smoking,” she added, before confirming Perry “was sober” at the time of his death.