Saying goodbye to a Friend! Matthew Perry’s loved ones gather at private ceremony to celebrate actor’s life
- Matthew Perry’s private funeral was held on Friday at the Forest Lawn Church of the Hills in Los Angeles
- Perry, 54, was found dead in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home on Saturday: his cause of death is not yet confirmed
- Perry’s father John Bennett Perry and stepfather Keith Morrison were seen at the cemetery on Friday: his Friends co-stars were not spotted
A private funeral was held on Friday for Matthew Perry, six days after he was found dead in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home. He was 54.
Perry’s father, John Bennett Perry, and stepfather, Keith Morrison, were spotted at Forest Lawn Church of the Hills in Los Angeles on Friday.
The cemetery is opposite Warner Bros Studios, where Friends was filmed for 10 seasons, and is the final resting place of a galaxy of Hollywood stars – among them Carrie Fisher, Bette Davis, Stan Laurel, Buster Keaton, Michael Hutchinson and Anne Heche.
His Friends co-stars were not seen, although Jennifer Aniston’s bodyguards were seen driving from her LA home and arriving at the site.
Mourners are seen on Friday at Forest Lawn Church of the Hills, in Los Angeles
Friends and family of Matthew Perry gathered on Friday to celebrate his life
Tributes have flooded in for Friends star Matthew Perry after he was found dead on Saturday
Perry recalled in his memoir that co-star Jennifer Aniston confronted him about being inebriated while filming. The pair are pictured together in 1995
On Monday, Aniston and the rest of the cast – Courtney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kurdow – issued a statement describing their shock and sadness.
‘We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,’ the cast said in a joint statement on Monday.
‘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.’
Perry’s cause of death remains unconfirmed, but initial toxicology reports found that there was no meth or fentanyl in his system when he drowned.
Throughout his life, Perry had been open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol.
The common narcotics were not found in Perry’s system during initial tests, according to a TMZ report. But more in-depth testing is underway and would show if the beloved actor had any prescription medication in his system.
When investigators responded to Perry’s home, they did not find any illegal drugs, but found prescription medication that was properly labeled and kept in storage bottles.
In his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry wrote that after his colon exploded in 2018, he was prescribed opiates that he deemed insufficient to deal with his pain, prompting him to turn to street dealers to supply him with potentially fentanyl-laced OxyContin.
‘The street pills were something like $75 per pill, so I was giving the guy $3,000 at a time, many times a week,’ he wrote.
Matthew Perry’s shock death in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home on Saturday prompted an outpouring of grief
Initial toxicology tests did not show fentanyl or meth in Perry’s system, but more in-depth testing is underway. When police responded to Perry’s home (pictured) they found prescription medication that was properly labeled and stored
After an initial investigation, the Los Angeles County coroner has deferred giving a cause of death, which may take weeks to determine. Those who knew him maintain that Perry was clean and sober at the time of his death.
Perry wrote in his memoir that he had spent $9 million trying to get sober
Perry wrote at the beginning of his million-selling memoir: ‘Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.’
On Sunday, Perry’s book was ranked No. 1 on Amazon, supplanting Britney Spears’ memoir.
As he filmed the sitcom-hit Friends in the 90s, many people were unaware of the struggle Perry had with addiction and an intense desire to please audiences.
‘Friends was huge. I couldn’t jeopardize that. I loved the script. I loved my co-actors. I loved the scripts. I loved everything about the show but I was struggling with my addictions which only added to my sense of shame,’ he wrote in his memoir.
‘I had a secret and no one could know.
‘I felt like I was gonna die if the live audience didn’t laugh, and that’s not healthy for sure. But I could sometimes say a line and the audience wouldn’t laugh and I would sweat and sometimes go into convulsions.’
Perry wrote: ‘If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get I would freak out. I felt that every single night. This pressure left me in a bad place. I also knew of the six people making that show, only one of them was sick.’
Perry’s Friends co-stars said they were ‘devastated’ by his death and that they had been more like family than cast mates
After an initial investigation, the Los Angeles County coroner has deferred giving a cause of death, which may take weeks to determine. Those who knew him maintain that Perry was clean and sober at the time of his death
He recalled in his memoir that co-star Jennifer Aniston confronted him about being inebriated while filming.
‘I know you’re drinking,’ he remembered her telling him once.
‘We can smell it,’ she said, in what Perry called a ‘kind of weird but loving way, and the plural ‘we’ hit me like a sledgehammer.’
A fellow member of Perry’s recovery program told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview Tuesday: ‘Matty wasn’t drinking. He was a big part of our AA community. He was attending meetings, speaking at meetings and was working with a handful of newcomers.
‘He had a sponsor and was a sponsor. He seemed to be doing well.’
The insider said the actor had been focused on helping others battling addiction and had recently expressed interest in sharing his story through public speaking events.
‘Matty said he wanted to return to universities and speak about alcoholism. That was his gift. He could speak so well and motivate people,’ the source added.
‘It was important for him to reach the younger generation and spread his Don’t Give Up message. He really lived by those words.
‘He always made people laugh, even in meetings. But he was also spiritual, not religious, but spiritual. He walked the talk and knew this was his mission. To help other people, to give them hope.
‘Matty will forever be the definition of hope because he never, ever gave up. He turned his life around and helped countless people in the program. More than he could imagine.’
Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, is the deadliest drug in the U.S. today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that drug overdose deaths have increased more than sevenfold from 2015 to 2021.
More than 100,000 deaths a year have been linked to drug overdoses since 2020 and about two-thirds of those are related to fentanyl. The death toll is more than 10 times as many drug deaths as in 1988, at the height of the crack epidemic.
The U.S. has taken a slew of actions to stem the tide of fentanyl coming into the country. Overall, the Biden administration has imposed over 200 sanctions related to the illegal drug trade.
State lawmakers nationwide are responding to the deadliest overdose crisis in U.S. history by pushing harsher penalties for possessing fentanyl.
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