Friends creator says she was ‘concerned’ about Matthew Perry’s sobriety while shooting reunion special

Friends creator Marta Kauffman has revealed that she was "concerned" about Matthew Perry and his sobriety journey while shooting the hit sitcom's 2021 reunion special.

"I was concerned about him, knowing that he'd been through everything he'd been through," she said of the actor, who died at 54 on Oct. 29, during a new Today show interview. "And every time he had surgery, they're giving him opioids for pain and the cycle starts over again."

Perry told Diane Sawyer in a Nightline interview last year that he underwent "emergency dental surgery" that "made my mouth feel like fire" and resulted in him having slurred speech just days before the special was filmed.

"It sounded like my voice was off," he explained at the time, but noted that he felt like he "couldn't not show up" to the taping.


Kauffman told interviewer Hota Kotb that when she last spoke with him two weeks ago, Perry seemed to be doing well. "He seemed better than I'd seen in a while. I was so thrilled to see that. He was emotionally in a good place."

She continued, "He looked good. He quit smoking," before adding he was "sober" at the time.

Perry spoke in depth about his struggle with opioid addiction in his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, and revealed how he almost died in 2018 after his colon burst from drug abuse.

Marta Kauffman, Matthew Perry


The actor was pronounced dead at his Los Angeles home after he was discovered unresponsive in a hot tub on Saturday. His cause of death is currently pending a coroner's investigation, but authorities have stated that there is no indication of foul play.

When she heard the news of Perry's death, Kauffman said she was completely shocked. "My first impulse was to text him, honestly," she recalled. "And then deep sadness. So much sadness. It's hard to grasp. You know, one minute he's here and happy and then poof — and doing good in the world, really doing good in the world."

Perry's Friends costars — Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Courteney Cox — published a statement expressing their collective grief over his death on Monday.

"We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew," they said. "We were more than just castmates. 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."

The cast added, "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."

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