“I met Matthew Perry in 1993 at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. We were both there for most of the summer doing plays. He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with,” Paltrow, 51, wrote via Instagram on Sunday, October 29, sharing a throwback pic of the Friends alum. “We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass. It was a magical summer.”
Paltrow’s post noted that their summer together occurred shortly after Perry filmed the pilot of Friends ahead of its 1994 premiere. “He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner. It was,” she noted.
According to Paltrow, she “stayed friends” with Perry but ultimately, “We drifted apart.” Despite going their separate ways, the Oscar winner was always excited for his success.
“I was always happy to see him when I did. I am super sad today, as so many of us are,” she concluded on Sunday. “I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do.”
News broke on Saturday, October 28, that Perry had died at the age of 54. According to the Los Angeles Times, law enforcement officers responded to a call at his L.A. home. They then found the actor unresponsive in a hot tub. A cause of death has yet to be revealed, with the coroner confirming on Sunday that an autopsy is currently scheduled.
“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother,” Perry’s family said in a statement on Sunday. “Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”
After Perry’s brief fling with Paltrow, he went on to date Julia Roberts less than one year after Friends’ premiere. (The twosome initially met when Roberts, now 56, was brought in as a guest star.) After their whirlwind romance ended, Perry later was linked to Yasmine Bleeth, Maeve Quinlan, Lauren Graham, Rachel Dunn and Lizzy Caplan. In 2020, he proposed to Molly Hurwitz after four years of dating. However, they split six months later.
Paltrow, for her part, moved on from Perry with the likes of Brad Pitt and Chris Martin, the latter with whom she shares two children. Paltrow and the 46-year-old Coldplay singer split in 2016 before she married Brad Falchuk two years later.