“I’ve expressed my deepest gratitude to him on numerous occasions, not only for guiding me into a career I cherish but also for allowing me to take care of him for 7 years,” Brancato began in her Instagram tribute on Monday, October 30, sharing a slideshow of sweet photos from her time working with Perry. “Along w the countless other experiences I’m thankful for. From witnessing him in his genius to sharing in his worldly adventures living around the world, he took me on a remarkable journey.”
Brancato told fans that her “heart is heavy” in the wake of Perry’s death, adding that “celebrating my memories is the most profound way to honor his legacy.”
She concluded: “I hope that up there, in the great beyond, Mattman is sending us signs. We truly need them. You’ll forever be in my heart. 💔🕊️ I love you Matty.”
In her post, Brancato included a black-and-white photo of her and Perry sitting side by side. A second snap showed the pair lying down in a bed, while a third pic showed Perry smiling with a small dog. She also shared a video of the twosome goofing off on a plane.
The Los Angeles coroner’s office confirmed that Perry died at his home on Saturday, October 28. He was 54 years old. Following an initial autopsy, Perry’s cause of death was “deferred” pending a toxicology report.
Authorities reportedly responded to a call regarding someone going into cardiac arrest on Saturday. Perry was found “unconscious in a stand-alone jacuzzi,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles Fire Department.
“A bystander had brought the man’s head above the water and gotten him to the edge, then Firefighters removed him from the water upon their arrival,” a spokesperson from the department told CNN. “A rapid medical assessment, sadly, revealed the man was deceased prior to first responder arrival.”
Perry was best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom Friends, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. Costars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer mourned Perry in a joint statement to Us Weekly on Monday.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” they noted. “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.”
The Friends alums continued: “For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
Before his death, Perry was candid about his struggles with addiction over the years, detailing his highs and lows in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. He previously opened up about wanting to be remembered as someone who “wants to help people.”
“The best thing about me, bar none, is that if an alcoholic or drug addict comes up to me and says, ‘Will you help me?’ I can say yes and follow up and do it,” Perry shared in a November 2022 interview on the “Q with Tom Power” podcast. “When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned, and I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.”