Friends cast’s ‘bittersweet’ anniversary without Matthew Perry: ‘Huge void’

The cast of Friends are preparing to mark a “bittersweet” occasion in the wake of Matthew Perry’s death.

May 6 marks 20 years since the final episode of the hit show aired on TV.

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Now Perry’s co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matt Le Blanc must plan to commemorate the anniversary without him.

Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the beloved sitcom, was found dead in his hot tub on October 28 last year, aged 54.

A source recently told Us Weekly that Perry would have wanted the rest of the cast to “carry on and celebrate the show”.

“That’s very much on their minds as they move forward,” the source said.

“The prospect of having a reunion or a formal get-together without Matthew is bittersweet.

“There will be a huge void.

“Matthew’s death reminded them how precious life is and the importance of catching up with each other more frequently.

“It underlined the unbreakable bond they share and the need to look out for each other.”

The cast of Friends. Credit: NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

It’s understood Jennifer Aniston was hit particularly hard by Perry’s death.

“Even now it’s something she finds difficult to reconcile,” the source said, adding the actress was “in pieces” for months after his death.

The pair were especially close during the filming of Friends, which ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004.

After his death, Aniston shared her sorrow with a heartbreaking message on Instagram.

“Oh boy this one has cut deep … Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before,” she wrote.

“We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love.

“Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep.

“And we loved him deeply.”

Matthew Perry. Credit: AP

Perry battled drug and alcohol addiction for years, a fact he was open about in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

The “big terrible thing” Perry referred to in the title was that addiction, which began in his late teens with daily drinking and intensified when he became addicted to Vicodin in 1997 after a jet ski accident.

In a post days after Perry’s death, co-star David Schwimmer thanked him for 10 “incredible years of laughter and creativity”.

“I will never forget your impeccable comic timing and delivery,” he wrote.

“You could take a straight line of dialogue and bend it to your will, resulting in something so entirely original and unexpectedly funny it still astonishes.

“And you had heart.

“Which you were generous with, and shared with us, so we could create a family out of six strangers.”

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