Tom Selleck remembers Matthew Perry and the time he shared with the actor on the Friends set.
Selleck joined the sitcom in Season 2 in the recurring role of ophthalmologist Richard Burke, a love interest for Courteney Cox’s Monica Geller. The actor recalled being on the show’s set and connecting with Perry, talking about his father, as Selleck had a friendship with John Bennett Perry.
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“Everybody couldn’t have been nicer to me,” Selleck told USA Today in an interview. “But every day I’d see Matthew, and I’d ask him, ‘How’s your father?’ And he’d always smile and we’d catch up. I got to know his father when I was a young struggling actor. Almost any commercial or pilot I went out on, there was John. We became real good friends.”
Selleck has fond memories of Perry and the Friends cast and remembered filming the episode titled “The One Where Old Yeller Dies,” where Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Perry) star morphing into Selleck’s Richard and vice versa.
“[Perry] walked onto the set, and that brought the house down,” Selleck recalled when Perry delivered Richard’s line, saying, “Nice mustache, by the way. When puberty hits, that thing’s really going to kick in.”
Selleck added, “He was raw talent. Matthew’s gone, so it’s easy to say this, but it’s true. I think he was the most talented of a very talented group of people.”
Perry died Oct. 28, 2023, at his home from “acute effects of ketamine,” according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office. The Friends cast reunited for a memorial service in honor of Perry, which Selleck was invited to but was unable to attend.
It’s the bond between the cast that Selleck remembers the most from his time working on the set of Friends.
“There are no bad stories. No star stuff. Nothing like that there,” Selleck recalled. “You’d sit down to get notes on rehearsal, and it was fascinating. Courteney would be sitting on somebody’s lap and then someone else’s the next time. They all just got along. I think it’s because all these actors had failures on other shows. And now they’re in this hit. They all realized how lucky they were.”
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