One of the Matthew Perry‘s closest friends commemorate his life and legacy. Actor Henk Azaria took to his Instagram on Sunday and posted a heartfelt video tribute to the late Friends actor.
Calling Perry his “first friend” in Los Angeles, Azaria praised the comedian, saying they “have been more like brothers for a long time.”
“We drank together a lot and we laughed a lot together. We were there for each other in the early days of our careers,” Azaria said of his friendship with Perry. “He was as funny as he was Friends and in other things too he was just personally the funniest man ever.”
Azaria noted that Perry “lived to laugh” and called him a comedic “genius.”
Azaria also spoke about Perry’s struggles with substance abuse, saying, “I really loved him. Many of us who were close to him felt like we had lost him a long time ago to drugs and alcohol.”
Perry documented his addiction issues in his raw 2022 autobiography, Friends, lovers and the big terrible thing.
“I had to pick up that biography and put it down eleven times. It was so painful to read,” Azaria admitted.
The Simpsons star, who has been open about his own struggles with addiction, shared Perry’s impact on his sobriety.
“The night I went to AA, Matthew brought me in. I was sober the entire first year, we went to meetings together,” Azaria recalls. “I had to tell him this, as a sober person he was so caring, giving and wise, and he completely helped me get sober. I really wish he could have found it in himself to stick to sober living more consistently. ”
Adding of Perry’s addiction struggles: “It’s heartbreaking for those of us who loved him and knew him very well personally, we just missed him. It’s one of the terrible things about this disease that it just takes away the person you love .”
Azaria concluded his video by saying, “He was so brilliant. I wish me and the world could have had what the rest of his career would have been.”
Azaria made a cameo appearance Friends as David opposite Perry’s beloved character Chandler Bing in 2003.
Perry died on Saturday, October 28th. He was 54 years old.
According to TMZwho spoke to law enforcement, the Friends star was found dead in a home in Los Angeles, California. According to The Los Angeles Times, he was found dead in a hot tub.
ET has reached out to Perry’s reps for comment.
He is survived by his mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison, and his father, John Bennett Perry.
In late 2022, Perry spoke about the Q with Tom Power podcast about what he hoped his legacy would be.
“The best thing about me, bar none, is when someone comes up to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking. Can you help me?’ I can say yes and follow through and do it,” Perry said. “And I’ve been saying this for a long time: When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing mentioned: I want That to be the first to be mentioned. And I’ll spend the rest of my life proving that.”
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