“I’ll be there for you... when the rain starts to pour” the Rembrants hit aka Friends theme tune which I sang along to with pals in my school uniform in the 90s when the credits rolled on the hit TV series.

We ALL waited with baited breath for the next weekly episode; was it the Ross and Rachel saga or the wedding of Chandler and Monica?

It’s sad to think now of Matthew Perry’s untimely passing at just 54.

Friends seemed forever young and with all the reruns I still get that same warm feeling of familiarity when I see the six in that purple NY apartment.

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Like many I felt a melancholy for Matthew Perry – it seems he was the “forgotten” Friend. His 2022 memoir laid his demons bare and it was a tough honest read, but work never seemed to pick up for him.

Unlike the other five he was sidelined by casting agents over the years. I always wondered why ‘cause to my mind he was probably the most talented of them all.

I interviewed Jennifer Aniston many times for movies such as The Bounty Hunter, The Break Up & Meet The Millers. In one interview with me she spoke about the impact of Friends and how being with the cast was “like being with family”. Laughter was the biggest component both on and off screen with Matthew Perry being the chief prankster creating naughty bloopers just to make the other five laugh. He used to get in trouble with producers.

Lisa Cannon with Jennifer Aniston
Lisa Cannon with Jennifer Aniston

It was filmed in front of a live audience so it meant doing several takes in order to get it spot on but with Perry ’s “bloopers” and skits it meant it took longer.

Aniston loved his boldness; she told me it was all part of the “fun” and “joy” of making the show and she wished they could do it all again. Don’t we all Jennifer, don’t we all.

What’s sad about all this too was at the 2021 Friends Reunion Matthew looked a little lost and unwell and his admission that he was “desperate for laughs” and his deep worry that if the audience didn’t respond, he was a failure.

That’s so sad. Here was a global star who like Robin Williams needed audience validation, didn’t he know his star shone so brightly and beautifully just on its own?

I have an American pal who works in TV in Hollywood and lives two doors down from Matthew Perry, who texted me this week to say she had met him last month when he was close to moving into his house.

Not many people know but Perry spent three years renovating his home in Palisades and had only been living there around two weeks when he died.

Many on the street were interviewed about him and my pal said he was a gentleman and kind to everyone. I’ve no doubt…

Rest in Peace Matthew, thank you for being a great Friend to us all in the 90s and beyond.

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