Courteney Cox caught the eye of her future TV husband Matthew Perry early on. The late actor, who died at age 54 on Oct. 28, opened up about his first impression of the “Scream actress” in his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”
“Courteney Cox was wearing a yellow dress and was cripplingly beautiful,” he penned.
The pair met once they both booked the roles of Chandler Bing and Monica Geller, respectively, in 1994. Their characters would hookup for the first time in Season 4’s “The One with Ross’s Wedding: Part 2,” which would become one of the highest rated episodes of the entire series.
Although Chandler and Monica ended up together, Cox and Perry never seemingly got romantic off-screen. In 2015, sources denied to Entertainment Tonight that they were an item despite rumors at the time.
That same year, Perry opened up about staying close to Cox and the rest of the cast — Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc — once the show wrapped after 10 seasons in 2004.
“We try to get together when we can. Courteney is a great host, and she has a nice place in Malibu, and we try to go out there as often as possible. But the six of us haven’t been in a room together for a number of years,” he told Buzzfeed in April 2015.
Cox, 59, also noted to the outlet: “I loved that Matthew found a way to make his character relatable by showing vulnerability in the personal struggles he was facing.” She added that his “ability to show very raw emotion” is the reason that “everyone loves him so much.”
While promoting his book last year, he did admit that it was hard not to have crushes on Cox, Aniston, 54, and Kudrow, 60, at some point, but it was Aniston who he really fell for — even before getting cast on the beloved NBC sitcom. However, the “Murder Mystery” actress turned him down gently.
“Fortunately, even though I was still attracted to her and thought she was so great, that first day we were able to sail right past the past and focus on the fact that we had both gotten the best job Hollywood had to offer. Everyone else was brand-new to me,” he wrote.
“I had heard about Lisa Kudrow from a mutual friend, and she was just as gorgeous and hilarious and incredibly smart as my friend had said,” he continued in his memoir of first impressions.
“Mattie LeBlanc was nice and a cool customer, and David Schwimmer had had his hair cut cut really short (he had been playing Pontius Pilate for his theater troupe in Chicago) over his hangdog face and was incredibly funny right away; warm and smart and creative,” he went on. “After me, he was the guy who pitched the most joke — I probably pitched ten jokes a day and two of them got in. They weren’t just jokes for me; I’d pitch jokes for everybody. I’d go up to Lisa and say, ‘You know, it might be funny if you tried to say this …’ And she’d try it.”
The “Fools Rush In” actor noted that the cast were all assigned dressing rooms on their first afternoon together, but it “eventually didn’t matter because we were never in them.”
In their 2021 HBO Max special, the co-stars would reveal that they often ate lunch every day as a group and would even gather to watch the episodes when they aired live during the early seasons.
“We were always together. As we all walked to our cars and said goodbye that first evening, I remember thinking, I’m happy. This was not an emotion I was altogether used to,” Perry recalled of his first day on set.
“That night I went to bed thinking, I can’t wait to get back there tomorrow. Next morning, as I drove from sunset and Doheny over the Cahuenga Pass to the Warner Bros. Lot in Burbank, I realized that I was leaning toward the windshield as I drove. I wanted to be there,” he continued. “That would be true for the next decade.”
Perry’s former castmates paid their respects to him at his funeral at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills on Nov. 8. Just days earlier, he passed away after an apparent drowning at his home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. His burial is across from the Warner Bros. studios, where the cast filmed “Friends” for 10 years until its 2004 series finale.
Perry’s death is still under investigation and is listed as “deferred” as the coroner wanted to run more tests, including for toxicology. His death certificate lists his official cause of death as 4:17 p.m. local time and his stepdad, “Dateline” host Keith Morrison as the informant, which means he provided the actor’s information to authorities.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, 56, and Schwimmer, 57, wrote in a joint statement two days after Perry’s death. “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 statement continued. “For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”