Michael J. Fox paid tribute to the late Matthew Perry on Saturday, recalling the time the “Friends” star cut his foundation a massive check to help them get started.
“Matthew and I had spent some time together over the years,” Fox, 62, told Entertainment Tonight during the annual “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Cure Parkinson’s” gala, a benefit hosted by The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
“He was a hockey player, a good hockey player, and we played hockey together,” the “Back to the Future” star added.
According to Fox, Perry once gave his foundation, which began in 2000 and specializes in research for Parkinson’s Disease, a gracious donation.
“I hope this isn’t indiscreet… but when they first made their big sale [on their ‘Friends’ contracts] and were made millionaires for the rest of their lives, he wrote a big fat check to the foundation,” Fox shared with the outlet. “We were really early on and trying to find our feet. And it was such a vote of confidence.”
“And it wasn’t accompanied by any self-aggrandizing or anything. He was just like, ‘Take it and do your best,’” the “Teen Wolf” star said. “I loved that.”
The “Friends” cast — which also included Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer — made history when they negotiated together and each earned $1 million per episode for Seasons 9 and 10. The beloved NBC sitcom ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004.
Perry, who was found dead in his Los Angeles home at the age of 54 on Oct. 28, previously revealed that Fox served as his acting inspiration.
“I was young, I had done a couple of plays in school, and Michael J. Fox was it, man,” Perry said during an interview to promote his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” with Tom Power last year.
“When I was in 9th grade, Michael J. Fox had just done ‘Back to the Future,’ and there was smoke coming out of my ears, I was so jealous of this guy,” Perry said to Power. “And he had, at the time, the no. 1 TV show and the no.1 movie at the same time! So he was huge. And I don’t know anybody else who’s done that — except me.”
Over the weekend, Fox said that he was glad to have had such an impact on the “Serving Sara” star.
“He was just a funny guy, and if I was ever as funny as him,” Fox said. “I mean, he was the funniest — I’m happy I had an impact on him. He was a funny guy.”
Fox is not the only pal of Perry’s to remark on how funny the late actor was.
Hank Azaria also recalled how he and the “Whole Nine Yards” actor would laugh to the point of tears.
“Matthew and I became really good friends,” Azaria said in touching tribute mere days after the actor was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home.
“And we were really more like brothers for a long time. We drank a lot together, we laughed a lot together, we were there for each other in the early days of our career.”
According to Azaria, 59, Perry was a comedic “genius.”
“He was like a genius,” the “Simpsons” actor praised. “He would start to weave comedy threads. A joke here, a joke there, a joke here and then by the end of the night, he would weave them together in this, like, crescendo of hilarity.”
“As funny as he was on ‘Friends’ — and he was — and other things, too. He was just the funniest man ever. He lived to laugh,” he added.
Perry was laid to rest in LA on Nov. 8. His cause of death is still “deferred” as more tests are being conducted, including for toxicology.