On Oct. 30, “Friends” fans gathered outside 90 Bedford Street in New York City to pay tribute to Matthew Perry following the late actor’s sudden death at 54. Longtime fans of the sitcom will recognize the West Village residence as the building used for exterior shots of the “Friends” apartment. On the fittingly overcast afternoon, fans flooded the street corner outside the six-story apartment building with flower bouquets and handwritten remembrances in honor of Perry.
“The one where we all lost a friend.”
“The one where we all lost a friend,” read one note, sealed in a clear sheet protector to shield it from the rain. “Could [saying] goodbye BE any more difficult?” the note continued, quoting one of Perry’s most memorable lines as Chandler Bing. “We will never understand what Chandler’s job was, but we will know how much joy being in his company brought us.” Similar messages thanked Perry for portraying their favorite “Friends” character and for making them smile during difficult times in their lives.
From T-shirts inked in black marker to sticky notes posted on a nearby street lamp, fans transformed the sidewalk into a memorial for Perry. The same day, West Coast fans laid bundles of flowers on the late actor’s doorstep. A note left outside Perry’s California home read, “Dear Matthew, this color paper reminds us all of the laughs and lessons you’ve given. We celebrate your legacy of strength and resilience. Rest in peace, and thank you for the magical moments.”
In the days following Perry’s death, celebrities – including Selma Blair, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Adele – openly mourned the loss of their friend on social media. Shortly after his death, Perry’s fellow “Friends” costars – including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer – said they were “utterly devastated” by his loss. “We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” they said in a statement, according to People. “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”
As Chandler Bing, Perry had a profound impact on viewers, filling their homes and their hearts with laughter and warmth. Nearly a year before his death, however, Perry made clear that he wanted to be remembered for more than his acting abilities. “The best thing about me, bar none, is if somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking. Can you help me?’ I can say, ‘Yes,’ and follow up and do it. That’s the best thing,” he said on “Q With Tom Power” in November 2022. “I’ve said this for a long time: when I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned, and I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.”
Though Perry’s life would be cut short only a few months later, the heartfelt tributes from friends and fans serve as overwhelming proof that he achieved his goals. Closing out the interview, he added, “I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker, and his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.”