As tributes pour in after the sudden death of actor Matthew Perry, one particular homage to the “Friends” star recalled an embarrassing moment that could have ended a career.
Actor John Stamos has spoken previously about his guest appearance on a “Friends” episode but, in an Instagram post days after Perry’s passing, the “Full House” star revealed how close he was to quitting show business – and how Perry threw him a lifeline.
“Matthew and I had been friendly long before ‘Friends’ So, when I guest starred as Zach, the prospective sperm donor for Chandler and Monica, I hung with him a lot,” Stamos wrote in the caption accompanying a clip from the 2003 episode he appeared in.
“Standing backstage, ready to make my entrance, Matt whispers, ‘The audience is going go crazy when they see you! Get ready for some loud screams,’” he continued.
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But the next moment did not play out as expected.
“I walk through the door… silence. I was so embarrassed,” Stamos recounted.
“We finish the scene and as I start to slither back to my dressing room and quit showbiz, Matt walks over to the studio audience: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for John Stamos! You guys probably didn’t recognize him at first because he’s so much better looking in person!’” he wrote.
Stamos concluded his memory with a touching final tribute, writing, “I never forgot that and the world will never forget you. #ripmatthewperry.”
“Friends” aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004 and boasted a long list of celebrity appearances, including Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Ben Stiller, George Clooney, and even the late, great Robin Williams.
Tributes and memories continue to be shared, including from actor Hank Azaria who thanked Perry for helping him get sober nearly two decades ago.
In an emotional video message he shared on Instagram, Azaria credited his “brother” Perry with bringing him to his first AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting.
“The whole first year I was sober, we went to meetings together,” the 59-year-old actor revealed. “As a sober person, [Perry] was so caring and giving and wise. And he totally helped me get sober.”
“I really wish he could have found it in himself to stay with the sober life more consistently,” Azaria added.
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Perry was found unresponsive in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home on Saturday. An official cause of death has not yet been released pending a complete investigation, according to reports.
“Perry admittedly spent upwards of $9 million on his decades-long substance abuse and sobriety battle,” Fox News noted. “The actor revealed he had pursued 15 stints in rehab and underwent 14 surgeries for addiction-related medical issues. Perry was also on life support for a brief period and in a coma for two weeks.”
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer reacted in a joint statement to their co-star’s tragic death.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” read the statement from the “Friends” cast.
“There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss,” they added.”In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
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