Lauren Graham Reveals the Last Gift She Received From Matthew Perry Before He Passed Away

The actress said Perry's death is "still really hard to believe."

Lauren Graham and Matthew Perry during Entertainment Weekly Magazine 4th Annual Pre-Emmy Party - Inside at Republic in Los Angeles, California, United States.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Actress Lauren Graham is reflecting on her meaningful friendship with the late, great Matthew Perry.

During the question and answer portion of her Have I Told You This Already? book tour on Friday, April 5, Graham told the audience that it's "still really hard to believe" that the Friends star passed away in 2023.

“While he was not technically ever a boyfriend, he was an almost in my life,” Graham told the audience, adding that Perry was also “a friend and a constant.”

“We would stretch for a year, then he would come back in my life, and he had just come back in my life last year,” she added.

Prior to the actor's death, Graham said he gave her “a pickleball set” for her birthday—the last gift she received from Perry before he died.

Lauren Graham and Matthew Perry during Entertainment Weekly Magazine 4th Annual Pre-Emmy Party - Inside at Republic in Los Angeles, California, United States.

Lauren Graham and Matthew Perry during Entertainment Weekly Magazine 4th Annual Pre-Emmy Party.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“He’s like really into tennis and pickleball," Graham told the audience, still discussing her dear friend in the present tense. She added that Perry also included a card that said: "Be older."

Perry passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Oct. 28, 2023. According to an autopsy report, the actor died as a result of "acute effects of ketamine," as reported by The New York Times. The same report found that "drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of an opioid" also contributed to his death.

In the wake of his passing, fans, celebrities, and those who had worked with Perry all shared moving tributes in honor of the late actor, including the entire living cast of Friends.

"Matthew. It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life," co-star Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey Tribbiani to Perry’s Chandler Bing's, wrote. "It was an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend. I will always smile when I think of you and I’ll never forget you. Never. Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love. And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”

David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani.

David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I am grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day,” Courteney Cox, who played Monica Geller, wrote on Instagram. “When you work with someone as closely as I did with Matthew, there are thousands of moments I wish I could share. For now here’s one of my favorites. To give a little backstory, Chandler and Monica were supposed to have a one night fling in London. But because of the audience’s reaction, it became the beginning of their love story.”

"Oh boy this one has cut deep," Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green, wrote on Instagram. "Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an intense wave of emotions that I've never experienced before. We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep.

"And we loved him deeply," Aniston continued. "He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be."

The One Where Ross and Rachel...You Know" Episode 15

"The One Where Ross and Rachel...You Know."

(Image credit: Getty Images)

According to reporting from Page Six, Aniston was “struggling” after Perry's unexpected death, and that the loss has “completely knocked her off her feet.

”Out of the remaining five, Jen and Courteney are reeling the most, and Jen is probably the one who is struggling most acutely," a source told the outlet at the time.

During an appearance on CBS Mornings one month after Perry's death, Graham said that "no one made me laugh as hard" as Perry did.

"Just tears, streaming," she recalled at the time. "There was just such joy in being around him and being his friend.”

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality and mental health, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find both her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.