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How Matthew Perry was honoured at the 2024 SAG Awards

The late Matthew Perry was honoured in a touching tribute at the SAG Awards on Saturday evening.

The iconic sitcom star tragically died at the age of 54 on October 28 2023.

Back in December, the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner has confirmed contributing factors in his death included drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine (used to treat opioid use disorder).

During the prestigious awards ceremony, actress Naomi Watts introduced the In Memoriam segment.

She began: “We have lost so many extraordinary actors in the past year, but because they touched the world with their talent, we all share their loss.”

“To those of us who worked with them, alongside them, we feel their loss and their absence deeply. Of course, their memory will live on in our recollections of the precious times we shared together.”

Set to the tune of Dean Lewis’, How Do I Say Goodbye, the awards ceremony saved the Friends star and actor-activist Harry Belafonte as the final late figures honoured during the touching tribute.

The video montage showed the late star in The West Wing and then played a clip of him as Chandler Bing in Friends.

Matthew was previously paid tribute to at the Emmy Awards back in January.

Charlie Puth and singer-songwriter duo The War and Treaty, sang the iconic Friends theme, I’ll Be There For You, as the In Memoriam tribute played.

The autopsy report stated that Matthew was “receiving ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety” with the most recent dose reportedly taken one and a half weeks before his death.

The report continued: “The ketamine in his system at death could not be from that infusion therapy, since ketamine’s half-life is three-to-four hours, or less.”

In his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew opened up about his lengthy battle with addiction and revealed he almost died when he was 49 years old.

The Friends star spent weeks in a hospital fighting for his life after his colon burst from opioid overuse.


Matthew, who was just 24 when he was cast as Chandler in Friends, recalled a terrifying time in his career that he was taking 55 pills a day.

He told PEOPLE: “I didn’t know how to stop. If the police came over to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,’ I’d start packing. I couldn’t stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older.”

The late 54-year-old had been to rehab 15 times, and had 14 surgeries on his stomach so far.

Matthew said fans who read his book will “be surprised at how bad it got at certain times and how close to dying I came”.

He continued: “I say in the book that if I did die, it would shock people, but it wouldn’t surprise anybody. And that’s a very scary thing to be living with. So my hope is that people will relate to it, and know that this disease attacks everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re successful or not successful, the disease doesn’t care.”

“I’m an extremely grateful guy. I’m grateful to be alive, that’s for sure. And that gives me the possibility to do anything.”

The late 54-year-old rocketed to fame alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer in Friends – which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 until 2004.

The remaining fivesome released a joint statement on the death of their co-star on October 30.

The statement, shared with PEOPLE, read: “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family.”

“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.”

“For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”

The cast of Friends during HBO’s reunion special

Matthew’s funeral was held at the Forest Lawn Church of the Hills in LA on November 3, where his co-stars were in attendance, as well as his close friends and family.

After the service, the late actor was laid to rest in the cemetery opposite the Warner Brothers Studios, where he filmed 10 seasons of the iconic US sitcom Friends.


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