The “Shakespeare in Love” actor and Goop founder on Sunday shared a sweet memory of her “magical summer” with Perry in 1993, roughly a year before “Friends” debuted.
“I met Matthew Perry in 1993 at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts,” Paltrow wrote on Instagram alongside a vintage headshot of Perry. “We were both there for most of the summer doing plays. He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with. We drove out to swim in creeks, had beers in the local college bar, kissed in a field of long grass. It was a magical summer.”
According to Paltrow, Perry had already shot the pilot episode of “Friends” at the time of their meeting. Since the series had not debuted, however, he was not yet aware of the cultural phenomenon that it would become.
“He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner. It was,” she explained.
The "Friends" cast in 1994, from left: Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry.
Though their relationship was fleeting, Paltrow said she and Perry remained friends for some time but ultimately “drifted apart.” However, she noted that she was “always happy to see him” when the two crossed paths on the Hollywood circuit.
“I am super sad today, as so many of us are,” she wrote. “I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do.”
Perry died Saturday at his home in Los Angeles at age 54. A cause of death has not yet been publicly confirmed.
The actor opened up about his relationship with Paltrow in 2022 when he unveiled his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.” His recollection of the romance, however, was reportedly limited to “a make-out session in a closet” with Paltrow during the summer before “Friends” premiered.
When asked about the encounter, Perry told GQ last year he hoped Paltrow would “find it to be a cute story.”
“It’d be bad if Gwyneth Paltrow hated me,” he said. “I wouldn’t like that.”