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Julia Roberts Reflects on Matthew Perry's 'Heartbreaking' Death: 'Appreciate What We Have'

Matthew Perry — who died in October at the age of 54 — recounted his brief romance with Julia Roberts in his 2022 memoir

<p>Phillip Faraone/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty, David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty</p> Julia Roberts and Matthew Perry

Phillip Faraone/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty, David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty

Julia Roberts and Matthew Perry

Julia Roberts has shared her memories of Matthew Perry after the beloved Friends actor’s death.

The actress had "all good thoughts and feelings," when reflecting on her time with the comedian. “The sudden passing of anybody so young is heartbreaking," Roberts, 56, told Entertainment Tonight. "I think that, you know, it just helps all of us just appreciate what we have and to keep going in a positive way as best we can."

Perry, who died at age 54 in October, previously revealed he had a "three-month-long courtship" with Roberts around the time she appeared on the Friends episode "The One After the Super Bowl” in 1996. He remembered feet-long faxes full of romantic poetry and gifts swapped between the pair. It was his own self esteem that ended the relationship prematurely.

Related: Matthew Perry's Lasting Legacy: How He Won Our Hearts and Found a Mission Helping Others with Addiction

nbc Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts on Friends season 2.
nbc Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts on Friends season 2.

“Dating Julia Roberts had been too much for me,” he wrote in his memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. “I had been constantly certain that she was going to break up with me. Why would she not? I was not enough; I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unlovable. So instead of facing the inevitable agony of losing her, I broke up with the beautiful and brilliant Julia Roberts.”

Despite the split, Roberts still looks at the Friends cameo fondly. “They were all so welcoming to me as just a kind of a one-off character, and it was a really fun time," she said. 

<p>Warner Bros. Television</p> Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts on Friends episode, "The One After the Super-Bowl."

Warner Bros. Television

Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts on Friends episode, "The One After the Super-Bowl."

Related: Matthew Perry Foundation for Struggling Addicts Established in His Honor After His Death

Perry was long open about his struggle with addiction, and once said he’d like to be remembered for making a difference, rather than his time on television. In his honor, Perry’s family started the Matthew Perry Foundation, a charity fund designed to help struggling addicts.

"When I die, I don't want Friends to be the first thing that's mentioned — I want helping others to be the first thing that's mentioned. And I'm going to live the rest of my life proving that," he said in a  November 2022 appearance on the Q with Tom Power. "Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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