Actor Hank Azaria paid tribute to his longtime friend Matthew Perry in a heartfelt video posted on Instagram. Azaria reflected on their friendship, which began when he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 21 and met Perry, who was 16 at the time. The two became close friends and supported each other during the early days of their careers. However, Azaria revealed that he felt they had lost Perry to drugs and alcohol, as the Friends star had documented his struggles with addiction in his recently released memoir.
Azaria, who has been sober for 17 years, credited Perry with helping him on his journey to recovery. Perry had brought Azaria to Alcoholics Anonymous and the two attended meetings together during Azaria's first year of sobriety. Azaria expressed his wish that Perry could have maintained a more consistent sober lifestyle.
In addition to Perry's support during their shared battle with addiction, Azaria praised Perry's comedic genius and mourned the loss of what could have been an illustrious career. Azaria had a recurring role as David, a love interest of Phoebe Buffay, on Friends, where he worked alongside Perry. Other celebrities, including fellow Friends guest stars, have also paid tribute to Perry.