Gwyneth Paltrow Looks Back on 'a Magical Summer' with Matthew Perry Before They Were Both Stars

Just before Perry found 'Friends' fame, he met Paltrow at Massachusetts' Williamstown Theater Festival in 1993, and now the actress remembers him as "so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with"

Gwyneth Paltrow is reflecting on her old friend Matthew Perry as the actor's former costars and fans reckon with the news of his death on Saturday at age 54.

Paltrow, 51, shared a brief romance with Perry in the summer of 1993 when he was on the brink of rocketing to worldwide fame as part of the cast of Friends.

Sharing a headshot of a young Perry with her Instagram followers, Paltrow wrote in her caption that she met Perry at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts, where the two young actors spent "most of the summer doing plays."

"He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with," she recalled. "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."

Related: Matthew Perry Detailed How He Would Want to Be Remembered a Year Before His Death at 54: Watch

Paltrow added that, while Perry shot the Friends pilot around the time that to to know one another, the show "had not aired yet," and Perry was "nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner."

"It was," she wrote. "We stayed friends for a while until we drifted apart, but I was always happy to see him when I did. I am super sad today, as so many of us are."

"I hope Matthew is at peace at long last. I really do."

<p>Santiago Felipe/Getty</p>

Santiago Felipe/Getty

Related: The Biggest Revelations from Matthew Perry's Memoir, 'Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing'

Perry previously wrote about his fling with Paltrow in his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, where he noted that the pair shared a brief "make-out session in a closet" before Friends aired.

As he told GQ when asked about his mention of Paltrow in the book during an interview last year, Perry hoped she'd “find it to be a cute story."

"It’d be bad if Gwyneth Paltrow hated me; I wouldn’t like that," he added.

<p>Noam Galai/Getty</p> Matthew Perry poses for a photo in New York City on April 27, 2017

Noam Galai/Getty

Matthew Perry poses for a photo in New York City on April 27, 2017

Related: Shannen Doherty Reflects on a 'Lifetime' of Friendship with Matthew Perry amid the 'Shock' of His Death 

Perry was found dead at his Los Angeles-area home on Saturday. According to TMZ, first responders received a call about a cardiac arrest at the actor's residence after a man was found in a jacuzzi. The outlet added that no drugs were found at the scene and no foul play was reported.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told PEOPLE Saturday that officers responded to a call at Perry's address regarding the death of a male in his 50s, but would not confirm the deceased's identity.

Representatives for Perry did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Since then, fans and friends in Hollywood and beyond have been paying tribute to the actor, including Friends costar Maggie Wheeler, former classmate and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and friend Shannen Doherty, to name a few.

On Sunday, Perry's family shared an exclusive statement with PEOPLE responding to his sudden death: "We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother. Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend."

They added, "You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love."

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