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"
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."
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."
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.
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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