Inside Friends cast's real life heartbreaks – from star’s 7 miscarriages to tragic death & 15 rehab stints | The Sun

Inside Friends cast's real life heartbreaks – from star’s 7 miscarriages to tragic death & 15 rehab stints | The Sun

October 20, 2022

WITH its brilliant ensemble cast and witty one-liners, Friends became one of the most iconic comedy sitcoms of all time.

But while its six stars made fans laugh for 10 seasons, their personal lives have been marred by tragedies, health issues and heartbreak.

Fans have gone so far as to suggest there's a 'Friends curse' which plagues its actors.

This week Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing, admitted he nearly died as a result of years of drug abuse, and was forced to use a colostomy bag for nine months after his colon burst.

In his new memoir Friends, Lovers, And The Big Terrible Thing, the 53-year-old star – who has had 15 stays in rehab – lays bare his decades of substance abuse, telling how at one point he slipped into a coma for two weeks.

Matthew remained in hospital for five months fighting for his life, with doctors telling his family he had a "two per cent chance" of survival.


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He told PEOPLE magazine this week: "I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that's called a Hail Mary. No one survives that."

Matthew's struggle with substance abuse began at 24, when he was cast on Friends.

He admitted large chunks of his memories of seasons three to six of Friends were wiped out as he was so "out of it". At one point he was taking 55 Vicodin a day during his time on the show.

Here, we take a look at the misfortunes endured by the rest of the Friends cast.

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Fertility and surgery woes

Courtney Cox and her her ex-husband David Arquette with their daughter Coco, who is now 18Credit: Getty
Courtney's face became almost unrecognisable after Botox and fillersCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Her character Monica Geller struggled with fertility issues, and in 2019 Courtney Cox, 58, opened up about her own difficult journey to motherhood.

She revealed she suffered seven miscarriages before having daughter Coco, now 18, whom she shares with ex-husband David Arquette.

She said: "I don't think that's something that people shouldn't talk about, because… it was unfortunate but it happens."

Doctors eventually discovered the star has a rare MTHFR gene mutation which caused her body to attack a foetus when she fell pregnant. After two cycles of IVF she gave birth aged 39.

Courtney has also admitted she regrets going under the knife after Botox and fillers left her face looking almost unrecognisable.

She said in an interview: "You have no idea because it's gradual, until you go, 'Oh, s***. This doesn't look right.' And it's worse in pictures than in real life."

After splitting from her husband in 2012, Courteney is now dating Snow Patrol guitarist Johnny McDaid – 12 years her junior.

Mental health struggles

In 2016 Matt LeBlanc, 55, who played ladies man Joey Tribbiani, admitted he suffered from depression after the sitcom came to an end.

It coincided with the breakdown of his marriage to Melissa McKight, 57, in 2006, after he drunkenly groped a stripper on a night out – around the same time the couple welcomed a baby girl, Marina Pearl, now 18.

At 11 months old, Marina was diagnosed with cortical dysplasia, a rare brain disorder that can cause seizures.

Matt was inconsolable, admitting: "For years and years, I barely left the house. I was burnt out. I wanted to not have a schedule, not be somewhere… It was a very dark time."

Matt's Friends spin-off show, Joey, was also a flop; it was cancelled after two seasons.

The actor found love again with Top Gear producer Aurora Mulligan – 18 years his junior – but the pair split earlier this year after six years together, with Matt taking it "particularly hard".

Legal drama

Lisa Kudrow, 59, was dragged into a legal dispute in 2008 when her manager from 1991 to 2007 sued her for a breach of contract.

Scott Howard told a court that in 1991, he had a verbal contract with the Phoebe Buffay actress that meant she would pay him 10 per cent of what she earned while he managed her career.

He sued her for refusing to pay more than $50,000 in fees when they ended their business relationship after 16 years.

After six years of legal battle, a jury sided with him in 2014, meaning Lisa ended up having to pay out $1.6million.

During the last season of Friends, Lisa and her co-stars were paid $1million per episode.

Hollywood heartbreak

In 2000, Jennifer Aniston, 53, and Brad Pitt, 58, became everyone's ultimate couple goals when they married in a lavish ceremony in Malibu after two years of dating.

Brad even guest-starred on Friends – as a character who hated Jen's Rachel Green.

But their fairytale ended in 2005, a year after Friends wrapped, when Brad met actress Angelina Jolie, 47, on the set of the movie Mr & Mrs Smith.

Speaking publicly about the divorce for the first time, Jen said: "Am I lonely? Yes. Am I upset? Yes. Am I confused? Yes. Do I have my days when I’ve thrown a little pity party for myself? Absolutely."

These days the couple are on good terms – with rumours circling last year they'd reunited after they were pictured together in 2020.

Jen had a string of high profile relationships with stars including Vince Vaughn, 52 and John Mayer, 45, before finding love with actor Justin Theroux, 51.

The couple got engaged in 2012 after he popped the question with a $500,000 ring and married in 2015.

Their marriage only lasted for three years, however, as they announced their split in February 2018. It's believed she's currently single.

Struggle with stardom

David Schwimmer, 55, who starred as Ross Gelller, admitted he struggled to cope with fame after the incredible success of Friends, leading him to shun the limelight.

Speaking in 2016, he said: "As an actor, the way I was trained, my job was to observe life and to observe other people, so I used to walk around with my head up, really engaged and watching people.

“The effect of celebrity was the absolute opposite: it made me want to hide under a baseball cap and not be seen. And I realised after a while that I was no longer watching people; I was trying to hide."

Tragic deaths

Although he had a small recurring role on the show, Michael Tyler's character Gunther, the manager of Central Perk, was one of its most-loved.

After Friends he had roles in a few TV shows and short films and even narrated a Friends video game.

But in 2021 the actor revealed he'd been battling prostate cancer since 2018, which had affected his spine. Later that year he died aged 59.

Another actor who made a big impact despite their minor role was Mike Hagerty, who played Mr Treeger from 1995 to 2001.

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He had parts in other successful shows such as ER, Glee, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

In May this year the actor died aged 67 while in a coma in Los Angeles after suffering from a seizure caused by a reaction to antibiotics he was taking to treat a leg infection.

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