Matthew Perry: Friends co-star Matt LeBlanc pens heartbreaking tribute to 'brother'

Friends star Matt LeBlanc has shared a heartbreaking tribute to his "brother" and long-time co-star, Matthew Perry. 

The actor, who played Joey Tribbiani alongside Perry's Chandler Bing, took to Instagram to issue a heartfelt statement following the death of his friend. 

It's the first personal statement issued by a member of the core Friends group following Perry's death on October 28. He was found unresponsive in the hot tub at his California home by paramedics. 

"Matthew. It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life," LeBlanc, 56, said in the message.  

"It was an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend. I will always smile when I think of you and I'll never forget you. Never." 

LeBlanc also referenced Perry's struggle throughout his life with addiction, saying: "Spread your wings and fly brother you're finally free. Much love." 

He concluded the Instagram tribute with a joking one-liner: "And I guess you're keeping the 20 bucks you owe me." 

LeBlanc's message has proved phenomenally popular, with over four and a half million likes and over 150,000 comments in its first three hours. 

Many commenters shared their favourite scenes of Joey and Chandler together, with others offering heartfelt condolences to LeBlanc. 

Meanwhile, medical examiners continue to await the results of toxicology reports in order to determine Perry's cause of death. 

Investigators are planning to use the reports to determine whether any foreign substances may have contributed. 

Perry was laid to rest earlier this month at a Los Angeles cemetery in a service attended by relatives and castmates from the hit 1990s television sitcom. 

Mourners gathered at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles, just over a kilometre from the Warner Brothers studio where the show was filmed. It is also the final resting place of numerous Hollywood A-listers including Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball and Elizabeth Taylor.