‘Friends’ star, Matthew Perry, a big fan of pickleball

‘Friends’ star, Matthew Perry, a big fan of pickleball

The death of former “Friends” TV show star Matthew Perry was a surprise. His love of pickleball was not.

Perry, just 54, died on Oct. 28 at his home in California. The cause of death has not been determined, but multiple reports say it was a drowning in his hot tub.

Perry was reportedly playing pickleball just a few hours before his death.

Perry’s friend and pickleball coach Matt Manasse did not want to answer questions about Perry for the PPA Tour website, but Manasse spoke with Parade Magazine and said the two would play four or five times per week.

Manasse also told People Magazine, “He loved (pickleball. He came out five times a week, would always talk about it. He got so much better, always made everyone laugh. He was competitive, just a genuine, good guy - caring for everybody.”

Manasse is a pickleball teacher at Riveria Country Club in Los Angeles, near where Perry lived.

“Pickleball was his outlet,” Manasse told People Magazine.  “He really looked forward to it. He was a competitive guy, not in a bad way at all. He loved it. He wanted to come out. He wanted to win. He loved it. When he hit an unbelievable shot, he would tell you about it for days.”

Perry had been very open about his struggles with alcohol and prescription painkillers. Perry was outspoken about how pickleball helped him in his recovery. 

“He had so much that he was doing with his rehab facility and trying to get people clean,” Manasse said to People. “He would bring them to teach them pickleball. He was just always trying to help people.” 

Manasse told Parade Magazine that Perry was “obsessed” with the sport. “It was his healthy addiction and he loved it.”

Manasse, who spent time with Perry off the court, at dinners, parties and other events, told People that he had spoken with Perry about a week before the actor’s death and that Perry was in good spirits and was in a “good place.”

“I’m just happy, if anything, he had a lot of fun and pleasure being on a pickleball court, around people that he enjoyed because he gave us so much joy,” Manasse told Parade.