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Why Matthew Perry never married and his famous exes

The Friends actor tragically died at his home in Los Angeles

Matthew Perry with Julia Roberts
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
30 October 2023
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The world is mourning a comedy-acting giant. Matthew Perry, best known and beloved for his role as Chandler Bing in the hit sitcomFriends, has died aged 54, it was announced on Saturday.  

The actor was tragically found unresponsive at his home in Los Angeles and, as soon as the news broke, tributes began pouring in from his adoring fans as well as other big names in Hollywood, who all spoke highly of his incredible talent and huge heart.

WATCH: Tribute for Matthew Perry following the actor's tragic death

Last year, Matthew released a memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, in which he candidly detailed his struggles with addiction and mental health, but he also shared insight into his rise to fame after landing the part as Chandler in the Emmy Award-winning comedy in 1994 as well as his romantic relationships with stars including Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow...

Matthew Perry's early relationships

In his best-selling memoir, Matthew wrote about how his early relationships affected him. When he was 18 years old, he began dating the late Carrie Fisher's half-sister, Tricia. Although the romance didn't last long, the couple would later reconcile, albeit briefly, in the 1990s, shortly after Matthew found worldwide fame in Friends. "She didn't abandon me, but old fears crept up, and I ended the relationship."

Matthew also dated the actress Yasmine Bleeth. Their romance was short-lived, but Chandler Bing's love of the star continued as he often made references to the Baywatch star in the show.

Matthew wrote about his previous relationships in his book© DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock
Matthew wrote about his previous relationships in his book

Romance with Julia Roberts, 1995

Around the time that Matthew became a household name, he began dating fellow actor Julia Roberts. The Chandler Bing star wrote self-deprecatingly in his memoir how he couldn't believe that Julia would want to date him. The pair met after she signed up for a guest star slot in the sitcom and Matthew noted how by the time the cast were filming the episode, The One With the Superbowl – in which Julia and Matthew's characters date – they were already an item.

But Matthew ended up calling time on the high profile relationship, explaining in his book that he was "constantly certain" she would break up with him. "Why would she not? I was not enough; I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unloveable."

READ: Why Matthew Perry's death is even more devastating for famous ex Julia Roberts 

Matthew Perry dated Julia Roberts in the 1990s© Sipa/Shutterstock
Matthew Perry dated Julia Roberts in the 1990s

Romance with Gwyneth Paltrow

Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow shared a heartwarming tribute to Matthew on Instagram in which she referred to their brief romance in the early 1990s. The star shared an image of Matthew alongside a caption which read in part: "I met Matthew Perry in 1993 at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. We were both there for most of the summer doing plays.

"He was so funny and so sweet and so much fun to be with. 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. He had shot the pilot of Friends but it had not aired yet. He was nervous, hoping his big break was just around the corner. It was. We stayed friends for a while until we drifted apart, but I was always happy to see him when I did." Although the pair didn't date for long, Gwyneth did get a mention in his book when he wrote about how they enjoyed a "make out session in a closet."

Gwyneth Paltrow and Matthew briefly dated in the 1990s© Ron Galella, Ltd.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Matthew briefly dated in the 1990s

Matthew Perry and Jamie Tarses

TV producer Jamie Tarses, who died in 2021, and Matthew dated for a number of years in the 1990s following Jamie's divorce from a fellow TV producer. Matthew wrote in his book that the relationship ended over his journey to being sober despite referring to her as the most "magical, beautiful and smart woman." The actor said he ended things to "adequately pay sweet Jamie back" for being there for him while he struggled. The pair remained friends. 

Matthew and Jamie Tarses at charity event in 2010© Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock
Matthew wrote about his romance with Jamie Tarses

Relationship with Rachel Dunn  

Matthew and Rachel had a high profile relationship for two years before things came to an end in 2005, the year after Friends wrapped. At the time, it was reported that there was no animosity, but Matthew chose to stay focused on his sobriety.

Matthew Perry and Rachel Dunn dated for two years© Armando Arorizo/EPA/Shutterstock
Matthew Perry and Rachel Dunn dated for two years

A brief date with Cameron Diaz

According to reports, Matthew and Cameron Diaz had a brief dalliance circa 2007 after the Charlie's Angels star called time on her relationship with singer Justin Timberlake. Matthew and Cameron were set up by friends and dated, but it wasn't to last.

Cameron Diaz at "Shrek The Third" Premiere In Berlin in 2007
Matthew reportedly dated Cameron Diaz

Matthew's six-year relationship with Lizzy Caplan

Matthew and Mean Girls actress Lizzy Caplan dated for six years before they separated in 2012. Reports state that the pair almost got engaged during their time together, despite their relationship starting out as casual. 

The Friends star opened up about his regret about not marrying Lizzy in his memoir. "I often think if I'd [proposed] now we'd have two kids and a house. Instead, I'm some schmuck who's alone in his house at fifty-three."

lizzy caplan matthew perry us open 2011© Keystone/Zuma/REX/Shutterstock
Lizzy and Matthew dated for six years

Relationship with fiancee Molly Hurwitz

In recent years, Matthew was involved with Molly Hurwitz. The pair began dating in 2018 and, in 2020, Matthew revealed that they were engaged. 

molly hurtwitz
Molly and Matthew were previously engaged

The couple were often spotted out and about and posted photos together on social media. But, six months after popping the question, the pair called time on their relationship. The reasons why were not shared publicly.

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