Pickleball and Perry: A Coach’s Perspective on His Final Game

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By Jacob Jackson

“When I spoke to him he was chipper and upbeat — he was who he is, pumped about life,” Perry’s pickleball coach said.

Matthew Perry engaged in a game of pickleball just hours before his passing on Saturday, savoring some of his final moments immersed in the sport he had grown to cherish, and which had become a crucial tool in supporting his sobriety, according to his coach.

Matthew Manasse, the coach of Matthew Perry in pickleball, disclosed to NBC News that he could confirm Perry’s presence on the court for approximately an hour on the morning of October 28. The actor had made pickleball a routine, playing the sport around four to five times per week.

Manasse remarked, “He developed a deep passion for the sport and saw it as an integral part of his recovery journey. It was his newfound enthusiasm, something he eagerly scheduled and embraced in his life.

Pickleball and Perry

Credit: The Sun

I would introduce a diverse group of people to join him in the game, and he, in turn, would bring along individuals who were grappling with recovery issues,” Manasse explained. He further emphasized, “Everyone who crossed paths with him genuinely invested in his journey to recovery, and, conversely, he displayed a genuine concern for us. His commitment to our success was as strong as his dedication to his own.”

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Perry, aged 54, was discovered lifeless at his residence in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, on October 28, as confirmed by authorities. Matthew Perry’s assistant was present in his home, briefly stepping out to run an errand, according to a source acquainted with the situation, as reported by NBC News.

Upon returning, Perry’s assistant found him unresponsive in his hot tub, the source mentioned. Subsequently, Perry’s assistant immediately dialed 911, as relayed by another source close to Matthew Perry who communicated with NBC News.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to Perry’s residence at approximately 4 p.m., where he was pronounced deceased. According to two law enforcement sources cited by NBC News, no apparent indications of foul play or trauma were observed.

Manasse shared that he had trained with Matthew Perry daily for slightly over a year before Manasse departed from the country club where they conducted their training to embark on a new endeavor. He noted that they had maintained sporadic contact over the past few months through calls and texts.


Credit: Daily Mail

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“He was doing exceptionally well, as far as I knew and heard,” Manasse affirmed. “That’s the most devastating aspect of this. When we conversed, he radiated cheerfulness and optimism — he remained true to himself, brimming with enthusiasm for life.”

On October 23, just days before his untimely passing, Matthew Perry shared a picture of himself reclining by a nighttime pool. This image appears to be the final post on his Instagram.

The official cause of Perry’s demise remains pending, pending the investigation by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, which includes the conduct of toxicology tests.

As of October 29, the medical examiner’s office has marked the cause of death as “deferred,” indicating a need for further examination.

In the aftermath of Matthew Perry’s passing, his fans have poured out their affection for the actor. Many have left flowers and heartfelt handwritten notes outside the New York City apartment building used for exterior shots in the iconic “Friends” series, where he portrayed Chandler Bing from 1994 to 2004.

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Co-creators of “Friends,” Marta Kauffman and David Crane, along with the show’s executive producer, Kevin Bright, were among the many who offered their tributes to Matthew Perry.

They conveyed in a statement to NBC News, “We will forever cherish the joy, the brilliance, and the blinding wit he brought to every moment — not just in his work, but in life as well. He perpetually held the title of the funniest person in the room. Beyond that, he had the kindest, most generous heart.”

Concluding, they mournfully stated, “This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”

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