The Touching Moment Between Matthew Perry's Dad & Stepdad Following The Actor's Death

"Friends" fans everywhere were shocked and devastated to learn that star Matthew Perry had been found dead at his Pacific Palisades home on October 28, 2023. A Los Angeles Fire Department official later told CNN that the actor was "unconscious in a stand-alone jacuzzi" when they arrived at the residence. Hours later, his mother, Suzanne Morrison, along with his famous stepfather, Keith Morrison, and father, John Bennett Perry, arrived at the somber scene. 

Over the years, Morrison has stuck by Matthew's side as he's faced various health issues, including addiction. Back in 2018, Matthew suffered a severe and life-threatening health scare when his colon burst due to prescription pill use, and once again, Morrison was there. "We were able to be with him a lot of the time through that, which was, I think, good for everybody," Morrison later told People about the tough time. 

Alas, in the midst of all the confusion, pain, and tragedy, Morrison was able to commit one final act of love and service for his late stepson as he shared a touching moment with Perry's father, John, in the hours after his death. In a video obtained by Backgrid, John is witnessed being driven onto the premises, wherein a visibly stunned Morrison is standing, presumably waiting for John's arrival. Morrison then approaches the passenger side of the vehicle and greets John with a handshake before wrapping his arm around John's neck and giving him a knowing nudge. At that moment, the grieving fathers share an embrace.

Matthew Perry hailed Keith Morrison as his mother's 'protector'

While some might be surprised by such a tender moment between a current husband and an ex-husband, fans of Matthew Perry know better. Matthew never shied away from discussing the loving relationship he shared with his stepfather, Keith Morrison, and just how good he was to his mother, Suzanne Morrison. Matthew's mother wed the true crime broadcaster in 1981 when Perry was only 12 years old. Perry later divulged in the confines of his memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," that he had only one axe to grind with his stepdad. "He always takes my mother's side," he penned. "He is her protector. I can't tell you how many times my mother has done something that I may have taken issue with, and I've been told by Keith that it never happened. Some would call this gaslighting, others would call it gaslighting — it's gaslighting," he joked. "But my family was held together by one man, and that was Keith Morrison," he declared. 

Matthew's biological father, John Bennett Perry, left his mother, Suzanne, when Perry was only nine months old to pursue an acting career in California. While Perry referred to the act as "abandonment" in his book, he carefully noted that John "became a wonderful father" later in his life. Eventually, at the age of 15, Matthew opted to move to California to live with his dad in an effort to forge a relationship with him. 

Keith Morrison said he 'loved' having Matthew Perry around

As for Keith Morrison, it's evident that the feelings of respect and love that his stepson Matthew Perry had for him were mutual. "He's one of those people who always is the center of the room for a reason, and it was so as a kid," Morrison gushed to People about Perry in 2020. While Morrison and Perry's mother went on to have four more children together, Morrison was always adamant that Perry was an integral part of their family unit. "He's a good guy. We love having him around," Morrison said of Perry.

And it's certainly no doubt that Morrison was very proud of all Perry had accomplished throughout his acting career. During a 2018 appearance on "Watch What Happens Live," the "Dateline" correspondent told host Andy Cohen that he never had any doubt that Perry would become famous, though he wasn't sure that acting was the gig that would do it for him. "He was at a stage where [he was questioning] if this acting thing was going to work or not," Morrison later recalled to People. "Then suddenly, boy, did it ever," he declared about the aspiring actor's meteoric rise to fame. But that's not all. It appears that Perry's illustrious career had many perks — especially when birthdays and Christmas time rolled around. During a question and answer round with Cohen, Morrison revealed that Perry had once gifted him with a Porsche 911. "And I still drive it around," he proudly proclaimed.