The Truth About Matthew Perry's Relationship With Lauren Graham

Matthew Perry's tragic death on October 28, 2023 shocked fans and peers alike. The actor, who was just 54 years old, was found unresponsive in his hot tub by an assistant after a morning spent playing pickleball. TMZ first broke the news, with tributes quickly pouring in from around the world, including a heartbreaking note from the cast of "Friends." Perry's untimely death also sparked a renewed interest in his life off-screen as folks revisited his tragic real-life story, including his rocky dating history.

Over the years, "The Odd Couple" actor was linked to everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Julia Roberts, but it was his alleged romance with fellow sitcom star Lauren Graham that still has everyone talking — and guessing. The pair were first linked romantically in 2003 but seemingly dated for just a few months, all while managing to avoid the paparazzi. Indeed, they never confirmed nor denied their union, but what they did make clear was that they shared a unique affinity towards one another. The actors' deep bond lasted decades and saw them working together and gushing about each other on numerous occasions. "I love Matthew Perry," Graham once told "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," sharing, "We got out all the time!" Taking a closer look at Perry's relationship with "Gilmore Girls" star Graham, it's clear the two stars enjoyed connection on their terms.

Inside Matthew Perry's relationship with Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham and Matthew Perry remained impressively mum on their alleged fling, but Graham did offer a few minor details about their union in her 2016 memoir, "Talking as Fast as I Can." Admitting she didn't date much while filming "Gilmore Girls," she revealed, "The only bright spot, dude-wise, was at an event where I met Matthew Perry." However, she was adamant that nothing ever came of it. "He became my longtime Friend Who I Almost But Never Exactly Dated, or FWIABNED," she shared. Even so, their connection was long-lasting. "My FWIABNED is very special to me," she wrote.

Graham similarly told "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" there was nothing romantic between them, quipping, "You always make fun of me for not going out with him, but I keep telling you he's just my friend!" And a great friend at that. Graham and Perry shared the screen on numerous occasions, including in the 2008 indie film "Birds of America." She also appeared on three of his TV shows: "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "Go On," and "The Odd Couple" on which she (fittingly) played his ex-wife. While promoting the latter, Perry showed his feelings were mutual. "She's one of my favorite people," he gushed, according to Distractify. "We have great chemistry when working together and it's fun to work with a close friend." He also included a photo of Graham in his 2022 memoir, calling her "the beautiful Lauren Graham" in print. For her part, Graham she publicly congratulated Perry on his memoir on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Matthew Perry's relationship history

Matthew Perry's 2022 memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," was full of revelations, including many about his romantic relationships. The actor admitted he had his first romantic partner at 18 — Carrie Fisher's half-sister Tricia Fisher — before "sleeping with almost every woman in Southern California." His commitment issues only got worse from there, with addiction and insecurity playing a pivotal role in his string of short-term relationships with the likes of Julia Roberts, Lizzy Caplan, and Rachel Dunn. As he told People, he could make up an excuse to end nearly every relationship he was in. "There can't be something wrong with everyone – I'm the common denominator," he mused. "I left first because I thought they were going to annihilate me."

Perry's most recent union was with literary manager Molly Hurwitz. The pair began dating in 2018, got engaged in 2020, but called it quits in June 2021. "Sometimes things just don't work out and this is one of them," the actor said in a statement obtained by People. While no more details were offered at the time, Hurwitz gave fans a glimpse into their relationship (and what ultimately went wrong) following Perry's untimely death. In a tribute posted to Instagram, she gushed, "No one in my adult life has had a more profound impact on me than Matthew Langford Perry." However, she conceded things weren't perfect. "While I loved him deeper than I could comprehend, he was complicated, and he caused pain like I'd never known," she confessed.