Michael J. Fox Reveals Matthew Perry Secretly Donated First Big 'Friends' Cheque to His Parkinson's Foundation

"It was such a tremendous vote of confidence. He was just, 'take it and do your best.'"

Photos: Policy Exchange (Perry), Sundance Institute (Fox)

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Nov 15, 2023

In the wake of Matthew Perry's death at the end of October, the Friends star has been eulogized by several notable celebrities for his efforts not only on the screen, but in life as well — the latest of which is Michael J. Fox, who revealed that Perry used his first big payday to donate to Fox's Parkinson's research foundation.

Fox, who's been vocal about his struggle with Parkinson's since his diagnosis in 1991, was on Entertainment Tonight when he was asked about his relationship with Perry. He initially reflected on times the pair spent playing hockey with Perry's dad before recalling the donation. 

"I preface, this is indiscreet, but I hope he doesn't mind. But when they first had their big sale or whatever they did when they were all made millionaires for the rest of their lives, he wrote a big fat cheque to the foundation," Fox revealed. "We were really early on, and trying to find our feet, and it was such a tremendous vote of confidence. He was just, 'take it and do your best.'" 

The Michael J. Fox Foundation, launched by the actor in 2000, had raised over $1.5 billion USD as of 2022. Researchers have made huge steps in combatting the incurable disease since the foundation launched, most recently with a spinal implant that returned major motor functions to a man partially paralyzed due to the disease. 

Outside of his donation to the MJFF, Perry was also very active in supporting those with drug and alcohol addiction, including his former Friends co-star Hank Azaria. The Matthew Perry Foundation was launched at the beginning of November to posthumously continue those efforts. 

Watch Fox discuss Perry's donation, wit and hockey skills below. 
@entertainmenttonight Michael J. Fox reflects on his relationship with Matthew Perry and how he supported Parkinson's research. #michaeljfox #matthewperry #michaeljfoxfoundation ♬ original sound - Entertainment Tonight

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