Matthew Perry's pickleball coach: 'selfless' actor 'doing really well'

Matthew Perry’s pickleball coach says the ‘selfless’ actor was ‘doing really well’ and was using the sport to stay sober

  • Matt Manasse, 35, teaches pickleball at the Riviera Country Club, a private members club in Pacific Palisades close to Matthew Perry’s home
  • Perry, 54, played at the club on Saturday morning for two hours: he returned home after the game, and at 4:10pm his assistant found him dead in the jacuzzi
  • Manasse said that Perry was fun, competitive, and ‘just a general good guy’ who was always wanting to help people

Matthew Perry’s pickleball coach has paid tribute to the late actor, who died hours after playing the sport at his local Los Angeles club.

Perry, 54, spent Saturday morning at the Riviera Country Club, a private members club in Pacific Palisades near his home.

He returned home, and got into the hot tub. At 4:10pm, his assistant called 911 to say she had found him unresponsive in the water.

Perry’s coach Matt Manasse, 35, said he played pickleball five times a week, and found the sport helped keep him sober.

‘He thought it was something that could help with his recovery and he was doing an awesome job,’ said Manasse, speaking to People.

‘He loved it. He came out five times a week, would always talk about it. [He] got so much better, always made everyone laugh. He was competitive, just a genuine, good guy — caring for everybody.’

Matt Manasse, a pickleball coach, and his pupil Matthew Perry are pictured together in April. They met two years ago, and Manasse said Perry was selfless, fun and kind

Perry is pictured watching the US Open tennis on September 10 last year

Perry was a regular at the Riviera County Club, pictured

The club was not far from Perry’s Pacific Palisades home

Manasse, who has taught Emma Watson, Matthew McConaughey and Wyclef Jean, said Perry was ‘doing really well.’

He wasn’t at the club on Saturday morning, and last spoke to the actor a week ago.

The coach considered Perry a friend, and the Friends actor invited him to his home to watch the Super Bowl. Perry was supportive of Manasse’s efforts to spread the sport’s popularity.

Perry told him, Manasse said, ‘Whatever you need. Anything you need, I’m there for you.’

‘When I first started playing pickleball [with him] it was just Matthew and [me]. And then we’d bring in other people,’ said Manasse.

‘Pickleball was his outlet. He really looked forward to it. He was a competitive guy, not in a bad way at all. He loved it. He wanted to come out. He wanted to win. He loved it. When he hit an unbelievable shot, he would tell you about it for days.’

Manasse is pictured with Emma Watson in November 2022

Manasse with tennis great John McEnroe on October 14

The pickleball coach is seen (left) with Matthew McConaughey and pickleball player Roscoe Bellamy (right)

Manasse said the game was therapeutic for Perry and he used it as an outlet to maintain his sobreity.

‘He had so much that he was doing with his rehab facility and trying to get people clean,’ said Manasse.

‘He would bring them to teach them pickleball. He was just always trying to help people.’

‘That was just the kind of guy he was.

‘We went to dinner together. I was over at his place for the Super Bowl. He cared about other people. He was a really good person.’

Manasse said Perry was ‘selfless’, and always looking out for others.

‘He cared about everyone — your day was better when you saw him or when he called,’ he said.

‘He never missed an opportunity for a funny joke to make you laugh. Just a genuinely amazing person. Everyone should know he had a heart of gold.’

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