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Wait, Matthew Perry's Actual Dad Was In Friends?

Grazia logo Grazia 19/01/2021 Guy Pewsey
John Bennett Perry et al. looking at the camera: Friends © Credits: Friends Friends

We thought we knew everything there was to know about Friends. We have watched every single episode what seems like a hundred times. We can sing along to every one of Phoebe's songs. We know the recipes for Monica's Moist Maker sandwich and Rachel's Beef trifle. We can name all of Joey's sisters - Gina, Tina, Dina, Mary-Angela, Mary-Therese, Veronica, and Cookie. So you can imagine our surprise when we discovered that we'd missed a trivia tidbit that arose in Season 4. Did you know that the real-life father of Matthew Perry - aka Chandler - guest-starred?

John Bennett Perry wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Friends

It was a good season. It's the one where Ross meets Emily, and Rachel falls for a man named Joshua through her work as a personal shopper. They start dating, and in the episode The One With Rachel's Dress he invites her over to his home for a romantic evening in. She disrobes, revealing an elegant slip. But, in classic Friends fashion, his parents walk in as she is draped on the sofa awaiting his return.

The dad looks familiar, and that's because he looks a lot like his son, Matthew Perry. His name is John Bennett Perry, an actor who you may have seen in George of the Jungle and Independence Day. He even played Matthew's father in rom-com Fools Rush In, and he had a spell in Days Of Our Lives, the soap opera regularly featured in Friends. It's all a bit meta, really. To our knowledge, it's the only case of a blood relative of one of the cast members appearing in the show.

So there you have it. A new piece of trivia to add to the encyclopaedia. You're welcome.

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Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon smiling for the camera: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

Reese was a Young Hollywood star when she was hired for a two episode role in Friends, having appeared in Legally Blonde and Cruel Intentions. She played Jill, Rachel's spoiled little sister whose eyes stray too Ross, leading to a huge argument with Rachel. Off-screen, Reese got on well with Jennifer Aniston. So much so that they starred in last year's The Morning Show.

Sarah, Duchess Of York

Sarah Ferguson wearing a hat: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

The show's trip to London saw cameos from Hugh Laurie, Jennifer Saunders, June Whitfield and Richard Branson. But the biggest coup was the appearance of Fergie herself. It was a major sign that the show had become a bonafide global sensation.

Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini holding a sign posing for the camera: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

A Hollywood veteran, the daughter of Ingrid Bergman was one of few stars to play themselves. You may remember that Ross bumped into her at Central Park, shortly after removing her from his official list of celebrities he was allowed to sleep with. Attempting to convince her that this was a mere draft, she was confused. 'It's laminated...' Sorry Ross, better luck next time.

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Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder holding a sign posing for the camera: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

One of the coolest actresses of the Nineties and beyond, Winona was used to playing brooding teens and spirited, strong women before she popped up in Season Seven's The One With Rachel's Big Kiss. She played Melissa, a former sorority sister of Rachel who, it emerged, harboured a lifetime of feelings for her that started with a jug of margaritas, two pairs of coconut bikinis and a cheeky snog.

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon smiling for the camera: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

We learned a lot about soap acting from the film icon's depiction of Jessica Lockhart. A member of the cast of Days Of Our Lives, she discovers that her character is to be killed off, with her brain given to Joey's Dr Drake Ramoray. A confrontation becomes a romance, before she leaves Joey behind to pursue her rightful place in Mexican cinema. Fun fact: Susan's real life daughter Eva Amurri was also in this episode, as Jessica's on-screen daughter. Meta!

Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate in a blue shirt: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

Speaking of sisters, Christina played Amy, Rachel's obliviously rude sister in two memorable episodes. Christina is known in the UK thanks to a long career in comedy shows like Married With Children and Samantha Who? But her profile in the US is enormous. The screams when she shows up in Friends way outweigh those offered for many other stars.

Danny DeVito

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

The star of Twins, Taxi, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Matilda and LA Confidential (now that's career versatility) appeared as a stripper at Phoebe's bridal shower in a side-splitting cameo. Upset when Phoebe seemed repulsed by his moves, he was sated when she gave his career an enthusiastic send-off.

Julia Roberts

a woman smiling for the camera: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

The Oscar-winning star of Erin Brokovich and Pretty Woman played Susie Ross in Season 2's The One After The Superbowl: Part Two. But you may know her better as Susie Underpants. She seduces Chandler as part of a cunning ruse for vengeance, leaving him in a toilet cubicle in nothing but her underwear. As she fled with her victim's clothes, she offered a parting shot: 'Why don't you call me in twenty years and tell me if you're still upset about this?' Airing in 1996, we wonder if Chandler's still sore.

George Clooney

George Clooney wearing a suit and tie: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

George was starring in ER when he - along with co-star Noah Wyle - filmed a cameo in 1995. They played doctors who flirt with Monica and Rachel, unaware that the roommates have switched identities due to a minor medical insurance issue. America, eh?

Brad Pitt

a man wearing a bow tie: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

Brad played Ross's old friend Will in Season 8's Thanksgiving Episode. It was a stand-out turn: Brad's comic timing was on point, and the storyline - which saw Rachel discover that Ross had been a member of the I Hate Rachel Club in high school - was a strong comic concept. It was all made funnier, of course, by the fact that Brad and Jennifer were married at the time. We don't think there's ever been a louder scream from the audience when the door of Monica's apartment opened to its surprise guest.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis wearing a suit and tie: Friends © Credits: Getty Friends

Who's the man? Paul, dad of Ross's student girlfriend Elizabeth, was the man. Embarking on a relationship with Rachel, Paul enjoyed mirror-based pep talks. But Rachel ended it when he got too in touch with his emotions for her liking.

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