‘Friends’ stars Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox are distant cousins in real life, ancestry experts say

Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox who played friends turned husband and wife in the hit series "Friends" are actually related in real life, according to researchers at the online ancestry website, MyHeritage. 

The two may have been lovers on camera, but they actually are distant cousins whose relatives were married in England nearly 500 years ago.

According to a family tree, Cox and Perry are 11th cousins. "The connection is made via Courteney Cox's mother (Courteney Copeland) and Matthew’s Perry's father (John Bennett Perry)," a MyHeritage spokesperson said in an email to FOX TV Stations. 

In addition to this surprising connection, the two are also distant relatives of pop icon and singer Lady Gaga. Perry is Gaga’s 14th cousin while Cox is Gaga’s 17th. 

Perry and Cox will be remembered for playing one of the most beloved television couples in a show that ran for a decade. Their characters, Chandler Bing and Monica Geller eventually got married in the seventh season in which their wedding was one of the most highly anticipated episodes of the series. 

The exciting coincidental relationship between the two actors comes as fans of "Friends" were treated to a reunion special hosted by James Corden which premiered on HBO Max on Thursday.

The streamed reunion was delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of the actors reportedly received $2.5 million to appear in the special, according to Variety. Viewers were told it was only the second time that Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Cox, Perry and David Schwimmer had been in a room together since filming the series finale.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.