It still seems unbelievable that 90210 and Riverdale star Luke Perry is gone.
Partly, because he was so young: Perry was just 52 when he passed away after a massive stroke. But he was also a beloved icon of a certain time and a certain generation, and it’s always jarring when someone like that passes.
Fittingly, there has been an outpouring of tributes online from Perry’s current and former costars. The latest, posted to Instagram by 90210 actress Tiffani Thiessen, sheds yet more light on what a kind, genuine soul was lost last week.
View this post on Instagram
My heart has been weighing heavy. The loss of a man who started as my co-star but quickly became my friend. He welcomed me on my very first day of #90210 with open arms. A day that was not an easy one for me. I was coming in to a show, a family really, that had been together for over 4 years. But this man took me under his wing and made me feel at home. Made me feel like I belonged in his TV family. He was sincere, sweet, warm, kind, professional and funny as all heck. And most of all, the definition of a gentleman. Luke, our world has a hole in it now that you aren’t here. But heaven definitely gained you as an angel. #RIP #LukePerry #gonetoosoon
Thiessen joined the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 in 1994 to play Valerie Malone, the new love interest to Perry’s character Dylan McKay. Already four years into the run of a show with close-knit cast that Thiessen described as “a family,” Thiessen speaks of Perry immediately welcoming her into the fold:
“But this man took me under his wing and made me feel at home. Made me feel like I belonged in his TV family. He was sincere, sweet, warm, kind, professional and funny as all heck. And most of all, the definition of a gentleman.”
Thiessen goes on to say, “Luke, our world has a hole in it now that you aren’t here. But heaven definitely gained you as an angel.”
Thiessen’s is just the latest in a series of tributes to the fallen star, which includes his Riverdale costars KJ Apa and Cole Sprouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Kristy Swanson, and fellow 90210 alums Shannen Doherty and Jason Priestley.
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It’s taken me a couple of days to figure out how to write this… My dear friend of 29 years, Luke Perry, was one of those truly special people who really cared… Luke was not only a star, he was an incredibly bright light that was extinguished far too soon… and that is why I, and so many others, are in so much pain today… If you had the good fortune to know Luke, or to have ever crossed his path, I know you are sad today as well… the candle that burns twice as bright only burns for half as long… you burned oh, so brightly Luke… Goodnight Sweet Prince.
On the internet, people were deeply moved by Thiessen’s tribute:
Tiffani Thiessen's tribute to Luke Perry.
— jackie (@foxyjnm) March 7, 2019
I remember that day vividly Tiffani. I directed your first episode of 90210! Hard to believe he’s not with us any more.
— Michael Lange (@mlthed) March 8, 2019
Well said Tiffani. Thank you for sharing your memories of Luke with us. This is such a sad loss. I can't believe Luke is gone. Gone way too soon and way too young. This news brings tears to my eyes. I always loved Luke on 90210. He will always be Dylan McKay to me.
— Brittany Lampka (@BrittanyLampka) March 7, 2019
Having a tough time dealing with this one, I can only imagine what his family, costars and friends must be going through. So sorry you lost your friend 💔
— Senor Muhnkey (@SenorMuhnkey2) March 7, 2019
— Lady LForever (@Im1SpoiledLady) March 7, 2019
I’m so sorry for your loss. In a way, it’s everyone’s loss. The 90210 cast was a huge part of many of our lives as teens in the 90’s. You guys enriched a generation. We looked forward to each new episode (back in the days when you had to wait a whole week)! Thank you . RIP Luke.
— Alison Brennan (@coa_freespirit) March 7, 2019
Always a tragedy when good people die young. RIP Luke
— Scantic Antiques (@ScanticAntiques) March 7, 2019
Beautiful words. RIP Luke 😢😢He will forever be my childhood crush. pic.twitter.com/MYLkVPTWB1
— Lendaly 🌙 (@Lendaly) March 7, 2019
And fans have continued making plenty of tributes of their own:
#LukePerry you will be missed. You & the entire gang molded my teenage/young adult life. Last scene between he & Jason is so fitting. Sorry for your loss @Jason_Priestley @jenniegarth @IanZiering @RealBrianGreen @Tori_Spelling @DohertyShannen @TheGabrielle_C @TiffaniThiessen pic.twitter.com/a9poqnmg22
— Chaps55 (@mchaps55) March 4, 2019
Confession: I was a regular viewer of 90210. Not only because of my massive crush on Tiffany Amber Thiessen, but I was captivated by the saccharin-sweet melodrama of the whole thing. Nobody was more broadly angsty than Luke Perry’s Dylan-my favorite of the cast. #RIPLukePerry pic.twitter.com/kS8Gy7nqy0
— Gordon Olsen (@GordonDOlsen) March 4, 2019
The kids won’t get it. Them kids were the original Kardashians. Brian Austin Green. Jason Priestley. Tiffany Amber Thiessen. Jenny Garth. Tori Spelling. Peach Pit after Dark. Damn
— WaarWasJyPj (@RedDevilPJ) March 4, 2019
Perry may be gone, but he isn’t soon to be forgotten.