Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Dahvi Shira
June 28, 2010 11:00 AM

Peter Facinelli may have a playful Twitter persona, but that doesn’t mean the actor who plays Eclipse‘s Dr. Carlisle Cullen is all funny business.

Recently, Facinelli, 36, had a particularly moving encounter with a fan, who approached him after her daughter’s death.

“A woman whose daughter I met when I did an autograph signing came to a different autograph signing a year later and she showed me a picture of me and her daughter,” the actor told PEOPLE at the Eclipse premiere in L.A. “She said, ‘My daughter met you last year, and she passed away in a car accident. I just wanted you to know how much you impacted her life before she passed away. This picture meant the world to her.’ ”

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“It was devastating,” he says. “She started crying and I just held her.”

But as Facinelli points out, it’s not only young girls whose lives he’s impacted.

“A woman wrote a letter to me, saying that her mom was a huge fan of mine,” he says . “The letter said her mom was 79-years-old and she saw a movie of mine that I did with Burt Reynolds and [her mom] turned 16 again whenever she saw me on the screen.”

“Her mom passed away a year ago and had said she would have been tickled to meet me,” Facinelli says. “So her daughter came out to meet me instead. It’s such a sweet story.”

Those moments, he says, are one reason he loves his job.

“To be able to make movies and touch people and impact their lives is a powerful thing,” the actor says, “so I’m thankful to be able to do what I do, and be able to touch people in that way.”

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