"There was a love there that would never ever go away. It still won’t," a source said of the close bond between the show's cast in the wake of costar Luke Perry's death

By Sophie Dodd
March 04, 2019 06:04 PM
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Luke Perry, who rose to fame playing bad boy Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, died of a stroke Monday at age 52, PEOPLE confirms.

The original cast, many of whom have remained close in the nearly 20 years since the show’s final episode in 2000, shared their grief and paid tribute to Perry’s legacy on social media after news of his death.

Ian Ziering, who played Steve Sanders, was the first 90210 star to speak out, tweeting, “Dearest Luke, I will forever bask in the loving memories we’ve shared over the last thirty years. May your journey forward be enriched by the magnificent souls who have passed before you, just like you have done here, for those you leave behind.”

Jennie Garth, who played love interest Kelly Taylor, tells PEOPLE exclusively, “My heart is broken. He meant so much to so many. Such a very special person. I share my deep sadness with his family and all who loved him. Such a terrible loss.” Since then, the outpouring of love from castmates hasn’t ceased.

A source close to Perry told PEOPLE that the cast has an uncommonly strong bond from sharing the meteoric rise to superstardom in their youth.

“The thing about him is that he went through a level of fame that few people can imagine,” a source close to the late actor told PEOPLE. “Being mobbed at shopping malls, having fans camped outside his house, every relationship he was in just dissected by tabloids — only [the cast] understood what it was like to go through that, and it bonded them for life.”

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The source explained that their shared experience ensured enduring friendships between the actors”Years could go by, and if they saw each other or talked to each other, it was like no time had passed. There was a love there that would never ever go away. It still won’t.”

Just last week, Fox announced that original stars Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering and more would be starring in a six-episode revival of the iconic 1990s hit to play “heightened versions of themselves in a brand-new serialized drama – with a healthy dose of irreverence – that is inspired by their real lives and relationships.” (Perry and Doherty had not signed on to the show.)

According to the network, the show will follow the stars as they reunite onscreen for the first time in two decades in an attempt to get a 90210 reboot going.

“We’re all really excited to get back to work with each other every day,” said Spelling, 45. “We’ve come full circle and it feels really great. This is the ultimate high school reunion and we’re going to be back together every day and I’m so excited.”

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Previously, nearly the entire cast reunited in November 2016 at REWind Con in Chicago for a panel moderated by HollywoodLife.com. At the time, the cast agreed that while they’d met up in small groups or individually, they hadn’t all been in the same room in over 20 years.

“In a way, as cool as this is for you guys, it is for us too. Because it’s like family, friends and seeing them all again. Obviously we’ve all been friends over the years but seeing them all in the same room? This is a first for us,” Spelling revealed during the panel.

Notably missing was Shannen Doherty (who played Brenda Walsh), who left the show in 1994 amid rumors of conflict. Perry publicly stood by her, especially during her battle with breast cancer, with which she was diagnosed in February 2015.

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“None of us are up here today without Shannen,” Perry said during the reunion. “She’s been through a lot. She’s not doing well right now but sometimes her contributions are minimized.”

“She’s been thrown under the bus,” he continued. “I’ve been accused of driving it. But she’s a very big part of the success of this show. She taught me a lot. I’m glad she was my scene partner. She was great at what she did in the character with me.”

Beyond their reunions, Spelling and Jennie Garth, who played Donna Martin and Kelly Taylor on the show, have become even closer since the end of the show, and Spelling revealed in 2014 that their kids were also becoming friends. The longtime BFFs often share sweet tributes to mark birthdays and other celebrations. For Garth’s 46th birthday in April 2018, Spelling shared a montage of hilarious throwbacks of the duo to Instagram.

Spelling added a slew of hashtags to the post, including #sisters4life, #oldladiesinrockers, #kellyanddonna and #our2ndchapterwillbeourfinest.

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Ziering has also remained close with his former costars, including Garth and Doherty, who jetted off to Las Vegas together in July 2013 to catch him as a Chippendales dancer.

“Chippendales is a very interactive show and we managed to surprise them both by including them on stage in a few production numbers,” Ziering told PEOPLE at the time. “I was very flattered by their comments. And judging by their reaction, I know they had a great time.”

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“We’ve always been very supportive of each others’ endeavors, and when they heard what I was up to, they wanted to come support,” added Ziering.

In January 2018, Spelling shared a selfie of the two on Instagram with her then-9-month-old baby boy, Beau. The photo of Spelling and “Uncle Ian” thrilled fans and sparked conversations about what a plot twist it would have been if Donna and Steve had ended up together on the show.