"It was incredible to watch his rocket ship to stardom," says David Arquette of his friend Luke Perry, who died in 2019

By Aili Nahas
August 13, 2020 09:30 AM
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When David Arquette nearly lost his life following an accidental stabbing during a wrestling match in 2018, his close friend Luke Perry was by his side.

"When I got out of the ring, I was totally lost," Arquette, 48, whose ordeal is featured in his new documentary, You Cannot Kill David Arquette (online and On Demand Aug. 28), tells PEOPLE. "Luke was there. I heard him, but I didn't see him. He came with me to the hospital. He was just an amazing, good guy."

Arquette survived the injury with stitches and surgery, but shockingly, Perry died at age 52 of a stroke just months later.

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David Arquette and Luke Perry
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"I've experienced [death] in so many ways now," says the father of three, who lost his sibling Alexis in 2016. "But I realized that the people who die are inside of you. It's not just the memories. And there is comfort in that."

Arquette met Perry through Alexis, who worked with Perry on a film in 1990. (Arquette's other siblings Rosanna, Richmond and Patricia are also actors.)

"Luke was really close with Alexis," Arquette says. "Luke told Alexis that he was thinking of coming out to Hollywood and Alexis said, 'Don't think about it, just come!' So Luke came, and he rented a room from my mom. He was such a great kid from the country and he would help my mom around the house."

Continues Arquette: "He was such a sweet guy and he got along with everyone. He became part of my family."

David Arquette
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Ironically, Arquette and Perry had a decidedly Hollywood situation soon thereafter. "I had gotten my first big break on a show called The Outsiders," says Arquette. "Then, six episodes into the series, they canceled it and it was replaced with 90210! I was bummed, but Luke was so gracious. And it was incredible to watch his rocket ship to stardom."

Now, Arquette keeps in touch with Perry's kids: Sophie, 20, and 23-year-old Jack, a professional wrestler. "We hadn't seen each other in a while, but wrestling brought us back together in a way," says Arquette of Perry. "I just love him so much."