Jason Priestley Speaks Out for the First Time Following Luke Perry’s Death: I Am ‘in So Much Pain’
Luke Perry died Monday at age 52 after suffering a massive stroke days earlier
Priestley, 49, played Brandon Walsh on the ’90s teen soap, his character a close friend of Perry’s Dylan McKay.
On Thursday evening, Priestley wrote a loving dedication to Perry, whom he called “my teammate, my teacher, my sounding board, my compass, my brother.”
Along with a photo of the pair from their Beverly Hills, 90210 heydays, Priestley said, “Luke was much more than just a friend to me… Luke was truly one of a kind… he adored his family, was passionate about his work, and loved his wide collection of friends… every life he touched, he made better… he was caring, gentle, charming, warm, funny, and smart… he loved to tell stories, and he loved to laugh… he was a true gentleman… and he will be missed by all of us who were blessed to know and love him… Rest In Peace my brother.”
On Thursday morning, Priestley posted an Instagram tribute to Perry, featuring two snaps of the pals — one throwback photo taken during their 90210 days alongside a more recent picture.
“It’s taken me a couple of days to figure out how to write this,” Priestley began. “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,” Priestley continued. “The candle that burns twice as bright only burns for half as long… you burned oh, so brightly Luke… Goodnight Sweet Prince.”
Other 90210 cast members also honored Perry in the days after his death.
Ian Ziering was the first 90210 star to pay tribute, 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.”
Actress Jennie Garth released an exclusive statement to PEOPLE: “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.”
Tori Spelling told PEOPLE, “I’m in utter shock and heartbroken… I’m saddened for his kids whom he adored beyond words. He was so proud of Jack and Sophie.” (Perry is survived by son Jack, 21, and daughter Sophie, 18, with ex-wife Rachel “Minnie” Sharp.)
Shannen Doherty echoed Spelling, saying in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, “I am in shock. Heartbroken. Devastated by the loss of my friend. I have so many memories with Luke that make me smile and that are forever imprinted on my heart and mind… Luke loved his family. He raved about his kids and how proud he was of them. He showed me videos of the often. They were his heart and for him, his biggest accomplishment.”
RELATED: How to Stream Beverly Hills, 90210 Online — and Honor Luke Perry’s MemoryPerry’s death came days after he suffered a stroke on Feb. 27. A source told PEOPLE he never regained consciousness.
The actor remained “under observation” for five days but died on Monday, March 4.
“Actor Luke Perry, 52, passed away today after suffering a massive stroke,” read a statement from Perry’s rep.
“He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends,” continued the statement. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”
In lieu of flowers, the Perry family asks that donations be made to Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.