"Luke was just such a tremendous friend and just an incredible person — everyone loved him," David Arquette tells PEOPLE

By Abby Stern and Aurelie Corinthios
March 08, 2019 09:38 AM

Luke Perry knew how to pay it forward.

Speaking to PEOPLE in Los Angeles on Thursday, David Arquette revealed that the late actor played a hand in helping him score his role in the 1992 cult classic movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“He actually helped me get that role in Buffy,” said David, 47, at Visionary Women‘s Second Annual International Women’s Day Award honoring his sisters Patricia and Rosanna Arquette. “He campaigned for me and put in a good word. I had to audition and still get it, but it really helped that he was in my corner.”

David Arquette and Luke Perry
| Credit: Bei/REX/Shutterstock

Perry died Monday, five days after suffering a massive stroke. He was 52. In addition to starring in Buffy with David, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star was extremely close with David’s late sister, transgender activist and actress Alexis Arquette.

“Luke was just such a tremendous friend and just an incredible person,” David said. “Everyone loved him. He had such incredible wit and humor. I have so many memories of him. I mean, when he got cast for 90210, he was renting a room in my mother’s house where we grew up, so it was a really exciting time for him.”

“And lastly, I’d like to say just that everyone’s really going to miss him,” he added. “He’s just such a sweet, unique person. But he never let Hollywood get to him. He was always the kid from Ohio that just really made it big in Hollywood but never took it too seriously.”

Luke Perry and Alexis Arquette
| Credit: Alex Berliner/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

Patricia, 50, also shared her memories of Perry with PEOPLE at Thursday’s event.

“He was such an incredible person,” she said. “In 30 years, I never heard Luke say one bad word about one person. He was just a kind, gentle human being.”

Perry’s rep announced the actor’s death on Monday, confirming he was “surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancée 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.”

In lieu of flowers, the Perry family asks that donations be made to Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.