Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering and More Stars Mourn Luke Perry's Death: 'My Heart Is Broken'
Actor Luke Perry , who rose to fame as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210 but found a whole new generation of fans on The CW’s Riverdale, died of a stroke Monday at age 52, prompting an emotional outpouring of tributes from costars and fans alike.
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.”
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.”
Gabrielle Carteris, who played Andrea Zuckerman on the show, tells PEOPLE exclusively, “I am absolutely heartbroken. Luke was a tremendous force in the lives of so many. He was a very sensitive soul who was kind, generous and he fought for the underdog. He was a strong voice and an advocate who will be so missed by all who knew him. He has left his mark – never to be forgotten. My heart goes out to his family, friends and fans around the globe.”
Molly Ringwald, who appeared as Perry’s ex-wife on Riverdale, tweeted that she was devastated by the actor’s death.
“My heart is broken. I will miss you so much Luke Perry,” she wrote. “Sending all my love to your family.❤️ #LukePerry”
Robin Givens, another Riverdale costar, told PEOPLE: “I am crushed and so sad to hear about his passing. He was the kindest and gentlest soul the world will ever know. I will remember fondly all our late night conversations and dinners. He cared so much about so many people and was beloved by all who knew him. He was a true friend. Such a big loss.”
Christine Elise McCarthy, who played Emily Valentine on Beverly Hills, 90210, remembered her late costar with a sweet photo from their days on set.
“With the heaviest of hearts, I am devastated to@tell you we lost Luke. I am still in shock and I have no words beyond saying he was a truly kind gentleman,” she wrote. “He will be mourned and missed by everyone who know him and the millions who love him. RIP, dearie Luke. Your time here was far too short. 💔💔💔”
Actress Mädchen Amick, who stars as Alice Cooper on Riverdale, said in a statement, “I’m absolutely heartbroken of the news that we lost someone so incredibly special. Luke had become a dear friend. We laughed. We cried. We shared our showbiz war stories. We shared how proud we are as parents. I knew that he was always there for me no matter what. I’m so thankful for the time that we had together. He was an incredibly loving and generous man. My thoughts and prayers are with his family right now. I will love you forever Luke.”
Fellow Riverdale star Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper) also expressed her grief and disbelief over Perry’s death.
“I’m finding it hard to grasp that he will no longer be around to give long hugs and share his wisdom and kindness with all of us. I’m thinking of his family. His children. I pray for them to heal and find peace in this devastating loss,” she tweeted. “I just can’t believe it.”
Actor Jon Cryer, meanwhile, said he was “stunned” by the loss.
“Such a lovely guy. With a wonderful sense of humor about fame and the pitfalls of Showbiz,” Cryer wrote. “This is just awful.”
He continued, “Luke Perry was a character actor in the body of a heartthrob. Much respect.”
Leonardo DiCaprio, who worked with Perry on the upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, released a statement on Twitter.
“Luke Perry was a kindhearted and incredibly talented artist. It was an honor to be able to work with him,” said DiCaprio. “My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones.”
Actress Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) shared a touching tribute on Instagram, where she posted a throwback photo of the pair.
“You had such a beautiful kind heart to me always. Your gentle voice and charm that lit up the world around you. I will always remember holding on to you in that tiny little plane & you comforting me as we were not sure if we would make it,” she wrote. “You were always sweet to me & made me feel adored in your presence. Sending love to your family and to you always. Xxxx.”
Joss Whedon shared a charming anecdote about the first time he met Perry ahead of 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
“The first time I met Luke Perry we talked about what kind of movie we wanted ‘Buffy’ to be. I asked if he’d ever seen ‘Near Dark’ and he gave me a look of HOW DARE YOU SIR and I knew we’d get along. Funny, committed, and always gracious,” he wrote on Twitter. “He shouldn’t be gone.”
Seth Green appeared in the film alongside Perry, and paid tribute on social media.
“Crushed. Luke Perry was truly a great guy,” he wrote. “Warm, kind, generous and hard working. We met very young, I witnessed the grace with which he became a pop icon & parent. He’s been an awesome example of how to stay decent in a swirl of crazy. Love to his family.”
Carson Daly also appeared stunned by the news, writing on Twitter, “IN SHOCK. DEAR GOD…”
Writers for Riverdale, on which Perry had starred since 2017, remembered the actor as a “joyful and vibrant soul.”
“You will be missed but most certainly your legacy will be remembered forever,” they wrote on Twitter. “Rest in love and peace, friend.”
Perry suffered a massive stroke Feb. 27, and a rep confirmed to PEOPLE that he was “under observation.”
His publicist said in a statement the actor was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett and other family and friends when he died.