Priestley breaks silence on Perry’s death
JASON Priestley has broken his silence over the death of his Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Luke Perry, who died on Monday at the age of 52.
Priestley played Brandon Walsh, who becomes a close friend of Perry's Dylan McKay, on the iconic 1990s teen drama.
While Perry's other co-stars rushed to put out tributes to the late actor, Priestley stayed silent. But on Thursday in the US, the actor-director posted an Instagram tribute to the late star, featuring two photos of the friends - one throwback photo taken during their 90210 days alongside a more recent picture.
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It’s taken me a couple of days to figure out how to write this... 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... the candle that burns twice as bright only burns for half as long... you burned oh, so brightly Luke... Goodnight Sweet Prince.
"It's taken me a couple of days to figure out how to write this," Priestley wrote. "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.
Priestley almost died himself back in 2002 when he his race car slammed into a wall and landed him in hospital for three months.
"I broke my back, broke both my feet, ripped my nose off my face, had to have this part of my skull rebuilt," he says, patting his temple. "That whole experience changed me in that it just made me appreciate every day a little bit more.
"I was 33 when I had that accident, and that was the first time I came to grips with my mortality. Before that, it never crossed my mind," he shakes his head. "I'd had plenty of people close to me die, but I just never thought it was going to happen to me."
He quit racing a-year-and-half later.
"I just had to get back in the car a couple of times," he says. "It was time (to quit). There's an old saying in racing: 'It's time to walk away when you still CAN walk away.'"
Perry's other 90210 co-stars, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Gabrielle Carteris and Ian Ziering have all publicly spoken about their heartbreak with Doherty saying onWednesday, "Processing this is impossible right now."
It comes as Perry's heartbroken son Jack also paid tribute to his late dad, reports The Sun.
The 21-year-old professional wrestler has been left devastated by his dad's shock passing, with the Beverly Hills, 90210 star dying after suffering a stroke last week.
Sharing a throwback photo of himself with his father, as well as a more recent photo of himself wrestling, Jack wrote: "He was a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, he was always Dad."
The wrestler said the actor "loved and supported me in everything".
"I'll do whatever I can to carry on your legacy and make you proud.
"I love you Dad."
The post came after it was revealed that Jack, who goes by the wrestler name Jungle Boy, will not be taking part in a Los Angeles wrestling event that he was scheduled to take part in on March 13.
A tweet sent from the event's promo page said at the time: "Unfortunately Jungle Boy will no longer be wrestling at our March 13th show.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this time."
It was previously revealed that Perry's family had to make the "devastating" decision to take the Riverdale actor off life support after initially thinking that he would pull through following his stroke.
A source reportedly told US Weekly at the time: "Luke's loved ones were hoping they'd pull him out of it after 48 hours or so but he never recovered."
Jack, as well as Perry's 18-year-old daughter, Sophie, and ex-wife, Minnie Sharp, were forced to make the decision, with the insider adding: "It was devastating."
Sophie had made a frantic journey back from Malawi to be by her father's side during his final moments.
Perry left his entire estate to Jack and Sophie, with the star drafting up a will after suffering a "cancer scare" in 2015.
Sophie previously said of her loss: "A lot has happened in this past week for me.
"Everything is happening so fast. I made it back from Malawi just in time to be here with my family, And in the past 24 hours I have received an overwhelming amount of love and support."
She continued: "I cannot individually respond to the hundreds of beautiful and heartfelt messages, but I see them, and appreciate you all for sending positivity to my family and I.
"I'm not really sure what to say or do in this situation, it's something you aren't ever given a lesson on how to handle, especially when it's all happening in the public eye.
"So bear with me and know that I am grateful for all the love. Just, being grateful quietly."