Jason Priestley Opens Up About Friendship With Late ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Star Luke Perry

BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, from left: Luke Perry, Jason Priestley
Fox Network/Everett Collection

Around the anniversary of Luke Perry‘s sudden death, former co-star Jason Priestley is opening up about their friendship on and off the set of Beverly Hills, 90210.

Luke was as cool onscreen as he was kind off. The Ohio native, born Coy Luther Perry III, rocketed to mega fame in 1990 as Beverly Hills, 90210’s Byron-reading alcoholic bad boy Dylan McKay, helping to turn the fledgling FOX network into the epicenter of a pop-culture phenomenon. Trading cards, magazine covers, pillowcases — you name it and Luke’s face was probably on it. Fans freaked out over his effortless sex appeal and sideburns, and his on-camera chemistry with Shannen Doherty’s Brenda gave 90210 a Richard Burton–Elizabeth Taylor heat that still has a generation divided over whether Dylan belonged with Brenda or Kelly (Jennie Garth). He remained with the primetime soap through Season 6, then returned in 1998 for its last two years.

Jason’s and Luke’s characters, Brandon and Dylan, were best friends on the series and that relationship translated well off-screen. In a recent podcast, Jason reminisced about how Luke would often show up at his house, unannounced.

He shared, “He lived three blocks away from me in Los Angeles and he would just ride his bike over to my house and ring the doorbell. I’d be like, ‘Who’s here?’ and I’d open the door and it’d be Luke, like, ‘Hey dude, what’s up!'” He added, “We worked together a number of times outside of the show and we really enjoyed all the years we had together but unfortunately that got cut short. It’s bittersweet every March when we go by the anniversary of his passing.”

March 4th marked the anniversary of Luke Perry’s sudden passing

BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, Jason Priestley, Luke Perry, 1990-2000

Spelling Television/Everett Collection

Luke passed away in March 2019 while he was still filming the show Riverdale. He died from a stroke at the age of 52. Jason concluded, “It was a real freak thing that happened with him and it was a good reminder to spend time with people you love and never take any of it for granted.”

BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, 1990-2000

Paramount Television/Everett Collection

The remaining cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 recently reunited at ’90s Con to share stories from the set. The cast believes that Luke certainly would have been there, too. Jason was joined by Jennie Garth (she just turned 51 today – April 3!), Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, and Rebecca Gayheart.

RIVERDALE, Luke Perry in 'Chapter Ten: The Lost Weekend', (Season 1, Episode 110, aired April 13, 2017),

Cate Cameron/The CW/Everett Collection

In another podcast, Tori once shared the story of how Luke protected her from an abusive ex. She recalled, “I was in a verbally abusive relationship when I was 19. Yeah, Luke hated him and was very protective. At my parents’ Christmas Eve party one year, he was there and saw this ex-boyfriend, and they got into it. I was 19, so I was mad at him instead of realizing, in hindsight, that this guy loved me and was like, ‘I don’t care. I’m gonna go to bat for her.’ He was a great friend.”

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