Colin Hanks shares brilliant Luke Perry tale as stars pay tribute

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·4-min read
Luke Perry (Credit: Dennis Van Tine/Abaca Press/TNS/Sipa USA)
Luke Perry (Credit: Dennis Van Tine/Abaca Press/TNS/Sipa USA)

Those who knew Luke Perry – or just admired him from afar – have been paying tributes to the Riverdale actor, who died yesterday after having suffered a stroke.

The tributes paint a picture of a much-loved member of the Hollywood acting community, making his death at the age of just 52 all the more tragic.

Colin Hanks, Fargo actor and son of Tom Hanks, detailed a particularly impressive encounter with the Beverly Hills 90210 star.

“I only met him once, but the story is too good not [to] tell given today’s sad events,” Hanks said.

Read more: Luke Perry dies at 52

“My wife and I are on a plane back from Mexico. Couple of rows ahead of us, these two brothers, young kids, are beating the hell out of each other. Their poor parents are powerless to stop the crying, yelling and screaming.

Colin Hanks (Credit: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)
Colin Hanks (Credit: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)

“If you’re a parent you understand. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. It was like this for close to two hours.

“10 minutes before landing it starts to get real bad. Out of nowhere, a man comes from first class. Hat, beard, sunglasses, blowing up a balloon. He ties it off, hands it off like he’s holding out a sword to a king.

“Kneeling, head down, arms up. Kids calm down in milliseconds. Plane damn near bursts into applause. 14 minutes longer and it probably would have started WWIII, but we landed before that could happen.

“We got off the plane, are waiting on [sic] line in customs. Finally get a good look at the guy and I say to my wife ‘Holy s—. I think that balloon man/hero is Luke Perry.

“As luck would have it we end up standing next to each other. Out of the blue he turns to me and says some kind words about Fargo, which kind blew my mind.

“I started singing his praises about how long I’ve admired him and also about the move with the ballon. ‘That’s a pro move! You can’t teach that!’ I say.

Read more: Ryan Reynolds pays tribute to John Candy

“He tells me he always flies with a couple of balloons for that reason, to give to screaming kids. Don’t know if that’s true, but have no reason to believe it wasn’t. Guy seemed like a true gent. Gone way too damn soon. Also, I gotta start traveling with some spare balloons.”

Perry himself was a father to 21-year-old Jack and 18-year-old Sophie.

Many others joined in with their praise for Perry, and their sadness at having lost him.

Leonardo DiCaprio, who recently worked with Perry on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In America, called him ‘an incredibly talented artist’.