Since news of his tragic death on Monday at the age of 52, there’s been an outpouring of tributes for ’90s teen heartthrob and Riverdale star Luke Perry. As Esquire‘s Dave Holmes writes about Perry’s portrayal of Dylan McKay on 90210 “he exuded brooding bad boy with a good heart.”
It’s this description of Perry as a kind soul that has permeated every remembrance out there. And late on Monday, Colin Hanks took to Instagram to share an incredible story that perfectly illustrates the kind of man Perry was. As Hanks wrote:
I only met him once but the story is too good not tell given todays sad events. 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 eachother. Their poor parents are powerless to stop the crying, yelling and screaming. If you’re a parent you understand. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. It was like this for close to two hours. Then about 10 minutes before landing it starts to get real bad. Out of no where, 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. 15 minutes longer and it probably would have started WWIII, but we landed before that could happen. We get off the plane, are waiting on line in customs. Finally get a good look at the guy and I say to my wife “Holy shit. 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 kinda blew my mind. I start singing his praises about how long I’ve admired him and also about the move with the balloon. “That’s a pro move! You can’t teach that!” I say. He tells me he always flies with a couple of balloons for that very 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’ll be damned if I don’t start traveling with some spare balloons
It’s a beautiful little moment, and a way all of us should strive to be remembered.