This Was Why Luke Perry Always Flew With a Few Balloons

Tributes and stories are flooding in about Luke Perry, painting a picture of someone how was extremely kind and very human.

Some social media tributes came from close friends, who expressed deep shock and pain. “Yesterday morning I got a phone call that devastated me,” co-star and friend Shannen Doherty wrote on Instagram. “I’m struggling with this loss and am having a hard time with my thoughts. But, my heart goes out to his family and friends who were blessed by his light in their (and mine) lives. Processing this is impossible right now.”

Luke Perry with son Jack and daughter Sophie | Getty Images

Other costars and friends echoed Doherty’s sentiment of shock, sadness and an enormous feeling of loss. However, actor Colin Hanks may have summed up Perry the best in a story he shared on Instagram. While he only met Perry once, the story he wrote about the iconic actor seemed to truly reflect the life Perry quietly lived.

It started with the plane ride from hell

Hanks began his post describing a common scene on an airplane. “My wife and I are on a plane back from Mexico,” he recalled. “Couple of rows ahead of us, these two brothers, young kids, are beating the hell out of each other.”

Pretty much every parent can say they’ve been there before. Or, as a passenger, were “lucky” to sit next to a family with unruly children. “Their poor parents are powerless to stop the crying, yelling and screaming,” Hanks continued. “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.”

But the plane’s ‘hero’ arrives out of nowhere

At that point you just want someone–anyone–to make it stop. There’s a good chance passengers are also tired, cramped, and uncomfortable too. “Out of no where, a man comes from first class,” Hanks recounted. “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.”

What happened next sounds like it was close to magic. “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.” 

Luke Perry in Beverly Hills 90210
Luke Perry |Source: Fox

Hanks recalled wanting to see who this gifted stranger was. “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 sh*t. I think that balloon man/hero is Luke Perry.'”

This is what Perry told Hanks

Hanks was hoping to get a chance to talk to Perry. When he does, Perry pays Hanks a compliment. “As luck would have it we end up standing next to each other,” he wrote. “Out of the blue he turns to me and says some kind words about Fargo, which kinda blew my mind.”

Of course, Hanks is completely stunned. “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.”

Colin Hanks wearing a jean jacket
Colin Hanks /Getty Images

“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.”

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