Following the death of Luke Perry from a stroke on Monday at the age of 52, tributes and remembrances have been pouring in for the actor, who was best known for his work on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale.
Another tribute came in on Instagram late Monday night by Colin Hanks, the son of Tom Hanks and an actor who has appeared in Orange County, Mad Men, and the Fargo TV series.
“I only met him once but the story is too good not tell given todays sad events,” Hanks wrote.
In the post, which had more than 71,000 likes as of Tuesday morning, Hanks tells the story of the time he and his wife were on a plane traveling from Mexico, and two brothers on the flight spent the majority of it fighting with each other loudly, with their parents unable to do anything to stop them.
At one point, a man emerged from the first class section of the plane and approached the fighting brothers. Then, he blew up a balloon and handed it to one of the boys, successfully calming them both nearly instantly.
It wasn’t until the plane had landed, and they were both waiting in line at customs, that Hanks realized the “balloon man/hero” was in fact Luke Perry.
“Out of the blue he turns to me and says some kind words about Fargo, which kinda blew my mind,” Hanks wrote.
“I start singing his praises about how long I’ve admired him and also about the move with the balloon,” he said, adding that Perry told him that he always carries a couple of balloons on planes for that exact reason.
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 power… https://t.co/zgP4VD9lmT pic.twitter.com/g2WUV2O0x6
— Colin Hanks (@ColinHanks) March 5, 2019
“Guy seemed like a true gent. Gone way too damn soon,” Hanks concluded. “Also, I’ll be damned if I don’t start traveling with some spare balloons.” He followed this with several red balloon emojis.
Perry was the father of two children, with his former wife Rachel Sharp, so it’s likely he learned the balloon trick during his adventures with his own kids.
Perry passed away on Monday, a few days after suffering a massive stroke, at the age of 52. In what is likely his final movie role, Perry will appear later this year in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, director Quentin Tarantino’s film about the Manson Family murders. Perry will be playing Wayne Maunder, an actor, who himself passed away last November.