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Tiffani Thiessen recalls how Luke Perry made her feel she 'belonged' on '90210'

The actress shared a throwback photo and a message about the "sincere, sweet, warm, kind, professional and funny as all heck" man she considered a true friend.
Luke Perry and Tiffani Thiessen at Hallmark Channel's Annual Holiday Event Premiere Screening Of "Northpole"
Thiessen is the latest "Beverly Hills, 90210" star to pay tribute to Perry.Angela Weiss / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Tributes continue to pour in for beloved actor Luke Perry.

The 52-year-old star died Monday after having suffered a massive stroke just days earlier, and since then, his family, friends, former co-stars and fans have shared their memories of the man on social media.

And the latest person to do so is Perry's longtime pal and fellow "Beverly Hills, 90210" alum Tiffani Thiessen.

"My heart has been weighing heavy. The loss of a man who started as my co-star but quickly became my friend," the 45-year-old wrote alongside a beautiful black-and-white throwback pic. "He welcomed me on my very first day of #90210 with open arms. A day that was not an easy one for me."

The reason it wasn't easy was because she joined the series in its fifth season, well after the rest of the cast had become a close-knit group.

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"I was coming in to a show, a family really, that had been together for over 4 years," she recalled. "But this man took me under his wing and made me feel at home. Made me feel like I belonged in his TV family."

That story of Perry's warmth to a newcomer on the set comes as no surprise, as another star recently recalled a similar welcome from the "90210" heartthrob back in the day.

Dean Cain visited TODAY Tuesday and shared his own story of feeling intimidated when he met the full family-like cast after having only filmed episodes with Shannen Doherty before, during his brief stint on the '90s teen drama.

"(Luke) came marching right up to me and said, 'Hey, Dean. I'm Luke — nice to meet you. ... You're doing such great work on the show, thanks for being here,'" Cain quoted the man who went on to become a dear friend to him.

That greeting made such an impression, the former "Lois & Clark" star paid it forward by welcoming his own co-stars with just as much thoughtfulness from that day forward.

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As other tributes to Perry have proved, that's just the kind of person he was — off-screen, his fame and talent took a backseat to his kindness.

Or, as Thiessen put it in her Instagram post, "He was sincere, sweet, warm, kind, professional and funny as all heck. And most of all, the definition of a gentleman."

She addressed Perry directly in the final lines of her moving message, writing, "Luke, our world has a hole in it now that you aren’t here. But heaven definitely gained you as an angel."