Though Green initially hoped he could help his friend and 'Beverly Hills, 90210' costar recover following a 2019 stroke, Perry ultimately died at age 52 less than a week later
The actor gets candid with his fiancé Sharna Burgess and chef Curtis Stone on this weekend's episode of Getting Grilled with Curtis Stone, sharing his memories from the "tough" days following his Beverly Hills, 90210 castmate’s fatal 2019 stroke.
“You know when you have that core of people that are around you that eventually you’re gonna get older and you’re gonna start losing people. That’s just a part of life,” Green, 50, acknowledges in PEOPLE's exclusive preview clip.
“But nobody ever expected that we would lose someone so early. And I… honestly never expected that it would be Luke,” he says.
When Perry suffered a stroke in late February 2019, Green says, “I had just come out of neurological stuff myself, so there was a part of me that was like, ‘I’m kinda prepared. I can help him through this. I can go to the hospital and he’ll be OK. Even if it takes a couple years. He’ll be all right.'"
When Perry died at age 52 just days later, Green admits he “didn’t completely believe it.”
“There was a part of me that couldn’t really process that that was real," he recalls. "I texted him the day after he passed. Just because there was a part of me that was like, ‘No, he’s gonna answer back. He’s hiding somewhere. Or something’s happened.’ I didn’t completely believe that, but there was a big part of me that was hoping that that was the case.”
Perry was “the strongest of everyone” in Green’s eyes. “He ate really well, he was really healthy, he was fit,” so the suddenness of his death hit even harder.
“Losing people’s hard, man,” he says. “It’s really hard when it’s the ones that you had just no thought of losing before, they’re completely out of the blue and you’re just — you’re floored by it.”
He adds, “I never in a million years thought that that would happen.”
As the fifth anniversary of Perry’s death approaches, Green admits that “Luke is still a big part of my life.”
“Who Luke was and the relationship that I had with him and the connection that I had with him is something that I still — almost on a daily basis — when things happen in my life, I’ll stop for a second and I’ll think about him and what I learned from him and what I think his opinion would be of what it is I do,” he shares. “I’m sure it sounds silly but ... that still holds a lot of weight for me.”
One blessing that came after his friend’s death, though, was a new awareness of the depth of the life he’d lived.
“I heard amazing stories about him after he passed that I didn’t know, because he ... did a lot of things and didn’t ever talk about them,” Green adds.
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Getting Grilled with Curtis Stone airs Sundays on HSN+.
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