The ’90s heartthrob, now 50, told the crowd that the assembled cast — including Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Jason Priestley, Gabrielle Carteris, Christine Elise and Vincent Young — was noticeably missing one important person.
“None of us are up here today without Shannen,” he said after saying his favorite couple on the show was Dylan and Brenda (played by him and Doherty). “She’s been through a lot. She’s not doing well right now but sometimes her contributions are minimized. She’s been thrown under the bus. I’ve been accused of driving it. But she’s a very big part of the success of this show. She taught me a lot. I’m glad she was my scene partner. She was great at what she did in the character with me.”
Doherty, 45, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2015, but didn’t make her diagnosis public until August 2015. Since then, she has documented her battle with the illness via social media.
“I think what’s beautiful and hard and interesting about cancer is that it tears you down and builds you, and tears you down and builds you,” the actress told Chelsea Handler during an interview late last month. “It remakes you so many different times. The person I thought I was supposed to be or was going to be or who I thought I was six months ago is now somebody completely different.”
The Charmed alum’s celebrity pals have reached out in support of the actress since she first revealed her diagnosis. Among them is Sarah Michelle Gellar, who presented Doherty with an award on November 5.
“I’m feeling ridiculously lucky and very blessed,” Doherty told the Press Association that night. “Cancer has changed my life for the better. It’s made me a better human being. It stripped away all of the walls and the barriers.”
Perry wasn’t the only 90210 cast member to show support for Doherty on Saturday. Garth posted a pic on Instagram that said “Fight Like a Brenda.” “To my soul sister @theshando strongest lady i’ve ever known. then and now,” she captioned the pic. “I used to be threatened by your spirit, now i’m in awe of it. you’ve taught me a lot about speaking my mind and not being afraid of my power. i’m so grateful that young me got to be friends with you. but especially ‘old’ me! the best is yet to come on this crazy journey!! love you! #fightlikeagirl #fightlikebrenda #aries.”