John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier have been friends for decades, working together, spending downtime together and even referring to one another as brothers.
And along with show creator Jeff Franklin, they’ve been there to support one another. “It’s been beautiful because we’ve all had ups and downs,” Stamos told PEOPLE on the set of Fuller House, the subject of this week’s cover story. “We’ve had divorces and deaths and we’ve all been there for each other like a real family.”
In a heartbreaking coincidence, all four men lost their mothers within a year. “There was just an instant support system,” Coulier tells PEOPLE. “I consider those guys my family. We’re just always there for each other. We really made some extraordinary friendships that will last forever.”
As the premiere of Fuller House approaches, “I miss my parents being here,” says Stamos. “It would be fun if they were. My mom loved [the original show].”
So the friends are paying tribute to their lost loved ones — Arlen Coulier, Carole Franklin, Dolly Saget, and Loretta Stamos — at the end of the first episode.
“That’s the only sad part, [that] our moms aren’t around to see this,” says Franklin. “We’re putting an ‘in loving memory’ card at the end of the first show. Because this is something they would have loved.”