Luke Perry, star of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and ‘Riverdale,’ dead at 52
Luke Perry, who played the beloved Dylan McKay on the hit coming-of-age series “Beverly Hills 90210,” has died.
Perry, 52, died Monday after suffering a massive stroke, his publicist Arnold Robinson told CNN.
“He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends. The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time,” a statement from Robinson read.
Born Coy Luther Perry III in Mansfield, Ohio, and raised in the small community of Fredericktown, Perry moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting soon after graduating from high school.
There he worked a series of odd jobs as he tried to break into the business.
The Big Apple beckoned in 1988 after he scored an appearance as Ned Bates on the soap opera “Loving,” which required him to move to New York City.
In 2013 during an appearance on the radio show “Sway in the Morning,” Perry said it took him 256 auditions before he scored his first gig.
“I just kept thinking, ‘You know, I just walked out of a room full of fools,'” Perry said of how he maintained the confidence to keep going. “Those people have no idea.”
The same year as his “Loving” appearance, Perry landed a role on another soap, this time portraying Kenny on “Another World.”
But it was his role as seemingly bad boy Dylan McKay on Fox’s “Beverly Hills 90210” in 1990 which shot Perry into the atmosphere.
The series was both wildly popular and also criticized because of its willingness to take on topics such as teens being sexually active.
“We have done some shows that dealt with pretty some touchy topics and people weren’t altogether happy with how we dealt with it,” Perry said during an appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show” in the 1990s. “I thought we handled it pretty intelligently and we were willing to answer the questions we brought up.”
Perry’s character was so popular among fans that in 1991 an expected crowd of 2,000 at a Florida mall turned into a stampede of 10,000 when he appeared at an autograph signing.
Several people were hospitalized and the mall was forced to shut its doors after the chaos.
The actor famously left the show in Season 6, seeking to break away from the Dylan character, but returned in Season 9.
Perry also appeared on the big screen with roles in films including “Good Intentions,” “Red Wing” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which later became a hit television series.
He made his Broadway debut in 2002 as Brad in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
But it was the small screen that showed the actor the most love, with roles on “The Incredible Hulk,” “Jeremiah,” “Oz,” “Windfall” and “John from Cincinnati.”
More recently, Perry took on the role as Archie Andrews’ father Fred in the hit CW drama “Riverdale,” based on the characters from the Archie comics.
Perry married “Teen Wolf Too” actress Rachel “Minnie” Sharp in 1993 and the couple welcomed son Jack and daughter Sophie.
They divorced a decade later.
Perry died Monday after suffering what his publicist said was “a massive stroke.”
From his “Beverly Hills 90210” co-stars to those who worked with him on CW’s “Riverdale,” Perry is being remembered as a guy as seemingly cool as the character who made him famous.
“Dearest Luke, I will forever bask in the loving memories we’ve shared over the last thirty years. May your journey forward be enriched by the magnificent souls who have passed before you, just like you have done here, for those you leave behind.”
“I am absolutely heartbroken. Luke was a tremendous force in the lives of so many. He was a very sensitive soul who was kind, generous and he fought for the underdog. He was a strong voice and an advocate who will be so missed by all who knew him. He has left his mark — never to be forgotten. My heart goes out to his family, friends and fans around the globe.” – statement to CNN
“My heart is broken. I will miss you so much Luke Perry. Sending all my love to your family. ❤️ #LukePerry”
“The first time I met Luke Perry we talked about what kind of movie we wanted “Buffy” to be. I asked if he’d ever seen “Near Dark” and he gave me a look of HOW DARE YOU SIR and I knew we’d get along. Funny, committed, and always gracious. He shouldn’t be gone.”
“Woke up this morning a ball of tears. Luke Perry was the kindest, warmest, most loving human being. He always went out of his way to make me feel safe, heard and seen in his presence. I love you so much Luke. Thank you for being a ray of light for me and so many”
Sarah Michelle Gellar
“My entire high school experience was shaped by Brenda and Dylan. Now I have to hold my dear friend @theshando hand, while she mourns the loss of #lukeperry This is not how it’s supposed to happen. I hope his family knows many lives he touched. ‘I chose. I chose you. I want you. I’ve always wanted you’ – my favorite quote”
“Luke Perry was humble and kind every time we crossed paths. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing.”
Christine Elise McCarthy
“With the heaviest of hearts, I am devastated to@tell you we lost Luke. I am still in shock and I have no words beyond saying he was a truly kind gentleman. He will be mourned and missed by everyone who know him and the millions who love him.
RIP, dearie Luke. Your time here was far too short.”
Emma Caufield Ford
“Oh God. I’m heart sick. I love you Luke. You were an angel and a friend to me. Loss for words. #LukePerry”
“Heartbreaking. Absolutely hearbreaking. RIP #LukePerry.”
“So shocking so young! RIP sweet Luke. My love goes out to your family and friends.”
“Luke Perry gone too soon. Rest in peace man.”
“RIP Luke Perry.”
“Luke Perry was a character actor in the body of a heartthrob. Much respect.”
“My heart goes out to his friends and family. Such a tragic loss.”
“I’m so sad about Luke Perry he was such a kind person. Enthusiastic and encouraging to everyone around him. <3 #RIP”
“IN SHOCK. DEAR GOD… ”
“Dear Luke ..love love and my heart is so sad I’m sending love to your family and Alexis is waiting for you, you will laugh and dance God bless you”
“Condolences to the family of Luke Perry. ”
“…i am truly honored to have known you all of these years.”
“Rare to have friends who innately have the heart of giving, Luke was one of those people. Prayers up to family & Luke will smile in heaven when he reads this bcuz he has done ultimate “cowboy up” to his final resting place in the glory of Heaven.”
“I can’t believe it. No words. Sending you and your family all the love I got! You were so kind and generous. You taught me a lot.”
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