Television & Film

Luke Perry Dead at 52

On a personal note, I will admit this is hard for me to write. I grew up with Luke Perry on 90210. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you how obsessed I was and still am with the show. When I heard of his hospitalization, shortly after the excitement of the reboot announcement, I was shocked. I’m not ready for my generation’s stars to disappear. Today’s loss hurts and I will admit, I have cried. I do wish the best for his family with their loss. Forever, I will be Team Kelly, and probably not forgive the Lord Byron loving Dylan for trying to make overalls cool… even if it was the style. May your greenroom be awesome.

Luke Perry has passed away after being rushed to the hospital this past week following a massive stroke. The actor was 52.

According to his publicist, Perry was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancee Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, siblings Tom Perry and Amy Coder as well as other close family and friends.

Perry was admitted to a Burbank California hospital the same day a Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot was announced by Fox. It was the show that shot him into heartthrob territory in the early nineties. Even through Perry was not attached to the reboot, he did state he would try to have occasional visits to the famous zip code based on what his schedule on The CW’s Riverdale would allow since it films in Canada.

Born Coy Luther Perry III in Mansfield, Ohio October 11, 1966, he moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue acting after being inspired by a picture of Paul Newman on his mother’s mirror. Perry’s mom told him Newman “is the most beautiful man in the world, honey…he’s a movie star.” Perry watched Newman and thought OK, who didn’t want to be Paul Newman?

Like many others, he wasn’t an immediate success upon his arrival to LA, but finally did land a commercial and a spot in the MTV banned Twisted Sister music video, “Be Chrool to You Scuel” in 1985. He would eventually get roles on the soaps Loving and Another World before getting cast on Aaron Spelling’s teen drama, Beverly Hills, 90210 as James Dean style bad boy Dylan McKay. Spelling saw something in Perry when he originally auditioned for Ian Ziering’s character, Steve Sanders, and insisted that the network to give him a try, even paying Perry’s salary for his first two years. His role was a major success and turned Perry into a 90’s heartthrob.

His role on the teen soap gave him the opportunity to jump from the small screen to movie roles, landing his first as movie role as Kristy Swanson’s boyfriend in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Donald Sutherland, Paul Rubens, and fellow 90210 alums Hilary Swank and David Arquette. Perry continued to land roles in The Fifth Element, 8 Seconds, and American Strays.

He left 90210 in 1995 and was determined to not be typecast by his character. He took on roles as a reverend in the HBO prison drama OZ and lent his voice for The Incredible Hulk and Mortal Kombat. Perry returned to Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1998 and stayed till the series end in 2000 (finally choosing Kelly for us dedicated fans).

More recently Perry has returned to high school dramas as Archie’s father Fred Andrews on The CW hit Riverdale, based on the characters appearing in Archie Comics. With his passing, the show has stopped production on its current season and has released this statement:

A beloved member of the Riverdale, Warner Bros, and CW family, Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all. A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness. Our thoughts are with Luke’s family during this most difficult time.

Other close friends have also expressed their loss with Perry’s passing with touching tributes.


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