Luke Perry, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ and ‘Riverdale’ Star, Dies at 52
Luke Perry, best known for his roles on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale, has died. He was 52.
His rep confirmed his death on Monday.
“Actor Luke Perry, 52, passed away today after suffering a massive stroke,” the statement reads. “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.”
Perry was hospitalized on Feb. 28 after suffering a massive stroke at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. His former 90210 cast members, Ian Ziering and Shannen Doherty, took to social media to show their support for Perry, whose health emergency coincided with an announcement about a 90210 reboot that was to feature the original cast members.
At Sunday’s The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation’s Compassion Project Gala in Los Angeles, Doherty spoke with ET about Perry. “I can’t talk about it here ’cause I will literally start crying but I love him and he knows I love him,” she said.
“It’s Luke, and he’s my Dylan,” she continued, referring to their iconic 90210characters.
In 2017, Perry dished to ET about the possibility of a cast reunion.
“I think everybody’s interested in doing it,” he said at the time. “We know we’d have a lot of fun getting back together. We just want it to be good.”
Perry was born in Mansfield, Ohio, on Oct. 11, 1966, and grew up in nearby Fredericktown.
Not long after graduating from high school, Perry moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career but he wasn’t an immediate success. After more than 200 auditions, he finally landed a TV commercial and was cast in the Twisted Sister music video for “Be Chrool to You Scuel” in 1985. He went on to land roles on the soap operas Loving and Another World before scoring his big break as bad boy Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210.
The hit show turned Perry into a certified ‘90s teen heartthrob, which translated into his first movie role in 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He also appeared in the films Terminal Bliss and 8 Seconds.
In 1995, Perry announced a short-lived departure from 90210, to take on more serious gigs. After appearing in a few more films, including Normal Lifeand The Fifth Element, he returned back to the zip code that made him famous. The original installment of 90210 aired for 10 seasons before coming to an end in 2000.
Perry, meanwhile, didn’t want to get typecast as his 90210 character. He starred in multiple projects including the HBO prison drama Oz, as well as Windfall, Jeremiah, The Sandlot: Heading Home and more. He also made several guest appearances on hit shows like Will & Grace, Spin City, What I Like About You, Family Guy, Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds.
Perry married Rachel Sharp in 1993. They were together for a decade and welcomed two children, 21-year-old Jack and 18-year-old Sophie, before splitting in 2003.
In 2017, Perry returned to series television landing the role as Fred Andrews (Archie’s father) on Riverdale. He spoke with ET about the “21st century” take on the classic comic book, and the similarities between him and the character.
“I think in some ways this character is the closest thing to me that I’ve ever played because he’s a guy that loves his kid. That’s really all he’s about,” the father of two said before adding. “That’s what I’m about.”