Luke Perry, who was admitted to the hospital after a stroke last Wednesday, passed away Monday morning at the age of 52. According to a statement by Arnold Robinson, Perry’s publicist, “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.”
Luke Perry was actually born Coy Luther Perry III and lived in a rural town in Ohio. After graduating high school, Perry pursued his acting career in Los Angeles where he worked odd jobs while attempting to break into the acting scene. In 1988, he made his debut in New York as Ned Bates in a soap opera called Loving. Perry describes his first gig that took him 256 auditions. “I just kept thinking, ‘You know, I just walked out of a room full of fools,'” Perry reminisced. This was his way of making it: maintaining his confidence. It seemed to have worked, as in the same year as his debut in TV, he landed another role on a soap opera, playing a character named Kenny in Another World. His most famous role to date is that of Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills 90210, which aired in 1990. This role put him on the map for good with the shows high viewership due to its unabashed addressal of sensitive topics. “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 had said in an interview. “I thought we handled it pretty intelligently and we were willing to answer the questions we brought up.” From that point, his popularity only grew. In 1991, Perry appeared in person for autograph signings at a mall in Florida. The mayhem of the crowd of 10,000 fans ended in many hospitalizations, causing the mall to close.
In addition to his television successes, Perry also made headway in the movie industry. His film credits included Good Intentions, Red Wing, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which has since been turned into a popular television series. Perry even made a debut on Broadway as Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. His most recent success was as Fred, the father of Archie Andrews in the CW mystery drama Riverdale.
Since his death, production of Riverdale has ceased in the midst of its third season. A joint statement was released by The CW, Warner Bros. Television, and executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sarah Schechter, Greg Berlanti, and Jon Goldwater concerning Perry’s passing: “We are deeply saddened to learn today about the passing of Luke Perry. 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.”
Many celebrities shared their condolences and their memories via Twitter and Instagram.
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.
— Ian Ziering (@IanZiering) March 4, 2019
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.
— Joss Whedon (@joss) March 4, 2019
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With the heaviest of hearts, I am stunned and devastated to tell you that Luke passed away. 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 knew him and the millions who love him. RIP, dearie Luke. Your time here was far too short. 💔💔💔
your giant heart,
enchanted so many
with brilliant aplomb.
R.I.P good sir.
to have known you
all of these years.
— Charlie Sheen (@charliesheen) March 4, 2019
You can still watch the second season of Riverdale on the CW Wednesdays at 8 p.m.