Here's how BH90210 gave the late Luke Perry a heartwarming tribute. Perry, who died in March 2019 at the age of 52, was slated to join his fellow cast members Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, and Gabrielle Carteris in the Beverly Hills, 90210 revival. Though Luke starred as Fred Andrews on Riverdale, Spelling, who co-created BH90210, said that Perry was going to return for as many episodes as possible. Sadly, Perry died weeks before filming on BH90210 began, but he certainly wasn't forgotten in the reboot series.
When it premiered in 1990, Beverly Hills, 90210 launched Luke Perry, along with his fellow cast members, into bonafide teen heartthrob status. With his James Dean-like coif and brooding good looks, Perry's character Dylan McKay was 90210's resident loner and bad boy until he showed his sensitive side in a relationship with Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty). At the height of his 90210 fame, Perry once had to leave a mall autograph session after 90 seconds when 10,000 girls rioted to meet him. Luke left 90210 in 1995 to pursue new acting roles but returned as a "special guest star" for the final 3 seasons. Perry also appeared in TV dramas Oz and Jeremiah, comedy series Will & Grace, Family Guy, and The Simpsons (as Krusty the Klown's half-brother), and he became known to a new generation as Archie Andrews' father on Riverdale. Perry also appeared in several films, including Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the actor's final role.
BH90210 found three ways to honor Luke Perry within the context of the new series' hybrid faux-reality setting. Like Priestley, Garth, and the others, Perry would have played a "heightened version" of himself drawn from elements of his real-life, but Perry's death was acknowledged within rebooted series' universe. In BH90210's pilot, "The Reunion", the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 reunited in Las Vegas for a 30th-anniversary fan convention, even though the reboot's version of the actors only grudgingly get along. In Vegas, the West Beverly High gang ran into each other in their hotel lobby and old tensions flared up. But when Carteris remarked that she can't believe they're all here, Priestley solemnly replied, "I wish that were true". The six actors then shared a moment of silence for their lost friend, Luke Perry.
Later in "The Reunion", the actors flew home together aboard Green's private jet and Spelling tried to diffuse her friends' bickering by showing them, and the TV series that changed all of their lives, some gratitude. “We’re not going to all be here forever, but we made something that will be,” said Spelling before everyone decided to share a toast to Luke Perry.
At the end of the BH90210 pilot, Garth joined Spelling at her home and they realized Spelling's children were watching the original pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. Realizing that all of the cast members launching a reboot of the classic teen drama is the way for them to put the past behind and move forward with their lives, Garth and Spelling watched as a young Dylan drove Brandon, freshly transplanted from Minnesota, to the beach for the first time. Dylan tells Brandon, "Welcome to paradise, man. Welcome to your dream come true," before the episode faded out with the words, "For our friend, Luke Perry. 1966-2019".
One good thing that came from the aftermath of Luke Perry's death is that it prompted Shannen Doherty to join the reboot. Doherty infamously left Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1994 amid rumors of tension with the rest of the cast and, originally, she "definitely" wasn't planning to take part in the revival. However, after Perry's death, Doherty had a change of heart and signed onto BH90210, in part to honor the memory of her friend Luke Perry.
BH90210 airs Wednesdays @ 9pm on FOX.