Luke Perry, star of Beverly Hills, 90210 and The CW's Riverdale, has passed away at the age of 52. Perry was taken into hospital on February 28 following a stroke, and despite the best of efforts of medical staff at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California to help him recover, the damage caused was too great.
Born in Ohio in 1966, Perry was known to those who grew up in the 1990s for his role as Dylan McKay in teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210. The show is set to return for a six-episode event series, which would reunite the original cast, though Perry was not listed among the returning cast members. Among today's audiences, Perry was best known for playing the role of Fred Andrews, the father of Archie Andrews, on Riverdale. He will also star in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The news of Perry's death was confirmed by Perry's publicist, who said in a statement that he passed away surrounded by his friends, family, and loved ones.
Outside of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale, Perry had a prolific acting and voice acting career, starring in TV shows like Oz, Jeremiah and Windfall, and with film credits including roles in The Fifth Element and Redemption Road. Perhaps his best known movie role is as Buffy Summers' romantic interest Pike in the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, upon which the TV show was based.
Fans have followed Perry from his early days as a teen heartthrob to his recent role as a loving single father. Speaking in an interview about his role as Fred Andrews in the first season of Riverdale, Perry observed:
"It's hard for anybody to be a single parent. And people step up to that challenge every single day. That was one of the things I loved about this character, you know, it wasn't flashy, no sports car, no any of that, it was just... this guy drives a truck to work, and he works hard. He's got dirt under his fingernails. And the only thing he cares about is putting food on the table for his kid."
Perry himself worked in construction before he was hired as a regular for 90210. Speaking to TV Insider in 2017, he said, "I come from a town like Riverdale. My father was a construction worker, so I totally get this guy and I understand where his heart is."
Perry is survived by his two children, Jack and Sophie; his mother, Ann Bennett; his step-father, Steve Bennett; his ex-wife, Rachel Sharp; and his fiancée, Wendy Madison Bauer.