Riverdale season 3 has shut down production for the moment as the show's producers and cast pay their respects to their costar Luke Perry, following his passing earlier today. The actor came to fame as a heartthrob back in the '90s thanks to his roles as Pike in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie and especially his turn as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210. More recently, he became famous for playing Archie Andrews' loving working-class father, Fred Andrews, on The CW's dark and soapy re-imagining of the Archie comic book universe, Riverdale.
In a shocking development, Perry was hospitalized in Los Angeles, California last week after suffering a massive stroke. Sadly, he was unable to recover and his publicist has confirmed that Perry passed away this morning at age 52. Production on Riverdale has been halted in the wake of this news and Perry's various collaborators over the years - in particular, his coworkers on Riverdale and 90210 - have since begun taking to the internet to pay him their respects.
Among those who've taken to social media to mourn his passing are Perry's 90210 costars Ian Ziering and Christine Elise McCarthy, as well as Molly Ringwald (who plays Fred Andrews' ex-wife, Mary Andrews, on Riverdale). Deadline has confirmed that production on Riverdale is shut down for the remainder of the day and published a joint statement issued by The CW, the series' producers Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Jon Goldwater, and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, in response to the news. You can read that statement below, followed by some of the reactions from Perry's former coworkers.
A statement from Riverdale’s executive producers, Warner Bros., and The CW. pic.twitter.com/1YNhbaupHv— Riverdale (@CW_Riverdale) March 4, 2019
So heartbroken about Luke. He was a father, brother, friend, and mentor. Each night before he had to shoot a scene, he’d call me and we’d talk about...everything. I will miss those calls. And my heart goes out to all his family and friends. 💔 pic.twitter.com/2GaFkV2mI7— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) March 4, 2019
Luke Perry... you were a joyful and vibrant soul. You will be missed but most certainly your legacy will be remembered forever. Rest in love and peace, friend. #Riverdale— Riverdale Writers Room (@RiverdaleWriter) March 4, 2019
My heart is broken. I will miss you so much Luke Perry. Sending all my love to your family. ❤️ #LukePerry— Molly Ringwald (@MollyRingwald) March 4, 2019
Woke up this morning a ball of tears. Luke Perry was the kindest, warmest, most loving human being. He always went out of his way to make me feel safe, heard and seen in his presence. I love you so much Luke. Thank you for being a ray of light for me and so many ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xv2lsUCSpS— ASHA (@ashabrom) March 4, 2019
Dearest Luke,— Ian Ziering (@IanZiering) March 4, 2019
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.
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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. 💔💔💔
Perry will make his final movie appearance later this year in Quentin Tarantino's new film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It's not clear yet how much filming Perry completed on the rest of Riverdale season 3 prior to his passing, nor how the show will address his character's fate. Meanwhile, FOX recently confirmed its plans for a Beverly Hills, 90210 revival series, but Perry was not listed among the cast members slated to return at that time. Assuming the six-part event still happens, it will surely find a way to pay tribute to the late actor.
No doubt, announcements will be made over the forthcoming weeks regarding any and all of Perry's future appearances on Riverdale and how the series' creatives intend to write Fred Andrews off the show. In the meantime, we here at Screen Rant wish to extend our most sincere condolences to Perry's loved ones, formers collaborators, his Riverdale costars, and everyone else who is mourning his passing in this difficult time.