Luke Perry, who gained instant heartthrob status as wealthy rebel Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, died Monday after suffering a massive stroke, his publicist said. He was 52.
“He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, stepfather Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends,” Arnold Robinson said in a statement.
The actor had been hospitalized since last Wednesday, after a 911 call summoned medical help to his home in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles.
Robinson said no further details would be released at this time.
“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.”
Archie’s dad on Riverdale
Perry has played construction-company owner Fred Andrews, father of main character Archie Andrews, for three seasons on Riverdale. A fourth season had been slated.
The Vancouver-shot series has temporarily shut down production following news of Perry’s death, with producers issuing a joint statement with WBTV and CW network, according to industry outlet Variety.
“Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all,” according to the statement.
“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.”
Born and raised in rural Fredericktown, Ohio, Perry gained heartthrob status along with Jason Priestley on Beverly Hills, 90210, which ran from 1990 to 2000.
Ian Ziering, his co-star on 90210, paid tribute on Twitter, where six of the worldwide top trending topics Monday morning were Perry-related.
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
“I will forever bask in the loving memories we’ve shared over the last thirty years,” Ziering wrote.
“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.”
Other industry peers are among those posting a flood of tributes and sharing memories about Perry online.
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
Luke Perry was a character actor in the body of a heartthrob.
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) 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
Perry had roles in a handful of films, including The Fifth Element, 8 Seconds and American Strays. He appeared in HBO’s prison drama Oz and voiced cartoons like The Incredible Hulk and Mortal Kombat.
In recent years, he starred in the series Ties That Bind and Body of Proof. He had also filmed a role for the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, slated to open later this year.
The same day he was rushed to hospital, Fox TV announced that it would be running a six-episode return of 90210 that features most of the original cast, but Perry was not among those announced.
SOURCES: CBC / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS