Luke Perry, of 'Beverly Hills 90210' and 'Riverdale' Fame, Dies at 52
LOS ANGELES – Actor Luke Perry, who was best known for his role as Dylan McKay in the long-running teen drama “Beverly Hills 90210,” died today due to complications from a stroke he suffered on Feb. 27. He was 52.
The actor was receiving treatment in a Los Angeles hospital when he passed away, his representative said. Perry, who never regained consciousness after his stroke, was surrounded by his family including his children, Jack and Sophie; his fiancee, Wendy Madison Bauer; and ex-wife, Minnie Sharp, when he died.
Besides his work on “Beverly Hills, 90210” from 1990 to 1995, and again from 1998 to 2000, also starred as Fred Andrews, the father of Archie Andrews on the CW series “Riverdale,” which was based upon the iconic comic book “Archie.” Perry numerous guest roles on notable shows such as “Criminal Minds,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Will & Grace” and many others.
Born Coy Luther Perry III in Mansfield, Ohio, and raised in nearby Fredericktown, Ohio where, he was the school mascot, the Fredericktown High School Freddie. His mother, Ann Bennett, was a homemaker, and his father, Coy Luther Perry Jr., was a steelworker.
Perry had originally auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders on “90210,” but lost to actor Ian Ziering. While starring on 90210, Perry won a supporting role in the original film version of Joss Whedon's “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” in 1992. It was during this period of the early 1990's in which Perry became a popular teen idol. He also starred in the film “Terminal Bliss” in 1992.
From 2001 to 2002, he starred in the HBO prison drama “Oz,” as the Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier. From 2002 to 2004 he starred in the post-apocalyptic TV series “Jeremiah.” In 2006 Perry moved on to co-star in the ensemble drama series “Windfall, about a group of friends who win the lottery. The series ran for 13 episodes during the summer of 2006 on NBC. In 2007 he landed the role of Tommy "Santa" Santorelli on the film The Sandlot: Heading Home, and he appeared in the 2008 western A Gunfighter's Pledge.
Perry also appeared in the HBO series “John from Cincinnati,” which premièred on June 10, 2007, and ran for 10 episodes; the series finale aired on August 12, 2007. He also starred in the Swedish film Äntligen Midsommar (Finally Midsummer), which was released in the summer of 2009.
He said of his role as Dylan McKay: "I'm going to be linked with him until I die, but that's actually just fine. I created Dylan McKay. He's mine." However, he did not reprise his role on the spin-off. He stated: "When you're in the professional acting business, you have to look into all these offers, and I don't mean anything bad about it but creatively it's something I have done before and I don't know how it will benefit me if I do it again."
Perry married "Teen Wolf Too" actress Rachel "Minnie" Sharp in 1993 and the couple welcomed son Jack in 1997 and daughter Sophie in 2000. The couple would divorce in 2003. Perry is survived by his son Jack and his daughter Sophie.