Actor Luke Perry, best known for his roles in 90s drama Beverly Hills 90210 and hit teen show Riverdale, has sadly passed away, at age 52.
A statement released by his publicist confirmed his tragic passing and revealed that the actor died in the early hours of Monday morning, where he was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder and other close family and friends.
“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. No further details will be released at this time,” the statement read.
His death came just days after he was hospitalized for a stroke at his home. He received a ton of support from his co-stars after the news of his stroke broke last week, with fellow Beverly Hills 90210 and Sharknado star Ian Ziering posting a message on Instagram.
Female co-stars Shannon Doherty and Kirsty Swanson also shared messages of support for the star.
Coincidentally, news of his hospitalisation broke the same day that a 90210 revival was announced by Fox. The revival is set to star original co-stars Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling.
Perry was born in Mansfield, Ohio as Coy Luther Perry III. The Riverdale star moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue an acting career. He later moved to New York after scoring a role as Ned Bates on the soap Loving. Although, it had not been easy for the actor, in 2013, during a radio appearance he explained that it had taken him 213 auditions before getting his first job. Perry said in an interview:
I just kept thinking, You know, I just walked out of a room full of fools. Those people have no idea.
However, in 1990, things dramatically changed for the actor after he found overnight success with the portrayal of Dylan McKay on the hit 90s drama Beverly Hills 90210. The show quickly became a cult series for teens and Luke cemented his status as a heartthrob.
“After the pilot, we felt there should be someone who is a little dangerous, a little on the edge, and we came up with the Dylan character,” late series producer Aaron Spelling told Rolling Stone in 1992.
“When Luke walked into the audition, it was like ‘Wow, that’s the person,'” creator Darren Star told the magazine. “He seems exactly like James Dean to me, but it isn’t a conscious imitation—he’s really being himself.”
Although the show did receive some backlash from critics who accused it of promoting sex amongst young people, Perry strongly believed in the series, as well as its message. In an appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” Perry said:
“We have done some shows that dealt with pretty some touchy topics and people weren’t altogether happy with how we dealt with it. I thought we handled it pretty intelligently and we were willing to answer the questions we brought up.”
After his tremendous success in the 90s, the actor went on to do some voiceover work portraying characters on shows such as Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and Biker Mice From Mars. Whilst, most recently he took on the role of Fred Andrews in hit CW teen drama Riverdale where he plays Archie Andrew’s warm and loving father.
Friends of the actor have already started paying tributes to him on social media:
Luke Perry – Irreplaceable beautiful and kind human being, incredible friend, generous actor and adoring father to Jack and Sophie and loving partner to Madison we are all heartbroken. You are the love and you are the light. pic.twitter.com/X3ycTvmXsb
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) 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
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
The actor is survived by his children, Jack and Sophie, as well as a lasting TV legacy which he leaves behind. Luke, you will be missed!
Featured Image: @lukeperrydaily (Instagram)