In Memoriam: Luke Perry (1966-2019)
Last Wednesday fans of the entertainment world were rocked by the news that actor Luke Perry had suffered a massive stroke at his Sherman Oaks home in California. Though many had hoped for a speedy recovery, it was sadly not to be. Perry passed away on March 4th at the shockingly young age of fifty-two.
Born Coy Luther Perry III in Mansfield Ohio on October 11, 1966, Perry was the son of Ann and Coy Perry Jr., the former a homemaker and the latter a steel worker. Rather than going the acting school route, Perry instead moved out to Los Angeles in 1984 to pursue his dream. The actor appeared in a “Twisted Sister” video early in his career and later in the day-time soap operas Loving and Another World.
Perry’s breakout role came in 1989 when he was cast as the brooding heart-throb Dylan McKay on the Fox teen drama Beverly Hills 90210, a role he’d play for almost 200 episodes. Fans of the CW show Riverdale will also recognize Perry as Fred Andrews the father of lead character Archie.
Aside from various television roles, Perry also appeared in over thirty movies through the course of three decades including the criminally underrated 8 Seconds and The Fifth Element. On a personal note, I will always remember him for his role as bad boy Oliver Pike in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
As a 90s kid this one hits close to home. I was never a fan of 90210 but most of my family, especially my cousin Alissa was. I always had the utmost respect for Perry however, and for a teen heart-throb he managed to avoid controversy. Indeed by all accounts, Perry was one of the most likeable, friendly, and humble people in the business, something extremely rare in a town known for its rampant narcissism.
Luke Perry leaves behind two children, Sophie and Jack, from a previous marriage. Additionally, Perry leaves behind fiance Wendy Madison Bauer.
Luke Perry’s final film performance will be later this year in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as Canadian actor Wayne Maunder.
Rest in peace Mr. Perry. You will be missed.