Wednesday 16 October 2019

'90210' and 'Riverdale' star Luke Perry dies aged 52

Actor's representative confirmed the news

Actor Luke Perry arrives for the press line of
Actor Luke Perry arrives for the press line of "Riverdale" at Comic Con in San Diego, July 21, 2018. (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS / AFP)

Bill Trott

Luke Perry, best known for his roles in TV shows such as Riverdale and 90210, has died at the age of 52.

Perry, who rose to superstardom on the teen-oriented 1990s US television drama "Beverly Hills 90210" and then aged into a fatherly role on comic-based "Riverdale," died on Monday at the age of 52 after suffering a "massive" stroke last week, his publicist said.

Publicist Arnold Robinson said Perry died in a Los Angeles area hospital surrounded by his 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," Robinson said in a statement.

Perry was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday after suffering the stroke at his home, celebrity website TMZ.com reported last week. TMZ said on Monday that Perry never recovered consciousness.

Perry was taken ill the same day that Fox television announced it was reviving the "Beverly Hills 90210" series with many of the original cast, including Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. Perry was not among those announced as returning for the limited run of six new episodes this summer.

Perry's Riverdale co-star Molly Ringwald has said her "heart is broken" following the actor's death at the age of 52.

Ringwald posted a message on Twitter saying: "My heart is broken.

"I will miss you so much Luke Perry. Sending all my love to your family."

Screenwriter Joss Whedon was also among those paying tribute.

He tweeted: "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."

US actor Seth Green said he was "crushed".

"Luke Perry was truly a great guy," he said.

"Warm, kind, generous and hard working. We met very young, I witnessed the grace with which he became a pop icon & parent.

"He's been an awesome example of how to stay decent in a swirl of crazy.

"Love to his family."

Actress Sarah Douglas said the Beverly Hills, 90210 star was "such a teenage heartthrob".

Since 2016, Perry had played Fred Andrews, father of Archie Andrews, in the television series "Riverdale," a dark twist on the Archie comic books, but more than 20 years earlier the actor had been a heartthrob who adorned the cover of scores of magazines aimed at adolescent girls, thanks to "Beverly Hills 90210."

The show, which aired on the Fox network, was about a group of attractive high school students living the sweet life amid Southern California affluence while dealing with teen angst, as well as a raft of more serious issues such as date rape, AIDS and teen pregnancy.

Perry was in his mid-20s when he started playing high schooler Dylan McKay, a brooding loner on a motorcycle with prominent sideburns and bad-boy tendencies. An avalanche of comparisons to the late James Dean soon followed.

"Beverly Hills 90210" got off to a slow start in the ratings in 1990 but built a cult following that grew to become a cultural phenomenon with its target demographic. One of the key plot lines was Perry's character developing a romance with Brenda, a wholesome Midwestern transplant to Beverly Hills, played by Shannen Doherty, before moving on to her best friend, Kelly, played by Garth.

Along the way Perry, Doherty, Garth and co-stars Priestley, Spelling and Ian Ziering became stars.

Reuters

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