If there was an iconic TV heartthrob to rule them all in the early 1990s, Luke Perry would arguably have been in a good position for the title. Following a severe stroke suffered in late February, the actor was confirmed to have passed away in the presence of his friends and family. Aged just 52 years old, the star will be remembered for a number of iconic roles both past and present. He is survived by a fiancée and two children.
“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,” Perry’s publicist Arnold Robinson confirmed in a statement. At the time of writing, Perry’s family have elected not to provide additional details.
RIP Luke Perry, Unsung Cultural Icon [video]
Perry’s rise to fame on US television came thanks to the colossally popular Beverly Hills 90210, where he played central heartthrob Dylan – and was then seen adorning posters on bedroom walls across the land. An incredibly diverse actor, Perry had also regularly appeared across network TV and in movies such as the Fifth Element.
Most recently, Perry had been seen as part of the cast of Netflix’s Riverdale, a teen drama adaptation of the classic Archie comics – in which he played the central character’s father. It has been confirmed by Warner Bros and The CW that production has ceased on Riverdale by way of respect for the actor’s passing. It is not yet clear if and when the show will continue to roll.
“Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all,” BBC News quotes a joint WBTV / CW statement as advising. “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.”
Perry was no stranger to lampooning himself when the opportunity raised, either – having famously appeared as himself as Krusty the Clown’s half-brother in The Simpsons and later in an early episode of Family Guy.
For millions of Americans and viewers worldwide, Luke Perry will always be an icon – regardless of whether you knew him as Dylan, or if you got to know the star through his later work, the actor and his presence will be greatly missed.