In yet another startling reminder that celebrity status is not an inoculation from death or illness, actor Luke Perry has passed away. He suffered a stroke and was hospitalized Wednesday, February 27, 2019. Just days later on Monday, March 4, came the announcement of his passing. Perry was 52 years old.
Perry was known for playing the broody Beverly Hills 90210 heartthrob Dylan McKay.
Shannen Doherty, his on-screen love interest in 90210 told Entertainment Tonight she’d been in contact with Perry after his hospitalization.
“I can’t talk about it here ’cause I will literally start crying but I love him and he knows I love him,” the actress said. “It’s Luke, and he’s my Dylan.”
Since his beginnings on 90210, he also starred in several other TV shows and movies. They include the original Buffy: The Vampire Slayer movie, 8 Seconds, and the TV series Oz, Jeremiah, and Windfall.
Perry’s most recent role was that of Archie’s father on the hit CW drama series Riverdale. The series is based around the Archie comics.
According to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department, authorities responded to a 911 call on Wednesday morning. Paramedics were dispatched to the actor’s Sherman Oaks, California home and Perry was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital.
While it was made clear that Perry had suffered a stroke, rumors still swirled around his hospitalization. Some sources soon reported he’d been put into a medically induced coma. However, this was quickly dispelled by a rep for the actor.
At the time of his death, Perry was surrounded by his loved ones, including his two children Jack and Sophie. Also by his side was his fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, his mother Ann Bennet, step-father Steve Bennet, and ex-wife Minnie Sharp. His brother Tom Perry and sister and Amy Coder were there as well, as were other close friends and family.
“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 rep said in a statement.
The executive producers of Riverdale also released a statement that read as follows:
“We are deeply saddened to learn today about the passing of Luke Perry. A beloved member of the Riverdale, Warner Bros. and CW family, Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all. 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.”
Many of Perry’s former castmates from various TV series and movies also voiced their love and support on social media.