After suffering a “massive” stroke at his Sherman Oaks home last Wednesday, actor Luke Perry has passed away at a Burbank Hospital, TMZ reports. He was 52. The cause of the stroke hasn’t been publicized, and a rep for Perry’s family told the outlet, “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world. No further details will be released at this time.”
The Ohio-bred actor was in the throes of a career resurgence, playing Archie Andrews’ hot dad Fred on the teen comic-book drama Riverdale; he’d also landed a role in Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming (and super anticipated) L.A.-set period piece Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
But for kids of the ’80s and ’90s, Perry will always be mostly closely associated with his years-long stint as misunderstood bad boy Dylan McKay on the Aaron Spelling teen soap Beverly Hills, 90210. The role—which he played from 1990 to ’95 and again from ’98 till the show ended in 2000—vaulted him to teen heartthrob status in the heyday of teeny bopper tabloids and helped him land starring roles in movies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and rodeo drama 8 Seconds.
In Perry’s capable hands, Dylan became more than a walking cliche in the model of James Dean. Sure, the lovable misfit did his share of brooding from beneath a furrowed brow. And, yeah, he acted out and engaged in self-destructive behaviors because his father didn’t pay enough attention to him—but he was also sensitive and endearing and the guy you knew you could “fix” if you just loved him enough. Seriously, Brandon was a narc. David was a dork. Steve was an irresponsible and irredeemable rich boy with entitlement issues and bad hair. But Dylan—he was the guy.
It’s always sad and weird when a celebrity of our youth dies too young, but this one really stings. RIP, Luke. You’ll always be the coolest dude in school.
“I always felt like something of an outsider. But I identified with people up on the screen. That made me feel like I wanted to be up on the screen too. I felt like eventually I would get there.”
• Luke Perry (October 11th, 1966 – March 4th, 2019) pic.twitter.com/j4kMVLj8ZK
— c (@oceanwavescole) March 4, 2019
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