Luke Perry: a 90s icon taken too soon

Gone too soon
Luke got lucky when he landed a role on 'Beverly Hills, 90210'
Dylan McKay the bad boy everyone loved
Luke was one of THE 90s heartthrobs
Luke took a break from '95-'98 to work on movies
But Luke couldn't resist returning to '90210'
Luke marries and becomes a father
Luke struggled to find the same degree of success after '90210'
Luke landed starring roles but the shows didn't last long...
Broadway and theatre in London
Luke was even in a Swedish comedy in the mid-2000s
Luke wan't afraid to poke fun at himself in comedies like 'Family Guy'
A health scare in 2015
Perry began advocacy work
Luke found his place again on 'Riverdale'
Luke Perry wanted to do a reboot of '90210'
A reboot in the works??
Fans were thrilled
...but Luke had a conflict due to his contract with 'Riverdale'
Tragedy strikes
Luke was 52 when he passed away
Perry's final role was in a Tarantino film
Luke was secretly engaged at the time of his death
They were said to be
An icon that is dearly missed
Gone too soon

Luke Perry was a mega teen heartthrob in the 90s thanks to the mega-hit 'Beverly Hills, 90210.' Tragically, the actor passed away in 2019 at just 52 years of age. Join us for a look at Luke Perry's trajectory in Hollywood and how he came to pass away far too soon.

Luke got lucky when he landed a role on 'Beverly Hills, 90210'

Luke Perry landed in Hollywood all the way from Ohio when he was just 18 years old. After a part in a music video for Twisted Sister titled 'Be Chrool to Your Scuel' in 1985 and scoring some roles in daytime soap operas such as 'Love and Another World,' Luke eventually landed the role that would change his life. The role of bad boy Dylan McKay on 'Beverly Hills, 90210.'

Dylan McKay the bad boy everyone loved

The details and the fashion in teenage television dramas and films might change over the years, but the archetype of the bad boy with a tortured soul always remains. By landing the role of Dylan McKay, Luke Perry had steady work on the super-popular teen drama of the time from 1990 to 1995 and then again from 1998 until 2000.

 

Luke was one of THE 90s heartthrobs

Thanks to this role, Perry became many a teenage girl's first crushes, and thousands of fans all over North America had his picture plastered on their bedroom wall.

Luke took a break from '95-'98 to work on movies

From 1995 to 1998, Perry took a break from 'Beverly Hills, 90210' because he wanted to explore other roles and challenge himself as an actor. Perry managed to star in several films during this time, such as an Italian film titled 'Christmas Holidays' in 1995 where he played himself, 'Normal Life' a made-for-TV film that he starred in alongside Ashely Judd and 'American Strays' both in 1996, among other films.

Photo: screenshot from 'Normal Life'

But Luke couldn't resist returning to '90210'

He also managed to snag a minor role in the science fiction movie 'The Fifth Element' in 1997. However, by 1998, the actor made the decision to return to '90210' as a permanent guest star until the television series drew to a close in the year 2000.

Photo: screenshot from '90210'

Luke marries and becomes a father

In 1993, Luke married Rachel Minnie Sharp, in Beverly Hills, and the couple had two children together: Jack Perry (born in 1997) and Sophie Perry (born in 2000). The marriage didn't last too long, Perry and Sharp divorced in 2003; the couple remained friendly co-parents over the years.

Luke struggled to find the same degree of success after '90210'

One would think that after so many years, on such a popular television show, Luke Perry would be landing starring roles as the leading man for decades to come. However, following the end of 'Beverly Hills, 90210,' Luke Perry struggled to the same degree of success.

Luke landed starring roles but the shows didn't last long...

Following the end of '90210,' Perry landed plenty of starring roles; however, he jumped from series to series. In 2001 Perry landed a starring role on HBO's 'Oz' where he played Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier. From 2002 -2004 he starred in the tv series 'Jeremiah,' and the actor also squeezed in time to star in the tv film 'The Triangle' in 2002.

Photo: screenshot from 'Oz'

Broadway and theatre in London

Luke Perry also did some work on Broadway in the early 2000s. He had a role in the revival of 'The Rocky Horror Show' in 2001, as Brad Majors. Later, he played Harry in the London production of 'When Harry Met Sally...' in 2004.

Luke was even in a Swedish comedy in the mid-2000s

During the mid-2000s, Perry continued to jump around between different series and films. Perry had a role on HBO's 'John from Cincinnati' in 2007 and also was in the 2007 film 'The Sandlot: Heading Home' where he played Tommy "Santa" Santorelli. In 2009 the actor starred in a Swedish movie titled 'Äntligen Midsommar (Finally Midsummer).'

Luke wan't afraid to poke fun at himself in comedies like 'Family Guy'

Luke Perry may have struggled to find the same success as he had on '90210' again, but he certainly managed to stay busy with plenty of projects. Luke did loads of voice-over work over the years, often playing himself in animated series such as 'The Simpsons,' 'Johnny Bravo,' and 'Family Guy.' Perry also gave life to other animated characters on cartoon shows such as 'The Incredible Hulk' and 'Biker Mice from Mars.'

Photo: screenshot from 'Family Guy'

A health scare in 2015

In 2015 Perry had a health scare that would change his life and turn him into an advocate for colorectal cancer. Perry went in for a routine colonoscopy, and precancerous growths were discovered, which were quickly removed.

Perry began advocacy work

According to Fox News, following this scare, the actor decided to spread awareness about the disease and screening by joining the "advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer." Perry told Fox News,
"Right now, there are 23 million Americans who haven't been screened who need to be screened. If I had waited, it could have been a whole different scenario."

Photo: screenshot YouTube

Luke found his place again on 'Riverdale'

The list of guest-starring roles that Luke Perry played throughout the 2000s is very long. However, in 2017, he landed a starring role on the hit CW tv series Riverdale.' Perry played the role of Frederick "Fred" Andrews, the father of Archie and the owner of Andrews Construction on the show from 2017 until his untimely death in 2019.

Luke Perry wanted to do a reboot of '90210'

During the promotion of 'Riverdale' in 2017, Luke Perry told Today that if given a chance to play Dylan McKay again in a reboot with the original cast of '90210', he would love to do it. Perry said, "I very much would be interested in doing it this time." The actor continued,  "I'd like to go back and work with my guys. Yeah, I've been doing something else and that's been fun, but I'd love to do scenes with Shannen (Doherty) again."

A reboot in the works??

By December of 2018, it seemed that Perry's dream of reuniting with his crew from 'Beverly Hills' might come true. TMZ reported on December 20, 2018 that the original cast members of '90210', Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, and Brian Austin Green, observed leaving a pitch meeting about a reboot.

Fans were thrilled

Just a few months later, on February 27 of 2019, the reboot was confirmed. People Magazine reported that the popular 90s teen icons would be working together again in "heightened versions of themselves in a brand-new serialized drama — with a healthy dose of irreverence — that is inspired by their real lives and relationships."

...but Luke had a conflict due to his contract with 'Riverdale'

Sadly, it seems that Luke Perry was not allowed to partake in the reboot in a significant role due to his contract with the show 'Riverdale.' Entertainment Tonight reported, "...at this time, due to his current deal with Riverdale, Luke Perry could only guest star on a potential 90210 reboot, and could not be a series regular."

Tragedy strikes

In a tragic turn of events, the day following the announcement of the '90210' reboot, Luke Perry suffered a massive stroke on February 28, 2019. TMZ reported that Perry was still alert when the paramedics arrived, but his condition quickly worsened, and the actor was rushed to the hospital, where he was sedated.

Photo: screenshot YouTube

Luke was 52 when he passed away

Luke Perry's family, friends, fans, and current and former co-workers were all shocked to learn of Perry's condition. However, despite the doctors' best efforts, Luke Perry could not recover from his stroke. According to TMZ, the damage from the stroke was just "too extensive." On March 4th, 2019, at 52 years old, Luke Perry passed away surrounded by his loved ones.

Perry's final role was in a Tarantino film

Following the actor's death, all the new episodes from the series 'Riverdale' were dedicated to Luke Perry. When Perry died, there were still four episodes featuring the actor which had not yet been aired. Perry's final film role was as Canadian actor Wayne Maunder in the movie 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Photo: Promotional photo from 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

Luke was secretly engaged at the time of his death

After Luke Perry's unfortunate and early demise in March of 2019, US Weekly reported that the actor had been secretly engaged and planned to get married again. Luke Perry had been engaged to Madison Bauer, a marriage a family therapist.

They were said to be "smitten"

Although it is unclear how long they were together, US Weekly reported that they were seen together as far back as April 2017 when they attended the GLAAD Media Awards and that "They appeared to be smitten with each other as they held hands and walked the red carpet together..."

An icon that is dearly missed

Madison Bauer and Luke Perry's ex-wife, his children, and close friends accompanied him during his final days.

Pictured: a post on Instagram that Perry's daughter Sophie made regarding his passing.

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