Rest in Paradise, Luke Perry

Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr – Luke Perry speaking at the 2017 WonderCon, for “Riverdale”, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif.

By Josh Simpkins
Special to the Sun

Friends and neighbors, the mournful laments of hundreds of thousands of ladies inner teenage-girl broken hearts can be heard around the world. It is with a heavy heart of my own that I bring the news of yet another untimely passing in Hollywood. Unfortunately, I must repost that Luke Perry, the Riverdale star and beloved actor best known for his role as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, passed away surrounded by his children, fiancée, and other close family and friends on March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. Perry was hospitalized after suffering a massive stroke on Feb. 27 and had been under observation. He was 52.

Born Coy Luther Perry III in Mansfield, Ohio, on October 11, 1966, to Ann and Coy Luther Perry, Jr. a steelworker from Fredericktown, Perry had initially auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders (played by Ian Ziering) before being cast as Dylan McKay, the resident bad boy of the Beverly Hills zip code. News of Perry’s hospitalization coincided with the announcement that Fox would be reviving Beverly Hills, 90210, in which Perry achieved teen heartthrob status playing McKay during the original show’s decade long domination through the 1990s. The upcoming series sees six original stars returning to play heightened versions of themselves; however, Perry was not involved in the project.

Perry got his acting start on daytime soap operas, landing a reoccurring role on Another World, before 90210 launched him into teen idol fame. Before and during his stint on 90210, Perry starred in such feature films as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) with Kristy Swanson, 8 Seconds (1994) with Stephen Baldwin, and American Strays (1996) with Eric Roberts. Perry’s final film role will transpire in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is scheduled for release on July 26 and is currently in post-production.

After leaving the zip code he’d help make famous, Perry made a marked turn to cable television playing enigmatic Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier on HBO’s prison drama Oz, the titular character on Showtime’s post-Apocalyptic adventure-drama Jeremiah, and brooding Linc Stark on surfing drama John from Cincinnati, again for HBO. He also made appearances on hit TV shows Will & Grace, What I Like About You, and Criminal Minds. He also lent his voice to many animated series including Biker Mice from Mars, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, The Legend of Calamity Jane, The Incredible Hulk, and The Simpsons.

Luke is survived by his children, Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom, sister Amy, and step-sister Emily. 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. In lieu of flowers, the Perry family ask that donations be made to Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Rest in Paradise, Coy Luther Perry III.