In a statement from his publicist, it was confirmed, "Actor Luke Perry, 52, passed away today after suffering a massive stroke. He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, stepfather Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends. 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. No further details will be released at this time."
Born October 11, 1966, in Ohio, Perry left his home state after high school to move to Los Angeles in pursuit of an acting career. He worked a number of odd jobs, including pouring concrete, and later said he had auditioned for more than 200 acting gigs before being hired on his first commercial. Another early job was his appearance in Twisted Sister's "Be Chrool to Your Scuel" music video in 1985.
His first (uncredited) acting gig on TV was as a prisoner on "Voyagers!" in 1982, and in 1988, he landed a part on "Loving." Soon after, he acted on 10 episodes of "Another World" (1988-1989).
Perry's soap-hunk days
After appearing in the film "Terminal Bliss" in 1990, Perry was hired as one of the stars of the nighttime teen soaper "Beverly Hills, 90210," which ran for 10 years, from 1990-2000. He was an overnight superstar.
In 1992, Perry starred in the film "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which led to the cult-hit TV series. Other noteworthy film roles include "8 Seconds" (1994) and "The Fifth Element" (1997).
Perry with his "90210" crew in 1991
When the "90210" hype faded, so did Perry's career, but he worked steadily on TV and in films, including on "Oz" (2001-2002), and as the star of several short-lived series: "Jeremiah" (2002-2004), "Windfall" (2006), "John from Cincinnati" (2007), "FCU: Fact Checkers Unit" (2010), "Body of Proof" (2012-2013), and "Ties That Bind" (2015).
In 2001, he appeared on Broadway as Brad in "The Rocky Horror Show."
Perry had recently been enjoying a career revival as Fred Andrews on The CW's teen drama "Riverdale" (2016-2019), on which he appeared more than 50 times, marking his most substantial role since "Beverly Hills, 90210."
Goofing off with his "Riverdale" castmates on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" in October
"Riverdale" producers said in a statement, "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.”
Perry suffered his stroke Wednesday, February 27, the same day it was announced that "Beverly Hills, 90210" was being rebooted as a limited series for summer '19. Neither Perry nor co-star Shannen Doherty were part of the announcement.
Former co-stars and friends remembered the man who had once been put forth as his generation's answer to James Dean, with Ian Ziering tweeting, "Dearest Luke, I will forever bask in the loving memories we've shared over the last thirty years. May your journey forward be enriched by the magnificent souls who have passed before you, just like you have done here, for those you leave behind."