A spokesperson says that the Riverdale star was surrounded by fiancee Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, and children Jack and Sophie, among other family members and friends, at the time he passed.
Perry’s TV career began in the late 1980s, with appearances on the soap operas Loving and Another World. But it was his breakout role as Dylan on Beverly Hills, 90210 that shot Perry to fame and cemented his status as a teen heartthrob. He starred as the son of wealthy businessman Jack McKay from 1990 to 1995, then returned to the show in 1998 for its final two seasons.
Following his run on Beverly Hills, 90210, Perry found consistent TV work, including starring turns on Showtime’s post-apocalyptic drama series Jeremiah and the short-lived NBC drama Windfall. He also held numerous recurring and guest-starring roles on series such as Oz, What I Like About You, Body of Proof, Will & Grace and Major Crimes, among others.
In 2017, Perry joined The CW’s Riverdale in the series-regular role of Fred Andrews, father of KJ Apa’s Archie Andrews. At the time of Perry’s death, he was a fixture on the teen drama’s in-progress third season.
Perry told TVLine he was “skeptical” when he was first invited to play Riverdale‘s Fred. “I wasn’t really into it, but my agent was like, ‘No, no, you’ve got to read it!’ And when I did, it was, ‘Wow,'” he shared.
“It’s very 21st-century, they really updated it,” he explained. “Not just with the iPhones and stuff, but with kids who are in their heart and in their head now. It’s very different.”
Perry had suffered a stroke on the same day that Fox announced it was reviving Beverly Hills, 90210 via a six-episode, Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque mockumentary starring original cast members Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Jason Priestly, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling and Gabrielle Carteris. Though Perry’s Riverdale gig would have kept him from participating in the project full-time, Spelling had expressed confidence, prior to the revival’s official announcement, that Perry would have done “as many [episodes] as he can do.”
Riverdale‘s Luke Perry, KJ Apa Talk Season 2