Luke Perry, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Star, Is Dead at 52


Luke Perry, who burst onto the tv scene and numerous fan-magazine covers in 1990 as one of many core solid members of the Fox drama “Beverly Hills, 90210,” then went on to a busy profession in tv and movie that included, most just lately, the CW collection “Riverdale,” died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 52.

His household introduced the demise. He had been hospitalized after a stroke final Wednesday.

On “Beverly Hills, 90210,” a collection about younger individuals in a well-off ZIP code, Mr. Perry performed Dylan McKay, a bad-boy teenager who struggled with alcoholism. The present, after a sluggish first season, turned a success and a pop-culture phenomenon, and the handsome Mr. Perry was a major cause.

“Young women are obviously lured by the guys-to-drool-over factor,” Caryn James wrote in The New York Times in August 1991. “Luke Perry and Jason Priestley, the actors who play Dylan and Brandon, are today’s favorite TV heartthrobs, their kissable photographs, clean-cut family backgrounds and list of wholesome hobbies flooding magazines for teenagers.”

At a time when a lot TV fare aimed at youthful audiences was pretty tame, “Beverly Hills, 90210” combined its romantic intrigues with critical themes, like teenage being pregnant and racism. Mr. Perry, who was 24 when the present started (though he performed a youngster), stayed for the primary six seasons, left for Seasons 7 and eight, then returned for the ultimate two.

The collection led to 2000 after nearly 300 episodes and spawned a number of spinoffs, together with “Melrose Place” and the 2008 reboot “90210.” Another reboot was just lately introduced.

In addition to all those teenage fans, the show’s success brought Mr. Perry parts in films like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992), “The Fifth Element” (1997) and “Redemption Road” (2010). He also made dozens of television appearances, including regular roles on the prison drama “Oz,” the post-apocalyptic series “Jeremiah,” the crime drama “Body of Proof” and “Riverdale,” the CW series based on the Archie comics, on which he played Archie’s father.

The producers of “Riverdale” said in a statement, “A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness.”

“Looking back at it all now, it was pretty frightening,” he told Vanity Fair. “I try to reiterate to these people writing the show that these kids ain’t stupid. They see. They know. ‘Don’t be afraid to talk to them about real issues on a real level.’ ”

When his mother remarried, Mr. Perry moved with her to Fredericktown, Ohio. There, he told The Mansfield News Journal in 2010, he played Freddie Bird, the school system’s mascot, for a time.

He credited his Midwest upbringing with helping him to cope with fame. “Growing up in the Midwest, people don’t drive Porsches and Ferraris and Maseratis,” he told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland in 2006. “People drive Ford and Chevy and Dodge. A lot of times people forget what makes sense to them and what got them where they were, and they want to have all this new stuff. And I think they go a little astray there.”

After graduating from high school, Mr. Perry went first to Los Angeles and then to New York.

“It was never about escape,” he said. “It was about wanting to feel like I belonged. I felt like I belonged on a screen.”

In New York he worked on “Another World” as well as another soap, “Loving,” then tried Los Angeles again, with little result at first. He was earning money laying asphalt when the “90210” role came along.



Source link Nytimes.com

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