On March 4th, the world lost one of its beloved actors. Coy Luther Perry III, more commonly known as Luke Perry, passed away surrounded by his closest family and friends due to complications from a stroke that he suffered days prior. When I saw the first article that covered his death, my mind automatically dubbed it as fake news. He couldn't be dead, I knew strokes were serious, but something in my gut told me that he was going to be OK. Unfortunately, that was not the case and my heart shattered at the news.
Perry was a heartthrob that spanned generations. He played Dylan McKay in the widely popular '90s "Beverly Hills, 90210" and more recently Fred Andrews on "Riverdale." He stole the hearts of many on both shows with his good looks, charm, and acting skills. Fans pointed out that character Dylan and James Dean shared an abundance of characteristics, calling Perry the "James Dean of the '90s." McKay had an on-again/off-again relationship with Brenda Walsh (portrayed by Shannen Doherty), whose storylines wrenched the hearts of viewers. Sticking to the song of bad boys, he showcased his vampire staking abilities in the 1992 film "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as Oliver Pike, whom later forms a romantic attraction to the titular character. He helped pave the road for all the bad boys in future TV shows.
In "Riverdale," he portrays main character Archie Andrews' father, enthusiasts saying that he is included in the show's large array of badass fathers. He gets shot, runs for mayor, and plays a rather dangerous board game all while trying to keep his redheaded son safe and on the right track. He is shown to be fiercely loyal and an all-around great guy. "Riverdale" will be dedicating its newest episode to him. As of now, the show has ceased production and the fate of Fred Andrews remains unclear.
Although behind the scenes, it is said that Perry was a wise, caring colleague and friend. He was known to reach out to his friends during hard times and offer support as he did when Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer. When both the news of his stroke and his death was released, costars took to social media to show their support for the actor. Even though Perry has no social media profiles of his own, his name was flooded all over with those grieving his loss.
No arrangement of words can do his career or his life any justice. It will be hard to match Perry's charisma both on and off screen. I offer his family and everyone else who was touched by this man my condolences.
Cover photo: alan-light / Flickr