Riverdale star Luke Perry died Monday following a stroke the actor suffered last week.
“Actor Luke Perry, 52, passed away today after suffering a massive stroke," the statement from Perry's publicist read. "He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steven Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends."
The heartbreaking news was met with surprise, but also an outpouring of love the actor whose most recent role was that of Fred Andrews, Archie's father on The CW. While Riverdale shut down production for the day following the news of Perry's passing, though, those who worked with Perry on other projects over the years to share not only their grief, but their fond memories of the actor across decades of film and television roles.
While Perry may be best-known to certain audiences for Riverdale, others recall him fondly from Beverly Hills, 90210, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, 8 Seconds, and even as the voice of Ricky Jones on television's The Incredible Hulk. With over three decades in entertainment, Perry had a long list of iconic roles. To mark the actor's passing, we here at ComicBook.com are taking a look back at those roles.
For fans, there is one last role to enjoy this summer: his final one in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which will debut in theaters July 26th.
What is your favorite Luke Perry role? Let us know in the comments below.
Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a television series, it was a 1992 comedy horror film that starred Kristy Swanson as the titular Buffy Summers. In the film, Perry played Oliver Pike -- referred to simply as Pike -- a poor, hard-drinking guy who resents Buffy and her rich, snobby friends initially, but ends up friends with and eventually romantically involved with Buffy after Pike's friend Benny (David Arquette) is turned into a vampire. Buffy and Pike ultimately team up to take down the local vampire king, Lothos (Rutger Hauer).
While the Buffy movie isn't considered canon for the universe, Perry's Pike remains an iconic character in 1990s film.
Perry did voice work in addition to his on-screen roles and among them was the voice of Sub-Zero in the Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm series. He provided the voice of the formidable fighter for the all 13 episodes of the 1996 animated series.
One of the most iconic television characters of the 1990s, Perry's Dylan McKay is the role that shot Perry to stardom. The brooding son of a millionaire, Dylan McKay was the series' bad boy who struggled with alcoholism and his father's arrest and eventual conviction for white collar crimes. Perry played the character for the series' first six seasons, departing in 1996 to pursue other roles. Perry would reprise the role as a special guest during the Fox series' ninth and tenth seasons.
Many of those who memorialized Perry on social media Monday -- including both fans and celebrities alike -- cited Perry's role on the series as being their first TV crush, a testament to the character's cultural longevity and significance.
Another voice role for Perry was that of Rick Jones for four episodes in The Incredible Hulk. The series, which ran for two seasons between 1996 and 1997, featured many characters from Marvel comics -- including Bruce Banner's loyal friend Rick Jones -- as well as a wide variety of major vocal talent. In addition to Perry, the series also featured voices from Lou Ferrigno, Neal McDonough, Cree Summer, and Mark Hamill.
Another character Perry is remembered for is his role as American rodeo legend Lane Frost in 8 Seconds. The 1994 biopic tells the story of Frost, the only professional bull rider to squore qualified rides from the 1987 World CHampion and 1990 ProRodeo Hall of Fame bull Red Rock, a bull no one had ever been able to stay on for eight seconds. Frost died in the arena in 1989 after being rammed in the back by the bull Takin' Care of Business.
From 2002 to 2004 Perry starred in Showtime's post-apocalyptic drama, Jeremiah. Set in 2021, 15 years after nearly everyone older than 13 is killed off by a plague, Perry's Jeremiah and another survivor, Kurdy (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), team up initially to find the "Valhalla Sector", an area believed to be a refuge. However, the pair end up teaming up with another group of survivors to attempt to rebuild the world as well as go up against Valhalla Sector, which is attempting to control the plague to wipe out any resistance to their authoritarian plans for the new world.
Perry also appeared as a recurring cast memeber of ABC's Body of Proof in which he plaied Dr. Charlie Stafford, a CDC officer acting as a liason to the Philadelphia ME's office before being promoted to Health Commissioner. The series ran for three seasons between 2011 and 2013.
In 1997, Perry had a small role in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element as Billy Masterson, the American assistant of Professor Massimo Pacoli in Egypt in 1914. SKeptical of of Pacoli's theories about the legend of the five elements being used to combat evil, when a group of aliens, the Mondoshawans, arrived to take the elements, Billy assumed the aliens had killed an unconscious Pacoli and shot one of them.
A recurring character in the fourth and fifth of HBO's Oz, Perry played Jeremiah Cloutier, a preacher who is sent to the prison after being caught embezzeling funds from his church. Behind bars, CLoutier continues his role as a preacher and converts other prisoners to Christianity. After a disagreement with one of the converts, Cloutier becomes the victim of severe violence from the Biker gang, ultimately dying from third degree burns across his body, never himself having engaged in violence in the prison.
Perhaps as iconic as his role as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, Perry played Fred Andrews on The CW's Riverdale from the series debut in 2017 until his death on Monday.
One of the major characters in the series, Fred is a guiding figure for Archie and, in many ways, the moral anchor for the Riverdal kids and the show itself. When Fred is shot in the Season 1 finale, much of the show's second season is devoted to finding Fred's would-be killer, the Black Hood. In Seasn 3, Fred continues to be source of support and love for his son, even as Archie goes through the challenges of having been wrongly imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit, his escape from prison, and even the ghosts of Fred's own past in the form of the Gargoyle King and a mysterious roleplaying game that may have ties to mysterious deaths in Riverdale.
Executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Jon Goldwater offered a joint statement.
The statement reads:
“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.”
Riverdale is also shutting down production in the wake of Perry’s death.0comments
Perry played Fred Andrews, Archie Andrews’s father, on Riverdale. Molly Ringwald, who plays Archie’s mother, offered her personal condolences on social media.
“My heart is broken,” Ringwald tweeted. “I will miss you so much Luke Perry. Sending all my love to your family.”