Actor Luke Perry, who had been hospitalized since last week after suffering a massive stroke, died Monday at a Burbank hospital surrounded by his family.
Publicist Arnold Robinson released a statement to media outlets, saying the 52-year-old actor’s children, Jack and Sophie, fiance 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” were at his bedside.
“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,” Robinson said. “No further details will be released at this time.”
The actor best known for his role as Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210” was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital last Wednesday by paramedics, who were called to his Sherman Oaks home at 9:40 a.m.
At the time of his death, he was starring as Archie’s dad Fred on the CW Network show “Riverdale,” which films on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank.
Molly Ringwald, who played his wife on the show, took to Twitter to express her sorrow.
“My heart is broken. I will miss you so much Luke Perry. Sending all my love to your family,” she wrote.
“Riverdale” executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater released a joint statement saying Perry “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.”
The Mansfield, Ohio native, the son of a homemaker and a steelworker, moved to Los Angeles shortly after high school and worked as a paver while pursuing an acting career. He got his start on the daytime soap operas “Loving” and “Another World” before shooting to fame on “90210,” which made him a teen idol. He was on the Fox show from 1990-95, and again from 1998-2000.
The actor’s stroke occurred on the same day Fox announced it is rebooting the series. His former co-stars — Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Jason Priestly, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling and Gabrielle Carteris — are involved in the revived series, but Perry had not signed on to the project.
Ziering, in a Twitter post, wrote, “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.”
Carteris, who is also president of the SAG-AFTRA performers’ union, said in a statement that she is “absolutely heartbroken.”
“Luke was a tremendous force in the lives of so many. He was a very sensitive soul who was kind, generous and he fought for the underdog. He was a strong voice and an advocate who will be so missed by all who knew him. He has left his mark — never to be forgotten. My heart goes out to his family, friends and fans around the globe.”
In the midst of his “90210” fame, Perry landed in a role in the 1992 film “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
“Buffy” creator Joss Whedon recalled working with the actor.
“The first time I met Luke Perry we talked about what kind of movie we wanted `Buffy’ to be,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “I asked if he’d ever seen `Near Dark’ and he gave me a look of HOW DARE YOU SIR and I knew we’d get along. Funny, committed, and always gracious. He shouldn’t be gone.”
In 1994, Perry starred in and co-produced “8 Seconds,” in which he played champion bull rider Lane Frost. He trained for a year and a half to master the techniques of bull riding and performed many of his own stunts.
His other film credits include “Fifth Element,” “Riot,” “Normal Life,” “American Strays” and “The Florentine,” in which he co-starred with Chris Penn, Jim Belushi, Michael Madsen and Mary Stuart Masterson.
He had recently completed production on the Quentin Tarantino film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which is set for release later this year.
On stage, Perry made his debut on Broadway in the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” portraying Brad, the character originally played by Barry Bostwick in the cult film classic. In 2004, Perry appeared onstage in London opposite Allyson Hannigan in “When Harry Met Sally.”
His television credits include a lead role in the drama “Windfall”; a multi-episode arc in the HBO series “Oz”; and several Hallmark Channel productions, including “Johnson Country War,” “Supernova,” “A Gunfighter’s Pledge” and “Angel and Badman.” He also starred in “Goodnight for Justice,” which he conceived and executive produced for the Hallmark Movie Channel.
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