Kristen Dragotto, A&E Editor
Luke Perry, the beloved Fred Andrews on the hit show “Riverdale,” has died at the age of 52.
According to Perry’s publicist Arnold Robinson, Perry died after a massive stroke March 4 where he was surrounded by family.
Robinson in a statement to CNN said, “He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder and other close family and friends. The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world.”
On Feb. 27 Perry was taken to the hospital after paramedics were dispatched to his home in Sherman Oaks, California. Perry was under observation for five days but later died Monday, March 4.
Born Coy Luther Perry III Oct. 11, 1966, in Fredericktown, Ohio, to parents Coy Perry Jr. and Ann Perry. In 1972 his parents divorced, and he was raised by his mother and stepfather. He has three siblings: his older brother Tom, a younger sister Amy and a stepsister Emily.
Perry’s made his way to Hollywood in 1984 where he worked odd jobs to support his acting career. Perry landed his first break as the role of Ned Bates in “Loving” in 1987. The role required the actor to move to New York which proved to beneficial for the actor because in 1988 he landed a role on the soap opera “Another World” which was filmed in New York.
1988 was Perry’s year because he landed the breakthrough role which made him an icon, Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” The show proved to be successful and part of its success is attributed to Perry’s ability to be a teen heartthrob.
Perry continued his career and made his way into film. He is featured in the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie in 1992. Perry married actress Rachel Sharp in 1993 and had two children Jack and Sophie.
He continued his career by making numerous guest appearances on television shows like “Oz” in 2002 and he made his way to Broadway in the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Perry divorced Sharp in 2003 and the two shared custody of their children.
In January 2017 Perry landed the role of Fred Andrews, the father of Archie Andrews, on the hit teen drama “Riverdale,” an adaptation of a comic book franchise.
“Riverdale” shut down production March 4 in the wake of Perry’s death. Executive producers Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Jon Goldwater issued a statement with the Warner Bros. Television and the CW stating, “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, he infused the set with love and kindness. Our thoughts are with Luke’s family during this most difficult time.”
Luke Perry was an incredible actor who has had the ability to impact others across generations.
The Perry family has asked that donations be made to the Fight Colorectal Cancer organization and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in lieu of flowers.