Entertainment & Arts

Luke Perry of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale dies at 52

Luke Perry Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Luke Perry starred in Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale

US actor Luke Perry has died in California at the age of 52, less than a week after suffering a massive stroke.

His publicist said Perry died surrounded by his family and friends.

Perry rose to fame on Beverly Hills, 90210 and had been starring as Fred Andrews on the CW show Riverdale.

Last Wednesday, US media reported that paramedics had been called to the actor's home in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles.

Perry had recently been shooting scenes for Riverdale at the Warner Bros film lot.

Perry's children, Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, and his siblings, Tom Perry and Amy Coder, were with him when he passed, publicist Arnold Robinson said in a statement.

"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," Mr Robinson said.

The family has not provided additional details at this time.

Riverdale has stopped production following news of Perry's death, US media reported.

In a statement, Riverdale's executive producers, WBTV and the CW network, said Perry was "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."

Last Wednesday, US media reported that paramedics had been called to the actor's home in Sherman Oaks.

Image copyright Peter Carrette Archive
Image caption Perry gained fame for his role on Beverly Hills 90210

Perry, a native of Ohio, was famous for starring in Beverly Hills 90210 from 1990 to 2000. A reboot of the series was also announced on Wednesday, though it was not clear whether Perry planned to make any guest appearances.

His former 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty - who played Perry's love interest on the show - told Entertainment Tonight on Sunday in an emotional interview that she had been in touch with him after his stroke.

"I can't talk about it here 'cause I will literally start crying but I love him and he knows I love him. It's Luke, and he's my Dylan."

Perry also starred in television show Oz, as well as films including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 8 Seconds and The Fifth Element.

His most recent role was on the hit television teen drama series Riverdale, based on the Archie comics, where he played the titular character's father.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption (From left to right) Riverdale actors Madchen Amick, Lili Reinhart, KJ Apa, who plays the lead role of Archie, and Luke Perry in 2018

What's the reaction?

Online, Perry's fans and fellow celebrities have begun paying tribute.

Sarah Michelle Geller, the star of the Buffy series, shared that she was comforting Doherty over Perry's death, adding: "This is not how it's supposed to happen."

Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa described Perry as "a father, brother, friend and mentor".

His Riverdale co-star Molly Ringwald said: "My heart is broken."

Ian Ziering, Perry's 90210 co-star, thanked him for enriching the lives of so many.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio - whose father delivered Perry as a baby - said the actor "represented what makes our state great".