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SYFY WIRE Luke Perry

Luke Perry, Riverdale star and prolific TV actor, dies at 52

By Jacob Oller
Luke Perry

Riverdale and Beverly Hills, 90210 star Luke Perry has died at the age of 52.

The prolific TV actor recently suffered a stroke and did not recover. According to TMZ, Perry died Monday morning at Burbank's St. Joseph's Hospital from damage caused by the stroke less than a week after suffering the trauma.

Perry got his start as teen bad boy Dylan McKay on 90210, playing the character for 10 seasons while dabbling in other projects that included genre TV voice acting (like in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and The Incredible Hulk cartoons) before recently resurging to pop culture prominence as Archie's father, Fred Andrews, on The CW's Riverdale.

Perry's other credits include roles both big and small in shows like Jeremiah, Oz, and Clone High as well as films like The Fifth Element and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The latter later became the Joss Whedon show of the same name, but there's still a large contingent of fans loyal to the film - or at least Perry's Pike, often regarded as the best love interest any iteration of Buffy encountered. Here his knack for the dreamy bad boy went beyond its usual hearthrob performance, offering up a complex and caring addition to the Buffy canon - even though, yes, he does ride a motorcycle.

Riverdale is currently in the midst of its third season, with three episodes left to air. “We are deeply saddened to learn today about the passing of Luke Perry," a statement from the show's executive producers reads. "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.”

Perry's final film role will be actor Wayne Maunder in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie about Charles Manson, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which will hit theaters on July 26.

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