Luke Perry, who first shot to fame on Beverly Hills 90210 and was most recently starring on The CW’s Riverdale as Fred Andrew, dad to Archie (KJ Apa) has died at 52 years old. His passing comes after the actor suffered what CNN calls “a massive stroke.”
“He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé 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,” according to 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. No further details will be released at this time.”
News of Perry suffering a stroke was first announced Wednesday, February 27. At that time, it was reported that he would remain hospitalized and “under observations,” according to People.
Following news of his death, it was announced that production on Riverdale would shut down, allowing the cast and crew to mourn. A statement from Warner Bros. TV and The CW read, “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.”
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the showrunner on the adaptation of Archie Comics, followed with his message on Twitter. “So heartbroken about Luke,” he wrote. “He was a father, brother, friend, and mentor. Each night before he had to shoot a scene, he’d call me and we’d talk about… everything. I will miss those calls. And my heart goes out to all his family and friends.”
In addition to 90210 and Riverdale, Perry had a very full career on the big and small screens. From his co-starring role in 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer film to his parts on shows like HBO’s Oz and as Sub-Zero on the animated Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, he didn’t stray too far from acting.
He also never strayed far from his love of professional wrestling, whether it was appearing on WWE programming or supporting his son “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry, who is signed to All Elite Wrestling. With that in mind, we’ll leave you with Perry’s appearance on The Edge & Christian Show That Totally Reeks Of Awesomeness.