Luke Perry suffered a massive stroke on 2/27/19 and is currently in a medically induced coma according to the 52 year old actor’s representatives.
Perry moved to Los Angeles with hopes of getting an acting career after graduating from Fredericktown High School in Ohio. He worked construction jobs in the Southern California area in between acting auditions.
He was cast as the rebellious “bad boy” Dylan McKay for the Darren Star created prime time teen soap opera “Beverly Hills 90210” which debuted on Fox on October 4, 1990. Fox executives originally did not want him as a series regular. Legendary television producer Aaron Spelling fought to keep the McKay character on the show because he thought Perry and co-star Jason Priestley had a “modern day James Dean and Marlon Brando” star quality which would appeal to teens.
Spelling was correct on the similarities with James Dean. Perry would play a similar role as Oliver Pike in Joss Whedon’s 1992 movie “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” with Kristy Swanson. The production was only given five weeks to film because of Perry’s full television schedule.
Perry left “90210” in 1995 to act in movies, but he returned a few seasons later to fill the cast void when co-star and friend Jason Priestley decided to leave for other projects.
Currently, Perry is part of the cast on The CW’s gritty teen drama “Riverdale”. The show combines the Archie Comic characters with 90210-like high school themes and horror. Perry plays Archie Andrews’ father, Fred Andrews. The character is an honest and hard working blue collar construction worker, based in part on Perry’s own father, who worked as a steelworker in Ohio. It is not a major role, but each time Fred speaks, he always gives a calm toughness of importance with his words. Perry’s camera time is never wasted.
Ironcially, the Perry family has had a lot of good news over the past couple of months. The CW announced that “Riverdale” has been renewed for a forth season. Perry’s son is indie pro wrestler Jungle Boy (Jack Perry) who recently signed a contract with the upstart AEW group. Fox announced just yesterday that the “Beverly Hills 90210” reboot would debut in the summer. The CW said they were willing to let Perry guest star on the Fox show if his “Riverdale” schedule permitted.
Perry is a big pro wrestling fan who has been often seen watching his son’s matches at California indie shows. He has said that Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair were his favorite wrestlers. He had a chance to meet Rhodes years ago and he was incredibly flattered when Rhodes knew who he was because of “90210”.
Impact Wrestling Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore was always a “90210” fan as well, and he will even make references about the show in color commentary on the live Impact/Twitch broadcasts.
Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer is another big fan and he’s even had some chance meetings with Perry while attending the same California events.
UPDATE: The latest report from Perry’s management team is that he is NOT currently in a coma, but he has been sedated and is under observation.