Riverdale star Luke Perry died in a Burbank hospital on March 4 at the young age of 52. He’d been hospitalized a week earlier as he suffered a massive stroke in his Sherman Oaks home. Several of his family members and close friends were able to surround Perry during his final moments. And now they, along with a multitude of fans, are left to grieve the beloved man and celebrate his life and career.

Perry starred in the teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 in the 1990s playing the brooding millionaire’s son Dylan McKay alongside Shannen Doherty’s character Brenda Walsh. With his James Dean looks and cool demeanor, he became a teen heartthrob and appeared on the cover of countless magazines. Once, things got out of control at a scheduled autograph session with the star; it’s reported that a riot erupted amongst a crowd of 10,000 teenage girls hoping to interact with him, forcing Perry to flee after just 90 seconds.

The Ohio native also played the love interest Oliver Pike in the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And a couple of years later, he portrayed the bull-riding champion Lane Frost in 8 Seconds. A few of his other roles include playing the Reverend Cloutier in the HBO prison drama Oz, starring in the post-apocalyptic television series Jeremiah, and appearing in the science fiction adventure film The Fifth Element. Most recently, Perry was cast as Fred Andrews, the father of Archie Andrews, in the CW teen drama series Riverdale based on the characters of Archie Comics. Wherever Perry worked, he had a way of bonding with others, and castmates only have nice things to say about him, referring to him as “a gentleman,” and “a brother.”

When 90210 came around, Perry originally auditioned for the part of the light-hearted and brash Steve Sanders before being cast as Dylan—and only for a limited role at that. But the producers liked him so much, they decided to make him part of the main cast. After portraying Dylan in 199 episodes, for the remainder of his life, Perry couldn’t go anywhere without being reminded of his association with Dylan. In 2008, he said, “I’m going to be linked with him until I die, but that’s actually just fine. I created Dylan McKay. He’s mine.”

Raised in Fredericktown, Ohio, Perry was drawn to acting early on. “I always felt like something of an outsider,” he said. “But I identified with people up on the screen. That made me feel like I wanted to be up on the screen too. I felt like eventually, I would get there.”

Soon after graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. To make ends meet, Perry worked at a doorknob factory as well as an asphalt-paving company. During an interview with Whoopi Goldberg in the ‘90s, he said he auditioned for 215 acting jobs before landing work on a TV commercial.

Since his untimely death, an outpouring of friends and costars have been sharing heartfelt tributes. His Beverly Hills, 90210 costar and longtime friend, Jason Priestley, wrote on Instagram, “Luke was much more than just a friend to me … he was also my teammate, my teacher, my sounding board, my compass, my brother. Luke was truly one of a kind …”

Shannen Doherty said, “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.”

Riverdale actor Cole Sprouse said of Perry, “There’s a thousand things. All of us are—I don’t think there was a single bad thing I’ve ever heard said about that guy, truly. He is so loved.” He continued, “We were all so close to him, and we all cared for him so much. He had this way of speaking that was so hyper-passionate … He would get very close and it immediately removed all of your walls, it was this beautiful way that he had of speaking, and he would latch onto topics so passionately.”

Perry is survived by his step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, and sister Amy Coder.

Rest in peace, Luke Perry.

Learn risk factors and warning signs of a stroke here.

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