The absolute worst outcome to Luke Perry suffering a massive stroke last week happened. As we all held our St. Brenda and St. Dylan candles while praying for Luke to make a full recovery, I really thought he would pull through, get healthy again and come back to say that if Brenda’s not doing that weird 90210 reboot, neither is he. But in awful-wrapped-in-horrible news that broke every piece of my heart, Luke’s rep said that he never recovered from his stroke and died today.
“Actor Luke Perry, 52, passed away today after suffering 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. 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.”
And there goes a big part of my tween self who swooned out of my British Knights over Dylan McKay’s pompadour of rebel hotness and mysterious coolness, and considered Dylan one of my first crushes.
After graduating high school in his hometown of Fredricktown, Ohio, Luke moved to Los Angeles to try to make it as an actor, and after working jobs as a paver (cut to current day me swooning out of my sock slippers over a blue collar Luke Perry) and auditioning more than 200 times, he began to land jobs including roles on Loving and Another World. In 1990, he got the role that made him an overnight star. Luke originally auditioned for Steve Sanders on Beverly Hills, 90210, but after losing the role to Ian Ziering, he was cast as Dylan McKay. Dylan was only supposed to be part of one story arc and wasn’t supposed to be a regular. Aaron Spelling obviously saw a star in Luke and realized his ability to make chonies rip with one wink, and so he fought with FOX for him to become a series regular. Aaron obviously won out. Luke played Dylan for six seasons, and took seasons seven and eight off, before coming back to guest star on the last two seasons of the show.
During his 90210 days, Luke graced movie screens by doing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Fifth Element, and 8 Seconds where he somehow made cowboy hat hair hot.
After 90210 ended, Luke was on Oz, Windfall, John from Cincinnati, and Jeremiah. Luke did theater too, like the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show, where he played Brad, and a London production of When Harry Met Sally where he played Harry to Alyson Hannigan’s Sally.
Kids today who weren’t lucky enough to be alive during Dylan McKay’s reign probably know Luke best as Fred Andrews, Archie’s dad, on Riverdale. Luke was recently on set shooting scenes. Luke is also in Quentin Tarantino’s Manson movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which comes out this summer.
Just yesterday, Shannen Doherty was at the Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation Compassion Project Gala in Culver City, CA, and didn’t really want to talk about Luke’s health, but my heart dropped out of my ass and hit the floor when she said, “He’s my Dylan.”
And some angel on YouTube made a supercut of Dylan McKay’s moments on 90210, and its views are about to go from 33,000 to 33,000,000, because I’m going to watch this at least 32,967,000 times today.
Rest in peace, Luke Perry. Dylan McKay 4Ever!