Handsome, strong, quiet and ultimately cool are a few words that describe TV icon, Luke Perry. The popular star, 52, passed away on Monday, March 4, following a massive stroke. His family, fiance and two children were by his bedside when he died five days after being rushed to the hospital. Perry had a son Jack, 21, and daughter Sophie, 18, from his marriage to ex-wife Rachel Minnie Sharp.
Perhaps, Perry is best known for his role on television’s “Beverly Hills 90210” series produced by the late TV king Aaron Spelling. Perry played the part of Dylan McKay, a wealthy, intelligent teen with a grounded nature. He had his demons, however, and alcohol was one of them, but his dangerous bad-boy image was also something the young women were attracted to. His sulky James Dean resemblance also didn’t hurt.
The hit 90s show ran for 10 seasons, and by then, Luke Perry had become a major Hollywood star.
Next, it was on to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and Perry was once again TV gold. The actor assumed the role of Oliver Pike, the eventual romantic interest of valley girl Buffy Summers. The pair were not friends at the onset, but Oliver later turned as an ally to help her bring down Lothos, a vampire king.
Perry then turned his attention to the silver screen and nailed a role in the rodeo movie “8 Seconds.” Perry transformed himself into bull riding legend Lane Frost in the 1994 flick.
ProRodeo Hall of Fame bull rider Gary Leffew had trained Luke Perry how to be a bull rider for the movie without live bulls. Instead, Perry got into the physical role through drills and visualization. Leffew says that Perry’s depiction of Lane Frost had had quite an impact on the sport, “inspiring so many kids to be bull riders or to be good rodeo cowboys.”
Perry continued his career playing a police officer in the true-story movie “Normal Life.” He joined actress Ashley Judd in the film as a pair of husband and wife bank robbers.
Luke Perry’s last starring role before his death was as a father, Fred Andrews, on the teen drama hit “Riverdale.” He was the understanding dad to teenage son Archie Andrews and gave the show its emotional core.