As confirmed first by TMZ, the Riverdale and Beverly Hills, 90210 star passed away Monday due to complications of a massive stroke he suffered last week. The actor was originally hospitalized on Wednesday and there was hope that he would be able to recover. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated and we have lost someone that has long been a icon in the industry. The website notes that Perry was surrounded by friends and family at the time of his passing.
Perry had a rare distinction as an actor as being a part of two different pop-culture teen phenomenons. His most famous role is Dylan McKay on the aforementioned Beverly Hills, 90210 series, which defined the better part of a decade. If you think back to the 1990s in terms of entertainment, it is likely one of the first shows that you think about. It was a series that brought you memorable characters, soapy twists, and also the Beverly Hills lifestyle in a way you had not seen it before.
More recently, Perry was a series regular on Riverdale right up to the time of his passing, where he played the role of Archie Andrews’ father Fred. There are decisions that Riverdale will need to make in the aftermath of this tragic news, but this is not the time for them.
Perry appeared on a number of other shows throughout his career as well, including Oz and Body of Proof. He was also set to potentially appear in Fox’s 90210 limited series event airing this summer. While he was not listed as a part of its main cast (the story revolved around the cast, playing exaggerated versions of themselves, trying to create a new version of the show), the plan was to feature him when his schedule allowed it. We are sure that there will be further tributes that come out for Perry over the coming weeks, from the cast and crew who were lucky enough to work with him and all of us fans that were lucky enough to have him on our TV’s each week. What we know about the entertainment business is that you don’t get to have a career that lasts for decades as an actor unless you are respected by your colleagues, you do your job brilliantly, and you help to light up a room. Perry was Dylan, but he was also so much more and his career resume proves that. That’s without even noting his accomplishments away form the camera. Perry had an opportunity to live a full life, on-screen as well as off.
Perry will be greatly missed. Our thoughts go out to those who loved him, especially his family and friends. Our hope is that the next episode of Riverdale will choose to honor his legacy with a title card at the end of the program. (Photo: The CW.)