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Luke Perry Was More Than Just Dylan

Celebs, fans mourn untimely passing of '90210,' 'Riverdale' star
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2019 5:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Luke Perry's death at age 52 shocked many on Monday, and the Washington Post, Page Six, and the AP round up reactions from fans and colleagues alike that use words including "stunned," "crushed," "heartbroken," and "devastated." Some co-stars shared stories about Perry, such as Leslie Grossman, who said that when she worked with the actor on What I Like About You, he teasingly called her a "weirdo" when learning she used to sleep with a pillow featuring his face. Many of his fellow celebrities recalled having a crush on him, even if they never got to meet him; others, who did meet him, spoke of his kindness and generosity. More coverage in the wake of his death:

  • More than just Dylan: Though it was his role on Beverly Hills, 90210 that made him a household name, Perry had what Vanity Fair calls a "long, winding career." It takes a look at the non-90210 roles that defined that career, from serious performances to voice work that, at times, made light of his own image.
  • His final role: Perry had finished filming Quentin Tarantino’s Charles Manson movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Entertainment Weekly reports. In addition, he will appear in as-yet-unaired episodes of Riverdale he had already filmed; it is not clear how the show, based on the comic book character of Archie Andrews, will handle his death.

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  • More on Riverdale: Sources tell TMZ the series shut down the set for the day. The show also released a statement: "Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all. A father figure and mentor to the show's young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness. Our thoughts are with Luke's family during this most difficult time."
  • Remembrance: Perry "defined coolness for a generation of TV watchers," writes Daniel Fienberg at the Hollywood Reporter. He was "indelibly hip and heart-throbby as Dylan McKay, but also gained gravitas in the later stages of his career." The fact that Perry was one of the few original 90210 cast members who didn't sign on to the show's upcoming reboot, thanks to his regular gig on Riverdale, makes his death "all the more gutting. A generation grew up with him and matured with him and mellowed with him in a way we sadly don't always get to do with our heartthrobs."
  • And another: At NPR, Linda Holmes writes that Perry "made an unreal fantasy boyfriend real enough." "There's only so much you can do with the kinds of lines Dylan had, which were so often either stupendously pretentious or assiduously laid-back, made up of stiff slang that only an adult would try to put in an alleged teenager's mouth," she writes. "Luke Perry sold it all."
  • His death: Perry died after suffering a massive stroke at a young age. Philly.com looks into that, and notes that for a white man between the ages of 45 and 54, the chance of having a stroke is 2.4 out of 1,000.
  • Who he leaves behind: Perry died surrounded by family, including his two children, his fiancee—and his ex-wife. In Touch calls Perry's family "a little unorthodox," noting that he and his ex remained friendly after parting ways. His daughter, 18, has kept a low profile, but his son, 21, is a professional wrestler.
(Read more Luke Perry stories.)

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