Perry in 2017
Coy Luther Perry III
(1966-10-11)October 11, 1966
Mansfield, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||March 4, 2019(2019-03-04) (aged 52)
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Complications from a stroke|
(m. 1993; div. 2003)
Coy Luther "Luke" Perry III (October 11, 1966 – March 4, 2019) was an American actor. He became a teen idol for playing Dylan McKay on the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990 to 1995, and again from 1998 to 2000. He also starred as Fred Andrews on the CW series Riverdale, and had guest roles on notable shows such as Criminal Minds, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Simpsons, and Will & Grace.
Perry was born on October 11, 1966, in Mansfield, Ohio, the son of Ann Bennett, a homemaker, and Coy Luther Perry Jr., a steelworker. They divorced when he was six. He was raised in Fredericktown, Ohio, and served as the school mascot Freddie Bird for Fredericktown High School.
Perry auditioned for 256 acting jobs in New York before getting his first acting job. After appearing in the music video "Be Chrool to Your Scuel" for the band Twisted Sister alongside Alice Cooper. Perry's earliest roles were on daytime soap operas; one episode of Loving (1987–1988) and ten episodes of Another World (1988–1989).
Rise to fame: 1990–1994
Following this, he won the role of the brooding millionaire's son Dylan McKay on Fox's teen drama, Beverly Hills, 90210. He had originally auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders, but lost to actor Ian Ziering. While starring on 90210, Perry won a supporting role in the original film version of Joss Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992). Perry became a popular teen idol; a riot broke out when 10,000 teen girls attended an August 1991 autograph session at The Fashion Mall at Plantation, forcing the actor to leave after 90 seconds. He also starred in Terminal Bliss in 1992, and as Lane Frost in 8 Seconds in 1994.
Departure from Beverly Hills, 90210 and later work
In an attempt to find more mature roles, he decided to leave Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1995. In the same year, he took a part in the Italian movie Vacanze di Natale '95, playing himself. Although he announced that 90210 was behind him, his absence lasted only three years. During that time, Perry starred in the independent film Normal Life opposite Ashley Judd, starred in the TV science fiction movie Invasion (1997), and Riot (1997), a drama about the 1992 Los Angeles riots. He had a small role in Luc Besson's science fiction adventure film The Fifth Element (1997). In 1998 he returned to 90210, where he remained as a permanent special guest star through the show's final season in 2000. Perry then starred in the 1999 film Storm and went on to star in a 2002 television movie called The Triangle.
In 2006, Perry co-starred in the ensemble drama series Windfall, about a group of friends who win the lottery. The series ran for 13 episodes during the summer of 2006 on NBC. In 2007, he landed the role of Tommy "Santa" Santorelli on the film The Sandlot: Heading Home, and he appeared in the 2008 western A Gunfighter's Pledge.
He said of his role on Beverly Hills, 90210 as Dylan McKay: "I'm going to be linked with him until I die, but that's actually just fine. I created Dylan McKay. He's mine." However, he did not reprise his role on the spin-off. He stated: "When you're in the professional acting business, you have to look into all these offers, and I don't mean anything bad about it but creatively it's something I have done before and I don't know how it will benefit me if I do it again." Perry said the fact that the show's longtime producer Aaron Spelling was not involved in the revival was critical: "The difference between CW bringing something back and Aaron Spelling doing something is significant. And I cannot do it without Aaron." However, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, and Tori Spelling reprised their roles in the 2008 revival of the series.
Perry did considerable voice-over work for various animated series, often playing himself. He played himself (as Krusty the Clown's half brother) in "Krusty Gets Kancelled", an episode of The Simpsons (1993). He voiced himself in an episode of Johnny Bravo, giving Johnny dating advice after Johnny saved him from a stampede of fan girls. Perry parodied himself in "The Story on Page One", an episode of Family Guy, in which he sues Peter Griffin for calling him gay in a newspaper article. His other voice work includes The Incredible Hulk, Biker Mice from Mars, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, and The Night of the Headless Horseman.
Perry guest-starred as gay characters in the sitcoms Spin City (1997) and Will & Grace (2005); in the former, he appeared as Carter Heywood's ex-boyfriend who subsequently fell in love with a woman, and in the latter he played a geeky birdwatcher who catches the eye of Jack McFarland. In 2005, Perry was reunited with former 90210 co-star Jennie Garth when he guest-starred on What I Like About You in a loose parody of their 90210 characters' relationship. In 2008, Perry guest-starred as rapist Noah Sibert in the season premiere of the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He also guest-starred as cult leader Benjamin Cyrus in an episode of Criminal Minds. In late 2009, Perry starred in The Killers' music video for their fourth annual Christmas single, "¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe!"
Also in 2009, Perry participated in the Thomas Nelson's audio Bible production known as The Word of Promise. In this dramatized audio, Perry played both Saint Stephen and Judas Iscariot. The project also featured a large ensemble of other well-known Hollywood actors, including Jim Caviezel, Louis Gossett Jr., John Rhys-Davies, Jon Voight, Gary Sinise, Jason Alexander, Christopher McDonald, Marisa Tomei, Stacy Keach and John Schneider.
Perry appeared on Broadway in 2001, in a revival of The Rocky Horror Show, playing Brad Majors. In 2004, he appeared in the London production of When Harry Met Sally ... as Harry, alongside Alyson Hannigan as Sally. He played a con man/psychic in a second season episode of Leverage in 2010, and then appeared as the American version of Inspector Spacetime in an episode of Community in 2013, titled "Biology 101".
Personal life and death
Perry married Rachel Minnie Sharp on November 20, 1993 in Beverly Hills. They separated in 2003. The couple had two children, Jack and daughter Sophie (born June 7, 2000). Jack is a professional wrestler known by his ring name "Jungle Boy" Nate Coy, who is signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
Perry had a massive stroke at his home in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, on February 27, 2019. He died from complications on March 4 at the age of 52. At the time of his death, Perry was engaged to Wendy Madison Bauer.
|1992||Terminal Bliss||John Hunter|
|1992||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Oliver Pike|
|1994||8 Seconds||Lane Frost|
|1995||Vacanze di Natale '95 (Christmas Holidays '95)||Himself|
|1996||Normal Life||Chris Anderson|
|1997||The Fifth Element||Billy Masterson|
|1997||Last Breath||Martin Devoe|
|1999||Storm||Dr. Ron Young||Direct-to-video|
|2000||Attention Shoppers||Mark Pinnalore|
|2001||The Enemy||Dr. Michael Ashton|
|2003||Down the Barrel||David||Direct-to-video|
|2007||The Sandlot: Heading Home||Tommy "Santa" Santorelli||Direct-to-video|
|2007||Alice Upside Down||Ben McKinley|
|2009||Silent Venom||Lt. Comdr. James O'Neill||Direct-to-video|
|2009||Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency||The Cat|
|2010||The Final Storm||Silas Hendershot||Direct-to-DVD|
|2010||Good Intentions||Chester Milford|
|2013||Red Wing||Carl Blanton|
|2013||Scoot and Kassie’s Christmas Adventure||Paul Stevenson|
|2014||Beat Beneath My Feet||Max Stone|
|2016||Dudes & Dragons||Lorash|
|2019||Once Upon a Time in Hollywood||Wayne Maunder||Post-production, posthumous release|
Episode: "The Day the Rebs Took Lincoln"
|1988–1989||Another World||Kenny||10 episodes|
|Beverly Hills, 90210||Dylan McKay||199 episodes|
Episode: "Krusty Gets Kancelled"
|1994–1995||Biker Mice from Mars||Napoleon Brie||Voice
|1996||Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm||Sub-Zero||Voice
|1996–1997||The Incredible Hulk||Rick Jones||Voice
|1997||Spin City||Spence||Episode: "Kiss Me, Stupid"|
|1997||Invasion||Beau Stark||Television film|
|1999||The Night of the Headless Horseman||Brom Bones||Voice
|1999–2000||Pepper Ann||Stewart Waldinger||Voice
Episode: "Luke Perry's Guide to Love"
Episode: "The Story on Page One"
|2001||Night Visions||Dr. Michael Sears||Episode: "Now He's Coming Up the Stairs"|
|2001||The Triangle||Stu Sheridan||Television film|
|2001–2002||Oz||Rev. Jeremiah Cloutier||10 episodes|
|2002||Johnson County War||Harry Hammett||Television film|
|2003||Clone High||Ponce de León||Voice
Episode: "Litter Kills - Literally"
|2005||Will & Grace||Aaron||Episode: "The Birds & the Bees"|
|2005||What I Like About You||Todd||3 episodes|
|2005||Descent||Dr. Jake Rollins||Television film|
|2005||Supernova||Dr. Chris Richardson||Television film|
|2006||Windfall||Peter Schaefer||13 episodes|
|2007||Biker Mice from Mars||Napoleon Brie||Voice
Episode: "Once Upon a Time on Earth"
|2005||John from Cincinnati||Linc Stark||10 episodes|
|2008||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Noah Sibert||Episode: "Trials"|
|2008||A Gunfighter's Pledge||Matt Austin||Television film|
|2008||A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride||Charlie||Television film|
|Criminal Minds||Benjamin Cyrus||Episodes: "Minimal Loss" and "300"|
|2009||The Storm||Stillman||Miniseries; 2 episodes|
|2009||Angel and the Badman||Laredo Stevens||Television film|
|2010||Leverage||Dalton Rand||Episode: "The Future Job"|
Episode: "The Architect"
|2010||FCU: Fact Checkers Unit||Luke||8 episodes|
Episode: "Rebel Without A Collar"
|2011||Goodnight for Justice||John Goodnight||Television film|
|2012||Goodnight for Justice: The Measure of a Man||John Goodnight||Television film|
|2012||Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts||John Goodnight||Television film|
|2012||Raising Hope||Ghost of Arbor Day||Episode: "Arbor Daze"|
|2012–2013||Body of Proof||CDC Officer Dr. Charlie Stafford||5 episodes|
|2013||Community||American Inspector Spacetime||Episode: "Conventions of Space and Time"|
|2014||Major Crimes||Jon Worth||Episode: "Cutting Loose"|
|2015||Welcome Home||Stewart Paylor||Television film|
|2015||Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise||Richard Steele||Television film|
|2016||Love in Paradise||Avery Ford||Television film|
|2016||The Edge and Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness||Himself||Episode: "The 90's"|
|2017–2019||Riverdale||Fred Andrews||Main cast|