Luke Perry, star of 'Beverly Hills, 90210' dead at 52
LOS ANGELES - AFP
Actor Luke Perry, who rose to fame as a heartthrob in the hit 1990s television series "Beverly Hills, 90210," died on March 4 at the age of 52, triggering an outpouring of grief from friends and former co-stars.
Perry had been hospitalized last week after suffering a massive stroke at his home in Sherman Oaks, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles.
He died surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, his fiancee Wendy Madison Bauer and ex-wife Minnie Sharp, his parents, siblings and other close family and friends, his agent Arnold Robinson said.
"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," Robinson added, in a statement.
"Luke was a tremendous force in the lives of so many. He was a very sensitive soul who was kind, generous and he fought for the underdog," said Gabrielle Carteris, who played Andrea Zuckerman in "90210."
She said she was "absolutely heartbroken" at the loss.
The show ran for 10 seasons from 1990 to 2000 and followed the lives and romantic entanglements of a group of teenagers living in an affluent area of Los Angeles. It became a huge international hit.
"I'm going to be linked with him until I die, but that's actually just fine. I created Dylan McKay. He's mine," Perry was once quoted as saying of the career-defining role.
Perry was hospitalized on February 27, the same day Fox announced it was rebooting "90210," featuring six of the original stars including Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling -- though there was no confirmation Perry would be part of the reboot.
News of his stroke had triggered an outpouring of support from celebrities including his former co-star on the teen drama Shannen Doherty, who shared an old cast photo of her character locked in an embrace with Perry's -- they were one of the show's supercouples.
He went on to play the love interest in the original movie of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," as well as headlining in the rodeo drama "8 Seconds" and plating a smaller role in Luc Besson's sci-fi film "The Fifth Element" starring Bruce Willis. He also appeared in the hit sitcoms "Will & Grace" and "Spin City," as well as doing voice-overs in a number of animated series, including an appearance as himself in the hugely successful show "The Simpsons."
His final film role will be in the Quentin Tarantino movie "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," slated for release later this year, in which he plays alongside screen giants Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Perry married Rachel Sharp in 1993 and the couple had two children before separating a decade later. His son Jack is a professional wrestler who fights under the ring name "Jungle Boy."