Talent is never enough when it comes to finding your way around any project. The competition for places means that sometimes a certain amount of luck is needed to get through. In Hollywood, the process becomes even more brutal when the relevance of age is taken into account. Nevertheless, there are quite a few people who leave their homes all over the country for California in search of a dream. Luke Perry was one of these people.
He insisted on it 215 times before he got his first job as an actor. Now known as the infamous bad boy Dylan McKay on the teenage television show Beverly Hills 90210, he also starred in Riverdale, another show for young adults. Read below to learn more about the late actor.
Luke Perry’s Biography
Luke Perry was born on October 11, 1966, as Coy Luther Perry III. He was the son of Ann Bennett and Coy Luther Perry Jr. Born and raised in Ohio, Luke had a deep connection with the state, especially with his hometown of Fredericktown, which he regularly visited for the famous Fredericktown Tomato Show.
For his education, he attended Fredericktown High School, and although he did nothing remarkable in sports or academics, he was the school mascot, Freddie. After graduating from Fredericktown, he moved to Los Angeles in search of an acting career. Luke had had the desire to become an actor, and because of the lack of acting opportunities in Ohio, he moved to the City of Angels.
His move to Los Angeles did not go as smoothly as he had hoped. He was unable to get any acting roles, and he had to work as a plasterer to pay his bills. Between Los Angeles and New York, Luke Perry took part in 215 auditions before securing his first appearance, a TV commercial.
Fortunately for Luke, the luck that secured him his first role was not an isolated incident, and he followed the commercial with an appearance in a music video, Be Chrool to Your Scuel. The video was shot for the band Twisted Sister. After the music video, he got a more stable job as a character in the daytime soap operas Loving and Another World.
By 1989 Lukas was already an actor with several projects on his resume, but nothing big or defining had happened yet. That changed for Luke when he was cast as Dylan McKay in the teen drama Beverly Hills 90210. His role as Dylan McKay catapulted him to a teen idol in the 1990s, and with his new status as a popular actor, Luke secured roles in other projects such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and 8 Seconds.
Luke feared that his role as Dylan McKay would forever typecast him and limit the length of his career, so he tried to leave the Beverly Hills 90210 show and seek more mature roles. Dylan was lucky enough to find more mature roles by appearing in projects like “Normal Life,” “Invasion,” and “Riot,” a film about the 1991 uprising based on Rodney King’s story. None of his roles in these films, however, helped him make the transition from teenage roles to an established adult role that he wanted. A plethora of financial commitments prompted Luke Perry to return to 90210 in 1998 after his departure in 1995.
Since Beverly Hills 90210 ended in 2000, Perry has appeared in a number of television and film roles. Some of them include Jeremiah, Windfall, John from Cincinnati, and several others. In movies, he starred in The Triangle, The Sandlot: Heading Home, A Gunfighter’s Pledge, and several others.
An actor’s career usually includes a stage performance at least once in his career. Perry’s first stage performance was on Broadway in 2001 for The Rocky Horror Show. He has appeared in other stage productions and also got a role on the CW hit show Riverdale as the father of the main character Archie – a role in which he played until his death in 2019.
Family Life – Wife, Son (Jack Perry)
Luke was married to Rachael Minnie Sharp in the 1990s. At the height of his career, he married Rachael in 1993 and the couple lived happily together until their differences drove them to divorce in 2003. They have two children – Jack and Sophie, with whom they share joint custody.
His son, Jack Perry, born in 1997, is a wrestler. His professional name in wrestling is Jungle Boy and he is well supported by his father. Before his death, however, Luke Perry was engaged and married to Wendy Madison Bauer, who is an actress and also a therapist.
Luke Perry’s Net Worth
Although a B-actor who didn’t have many commercially successful movies on his resume, Luke was able to maintain a constant flow of work from film to television, which allowed him to build a net worth of $10 million.
Death – How Did Luke Perry Die?
Sadly, actor Luke Perry, an actor from Riverdale and Beverly Hills 90210, died on March 4, 2019, in a California hospital after suffering a “massive stroke. It was the second time this happened after he had his first stroke at his home in Los Angeles in February of the same year. After the first incident, he was hospitalized and put on life support, but his family was ordered by the doctors to suspend life support after the second stroke because they felt he had no chance of survival.
At the time of his death, he was surrounded by his family – children, fiancée, ex-wife, siblings, including mother and stepfather – and was buried on his farm near his home in Vanleer, Tennessee.
The news of his death sent shock waves throughout Hollywood, and several tributes and messages of condolence poured in. In his honor, a documentary film entitled Luke Perry: In His Own Words about his life was announced by Reelz.