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Luke Perry, of '90210' fame, dead at age 52

Perry had suffered a stroke and been in a Los Angeles hospital since last Wednesday.
Image: Luke Perry
Luke Perry, in 2018.Chris Pizzello / AP

Television actor Luke Perry, best known for his starring role in "Beverly Hills, 90210," died on Monday, his representatives said. He was 52.

The actor was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after suffering a stroke at his home in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, officials and a spokesperson for Perry said.

Perry was surrounded by his family including his children, Jack and Sophie; fiancee, Wendy Madison Bauer; and ex-wife, Minnie Sharp, when he died, his publicist said.

Perry was slightly young for a stroke victim, as 66 percent of those who suffer from such an attack are 65 or older, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

But strokes, which are behind about 5 percent of U.S. deaths annually, are on the rise among those between 25 and 44. Perry's father died in his mid-30s from a heart attack, which could also contribute to his relatively young death.

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In recent years, Perry had worked on CW's "Riverdale," starring as Fred Andrews, the father of lead character Archie Andrews.

"Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all," the producers of "Riverdale" said in a statement. "A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness."

But Perry will always be known as the brooding teenage heartthrob, Dylan McKay, on "90210." The show ran from 1990 to 2000.

Cast of Beverly Hills, 90210
Luke Perry, left, with cast members of "Beverly Hills, 90210."Mikel Roberts / Sygma via Getty Images

At both the show's and the actor's peak, Perry was one of the best-known actors on TV, and even appeared shirtless on the cover of Vanity Fair's July 1992 edition.

The actor didn't shy away from aging and was on the cover of AARP's magazine in 2016, celebrating his 50th birthday.

Perry was hospitalized the same day Fox announced it would reboot "Beverly Hills, 90210" for a six-episode series to air this summer.

Perry and co-stars Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling took the TV world by storm, with their hit show about Beverly Hills rich kids living glamorous lives that was the dream of every teenager and young adult.

"I am so heart broken and at a loss for words," tweeted Carteris, who played the brainy Andrea Zuckerman. "You my friend were a mighty soul and have left your mark."

Moments after Perry's death became known, Ziering tweeted a loving tribute to his former castmate.

"Dearest Luke, I will forever bask in the loving memories we've shared over the last thirty years," Ziering wrote.

The Cincinnati Reds paid tribute to the native Ohioan on Monday, tweeting kind words and a picture of the actor with another Buckeye State native, Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

Coy Luther "Luke" Perry III was born on Oct. 11, 1966, in Mansfield, Ohio, the son of steelworker Coy Perry Sr. and homemaker Ann Perry.

The infant Luke Perry was delivered by Dr. Charles Brown, whose son is now U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

"Very saddened by this loss," Sen. Brown tweeted on Monday. "Luke Perry was not only a talented actor—but a warm, kind person who made his home state proud."

Perry caught the acting bug early and moved to New York after graduating from Fredericktown High School in Ohio.

He broke on to the small screen in 1988 with roles on soap operas such as "Loving" and "Another World."

Perry eventually moved to Los Angeles and struck it big with "90210."

The actor originally auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders, which went to Ziering. Instead, he was cast as McKay, the misunderstood bad boy who had flings with his West Beverly High School sweetheart Brenda Walsh, played by Doherty, and rich party girl Kelly Taylor, played by Garth.

While some actors cringe at being so closely associated with one character, Perry said he was grateful for all that "90210" did for him.

"You know, it doesn't bother me. Always seems to me without one, probably wouldn't have had any of the other, you know?" Perry told NBC News in 2012, as he promoted the TV movie "Goodnight for Justice: The Measure of a Man."

"If not for '90210,' the rest of the stuff may or may not have happened."