American actor Luke Perry, the former star of 1990s television series “Beverly Hills, 90210,” died on Monday, aged 52, after suffering a massive stroke last week, his publicist said.
“Actor Luke Perry passed away today after suffering a massive stroke,” publicist Arnold Robinson said in a statement.
The statement said he was surrounded by his close family and friends.
“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. No further details will be released at this time,” the statement added.
Perry was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday morning after suffering the stroke at his home, celebrity website TMZ.com reported last week.
Since 2016, Perry had played Fred Andrews, father of Archie Andrews, in the television series “Riverdale,” a dark twist on the Archie comic books, but more than 20 years earlier the actor had been a heartthrob who adorned the cover of scores of magazines aimed at adolescent girls, thanks to “Beverly Hills 90210.”
The show, which aired on the Fox network, was about a group of attractive high school students living the sweet life amid Southern California affluence while dealing with teen angst, as well as a raft of more serious issues such as date rape, AIDS and teen pregnancy.
Perry was in his mid-20s when he started playing high schooler Dylan McKay, a brooding loner on a motorcycle with prominent sideburns and bad-boy tendencies. An avalanche of comparisons to the late James Dean soon followed.
“Beverly Hills 90210” got off to a slow start in the ratings in 1990 but built a cult following that grew to become a cultural phenomenon with its target demographic. One of the key plot lines was Perry’s character developing a romance with Brenda, a wholesome Midwestern transplant to Beverly Hills, played by Shannen Doherty, before moving on to her best friend, Kelly, played by Garth.
Along the way Perry, Doherty, Garth and co-stars Priestley, Spelling and Ian Ziering became stars.