Coy Luther Perry III, later known professionally as Luke Perry, was born on October 11th, 1966, in Mansfield Ohio, to a middle-class family. After finishing high school in the rural town of Fredericktown, Ohio, Perry moved to Los Angeles in 1984 as an aspiring actor. Before landing his first acting gig, he worked a variety of jobs to support himself in the city. Perry’s first television appearance was in an episode of the science fiction show Voyagers! in 1982, followed some years later by an episode in soap opera Loving and a ten-episode run in 1988. Before his acting career lifted off, Perry admitted to having auditioned over 200 times.
Luke Perry’s breakthrough role came in 1990, when he joined as one of the main characters in the ensemble cast on teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210. The role threw him into instant stardom and he, as well as his fellow castmates, became teen idols of the ‘90s. In 1991, Perry also made his big screen debut in the drama Scorchers, and later had a small role in Joss Whedon’s 1992 film, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was subsequently developed into a TV series. Other film roles during this time were 8 Seconds (1994,) Normal Life (1996) and a small role in science fiction action film, The fifth Element (1997.) Perry did some voice acting jobs as well, most notably in The Simpsons, Biker Mice from Mars, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and The Incredible Hulk.
Perry starred in Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990 to 1995, and later returned to the series for its last three seasons, from 1998 to 2000. After the popular show came to an end, he went on to make guest appearances on other TV series at the time, whether live action or animated, like Johnny Bravo, Family Guy, Night Visions, Oz, Will & Grace, and What I Like About You. Perry landed the main role as titular character in post-apocalyptic action drama series, Jeremiah, which ran from 2002 to 2004. He debuted on Broadway in 2001, in a revival of The Rocky Horror Show, as Brad, and in 2004 played Harry in the London production of When Harry Met Sally, opposite Alyson Hannigan.
Throughout the 2010s, Perry continued to appear in guest starring roles in various TV shows like Community, Raising Hope, Buddy of Proof, Leverage, Hot in Cleveland and Major Crimes, and films, The Final Storm (2010,) Good Intentions (2010,) and Red Wing (2013.) In 2017, he was cast in The CW’s supernatural horror show Riverdale, based on the Archie Comics of the same name, where he played the father of one of the main characters. This was his last significant television role before his sudden death on March 4th, 2019, when he succumbed to a fatal stroke. Perry’s last film appearance was in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which was released after his passing.