Even via social media, the pain lacing Priestley’s words came across as he explained his delayed response to a death that has staggered Perry’s friends, family, fans and industry collaborators. “It’s taken me a couple of days to figure out how to write this. … My dear friend of 29 years, Luke Perry, was one of those truly special people who really cared.”
Priestley and Perry portrayed pals Brandon Walsh and Dylan McKay, respectively, on Beverly Hills, 90210, though their affable screen alliance was tested by their love triangle with Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth). The pair became bad-boy heartthrobs for a generation of viewers who made the 1990-2000 show a signature success for 10 seasons and a touchstone of the 1990s.
Priestley on Instagram searched for words to express the spirit and heart of Perry: “Luke was not only a star, he was an incredibly bright light that was extinguished far too soon… and that is why I, and so many others, are in so much pain today.”
Filming on the CW’s Riverdale resumed Wednesday after a two-day shutdown to allow the cast and crew to mourn Perry, who died Monday from complications of a massive stroke. Perry played Fred Andrews, father of Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), who hails from the classic Archie Comics but has been reframed in a hit teen drama that has some soapy similarities to Beverly Hills, 90210.
Fox had closed a deal for a new series reuniting original Beverly Hills, 90210 cast members Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling. Titled 90210, the show from CBS TV Studios had a six-episode order to air this summer.