Beverly Hills 90210 star Luke Perry died on Monday after being hospitalized for a massive stroke.
His rep told TMZ that he was surrounded by his children, Jack and Sophie, his fiancee Wendy Madison Bauer, his ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, stepfather Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends.
Perry is best known for his role as Dylan McKay during 90210’s run, which lasted from 1990-2000. Perry also appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1992 and more recently in Riverdale as Fred Andrews. The actor’s sudden death was a shock to Hollywood, as Perry was also working on other projects before he died. His death also left many people wondering who he was outside of the roles that made him a household name.
Luke Perry Didn’t Want To Play Dylan On 90210 Initially
While many will always see Perry as the bad boy who made teenage girls everywhere swoon, he auditioned for the role of Steve during the series’ beginning stages, according to IMDB. The role of the careless, somewhat spoiled, and entitled character eventually went to Ian Ziering, but Perry was called back to audition for a role that was the polar opposite. Perry’s character Dylan soon went from being a character with a few-episode arc to one of the Fox show’s central characters.
Perry Worked As A Firefighter Before Landing 90210
Like many actors who are waiting for their “big break,” Perry worked odd jobs to support himself before landing his 90210 role. According to Bustle, the actor worked as a construction worker and was laying down asphalt before he decided to audition for the series. One of Perry’s most notable jobs, however, was as a firefighter, which he eventually picked up to make ends meet.
“I’ve had tons of odd jobs, but I think that I would probably be a fireman because you get to see the results of your job,” he said. “You get there and there is a house on fire. You leave and there’s not a fire anymore.”
Perry Was Voted ‘Biggest Flirt’ In High School
Born in Mansfield, Ohio, Perry’s midwestern upbringing is possibly the first source of inspiration for the role that would eventually catapult him to fame. Perry’s 1984 graduating class voted him “biggest flirt,” which was most likely due to his charm and striking looks. According to IMDB, Perry described his Fredericktown, Ohio, high school as “nothing like West Beverly Hills High.”
He Once Named His Pet Pig After A Rock Legend
Perry’s humble Ohio beginnings gave him exposure to farm animals like pigs in his early childhood. The actor had a pet pig when he was younger, which he named Jerry Lee, after 1950s rock star Jerry Lee Lewis. Later in life, his love for animals would continue through his two boxers, Casey and Mac.
He Was Primarily A Homebody
While he was in the limelight for a large majority of his life, Perry’s most exhilarating moments were spent with the people he loved the most. He lived in both Los Angeles and Vanleer, Tennessee, and said his time alone from work was best spent cooking for his children and family, though he was open to trying new activities.
“I go four-wheeling in my truck. I also like to fish, cook, do stuff around my house,” he said. “I even studied fencing for a while.”