Luke Perry’s Conflict Over Teen Idol Superstardom

Luke Perry played Dylan McKay on 'Beverly Hills, 90210.'
Fox Television / Getty Images

Although the late Luke Perry was best-known as a teen idol to millions of Generation X girls around the world, he was reportedly conflicted over the title of teen heartthrob as his star continued to rise. He rose to fame as one of the key players on the Fox series Beverly Hills, 90210.

Perry spoke to Entertainment Weekly in 1994 about how he felt he was perceived by the public when the show — and its stars — began their stratospheric rise to the top of the entertainment world in 1990. Alongside the show’s original cast members — Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Gabrielle Carteris, and Jennie Garth — Perry found himself embroiled in a whirlwind of interviews, press calls, and most importantly, the loss of any semblance of the privacy he once enjoyed.

As the show progressed, Doherty, Priestley, and Perry became the big three stars of the series, despite the fact that 90210 boasted an ensemble cast.

“All the [90210] madness made me doubt myself as an actor. I don’t anymore, and now I’m pissed at myself that I ever did,” revealed Perry in 1994 after some of the madness surrounding the series had died down. “I’ve always been fairly confident of my abilities — I just didn’t know how much s**t could get in the way.”

In a 1991 interview with People, Perry noted that he was just a simple guy living an extraordinary life. This account comes despite the fact that — at one point — he received 2,000 fan letters each week at a time when teenage girls poured their heart out intimately, pen to paper, rather than post a quick blurb to Instagram or Facebook.

“This [fan] s**t makes you crazy once in a while. But all of that is just fantasy. I’m a simple guy, I don’t need a whole lot,” the Fredericktown, Ohio, native explained to People.

Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Luke Perry, and Tori Spelling attend the 2005 TV Land Awards.
  Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Luke Perry was rushed to the hospital on February 28 after having suffered a serious stroke. The actor remained hospitalized, and in critical condition, until his death on March 4.

The same day he was hospitalized, it was announced that several of Beverly Hills, 90210‘s original stars would appear in a reboot of the series for Fox. Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Jason Priestley, Brian Austin Green, Ian Ziering, and Gabrielle Carteris had all signed on for the series, one set to debut in the summer of 2019. Both Perry and Shannen Doherty had not signed on.


At the time of his death, Perry regularly appeared as the character of Fred Andrews, Archie’s father, in The CW hit Riverdale.

People reported that in lieu of flowers, the Perry family ask that donations be made to Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.