Luke Perry

Active - 1989 - 2020  |   Born - Oct 11, 1966 in Mansfield, Ohio, United States  |   Died - Mar 4, 2019   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Science Fiction

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Born October 10th, 1965, Ohioan Luke Perry did well enough on the high school baseball team, but he was a somewhat lackadaisical student, with no real aim in life except for a vague desire to become an actor someday. That desire solidified into reality when Perry headed for Los Angeles in 1984, took acting lessons, and sought out auditions while supporting himself with construction and asphalting jobs. Eventually he landed the role of Ned Bates on the TV daytime drama Loving. In 1990, Perry was cast in the Fox Network's Beverly Hills 90210 in the supporting role of Dylan McKay. Audience response to Perry was so overwhelming that, by the time 90210 swung into its second season, he was not only one of the series' leading characters, but a full-fledged teen idol. From all accounts, Perry handled his "hunk heartthrob" status with class and diplomacy; this latter quality served him well during the well-publicized brouhaha over co-star Shannen Doherty. Perry finally left Beverly Hills 90210 for the greener pastures of theatrical films.

Perry won cult notoriety for his portrayal of a hapless teenage vampire hunter in 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which inspired Joss Whedon’s phenomenally popular series of the same name). After working in a series of critical and commerical failures, Perry co-starred with Chris Tucker and Gary Oldman in 1997’s iconic sci-fi thriller The Fifth Element. The actor worked for a short time on HBO’s prison drama Oz, in which he played a well meanng, yet ill-fated priest, and went the opposite direction when he guest-starred on Law & Order: SVU in the role of rapist Noah Sibert. In 2009, Perry starred in a music video for The Killers’ fourth annual Christmas single.

Movie Highlights

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  • Voted Biggest Flirt his senior year of high school.
  • Kept a tally of his 216 acting rejections before landing a stint on the ABC sudser Loving.
  • Originally auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders on Beverly Hills, 90210.
  • Came to the aid of audience members when part of the London Theatre's ceiling collapsed during a 2004 production of When Harry Met Sally, in which he starred. He tended to some of the injured and helped with the theater's evacuation.
  • Ranked No. 6 in a 2005 TV GUIDE list of TV's Greatest Teen Idols.