Luke Perry Dies at 52: An Ode to My Childhood Crush

Luke Perry, known for his roles on Beverly Hills 90210 and Riverdale, passed away on Monday morning at the age of 52, following a massive stroke suffered on February 27.

I cried when I heard of Luke’s passing this morning, feeling deeply saddened by the news.

Growing up, Luke Perry was a huge part of my transformative years. I crushed on him, hard, watching him as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills 90210. In fact, I loved Luke as Dylan so much that I even named my first-born after his character. Dylan McKay with his brooding good looks and distinct voice was the rebellious bad boy no girl’s parents would ever want her to date and yet, we were all in love with him. I rooted for him and Brenda—they were my favorite. I replayed “Losing My Religion” over and over again, because their breakup scene was just… well, there are really no words, but I really felt it.

Photo credit: IMDB

Luke embodied Dylan in such a way that all the guys wanted to be like him. He defined ‘90s cool, and he was forever Dylan McKay to so many fans — and Luke was happily aware of it. “I’m going to be linked with him until I die, but that’s actually just fine. I created Dylan McKay. He’s mine,” Perry once said about the character, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Ohio-born actor left such an impact with this role that there were even movie references made about him, including my favorite line in Clueless: “Cher’s saving herself for Luke Perry.” It was probably one of the most relatable things said in a flick. I was like boy, that’s probably a ton of us!

Yes, Luke, we appreciate you so much.

Following BH 90201, Perry went on to star in a series of films and TV shows, but it wasn’t until he landed at The CW for the role of Fred Andrews on Riverdale that I was deeply enthralled. I was excited to see the former teen heartthrob on the screen again, in another show I so deeply enjoyed. Fred Andrews was by far one of the most down-to-earth characters on the show, and Luke’s on-screen portrayal as Archie’s caring father was deeply heartwarming.

Luke Perry, you were one of my first crushes. Thank you for giving us Dylan McKay. Thank you for shedding your bright light. Thank you for playing a role in my life in a way you never knew.

I love you. You will forever be our Dylan McKay. RIP Luke Perry.

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