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Looking Back at Luke Perry's Most Memorable Roles

The actor was an eternal heartthrob

Amanda Bell

After suffering a massive stroke last week, actor Luke Perry tragically passed away Monday at the age of 52.

The actor broke onto the scene in the early '90s on the hit teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210, where his rugged good looks and magnetic charisma made him an instant household name. Perry also left his mark on several other prominent TV and movie roles before returning to the teen TV scene on The CW's Riverdale.

Here's a look back at some of the most memorable work of Perry's career.

Another World

Before he'd become a household name, Luke Perry appeared in a single episode of the daytime soap opera Loving, and he went on to land a recurring role as a character named Kenny on Another World in 1989. He once told The Chicago Tribune that his experience starting out on soaps was "the best training in the world."

Beverly Hills, 90210

In the pop culture phenomenon that was Beverly Hills, 90210, Perry starred as Dylan McKay, a "bad boy" with an edge whose romantic relationship with Brenda (Shannen Doherty) as well as his struggles with alcohol abuse became a central component of the show. Perry recognized that he would be forever linked to the role, saying in a 2008 interview, "I'm going to be linked with him until I die, but that's actually just fine. I created Dylan McKay. He's mine."

Beverly Hills, 90210 is available for streaming on Hulu.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer would take over TV, the character was originally introduced by Joss Whedon in a 1992 movie of the same name starring Kristy Swanson as the title heroine. In the film, Perry played Pike, a slacker who proves to be quite useful to Buffy as she helps to rid their small town of the undead.

Buffy is available to stream at Starz.

The Fifth Element

In Luc Besson's 1997 sci-fi thriller, Perry starred as Billy Masterson, an assistant to a professor who theorized about the eponymous five elements. Although his role was brief, he got to tussle with an alien in the ancient ruins of Egypt.


In the fourth season of HBO's gritty prison drama, Perry portrayed Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier, who was imprisoned for embezzlement but doesn't engage in the violence of his surroundings.

Oz is available for streaming at HBO.


Perry starred as a different Jeremiah (no relation to his Oz counterpart) in the title role of Showtime's Jeremiah, an apocalyptic sci-fi drama. The series centered on two men -- played by Perry and Malcolm Jamal-Warner -- as they try to rebuild society, and find lost loves ones, after "The Big Death" that wipes out most of the world's adult population.

Jeremiah is currently available for streaming on Hulu.

The Sandlot: Heading Home

A direct-to-DVD sequel to The Sandlot, The Sandlot: Heading Home featured Perry as a hotshot baseball player named Tommy "Santa" Santorelli who revisits his past to change his present.

The film is available for purchase on Amazon Prime.


Luke Perry came back into the spotlight in a big way when he joined The CW's Riverdale as Fred Andrews, the father of Archie (KJ Apa). "I was pretty skeptical at first," he toldGood Morning America of the hit series. "But by the time I got halfway through [the script], I knew it was going to be great."

The first two seasons of Riverdale are available to stream on Netflix.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)