'Riverdale' Shut Down Production After Luke Perry's Death & Released A Heartfelt Statement
Shortly after TMZ broke the news about actor Luke Perry's death on Monday, March 4, fans and celebrities have flocked to Twitter to mourn the passing of such a beloved Hollywood figure. Some may have known him for his portrayal of teen heartthrob Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, but new generations came to know the actor in most recent years for his role as Fred Andrews on Riverdale. In fact, Variety reports that, at least for the day, Riverdale has shut down production after Perry's death was announced in order for the cast and crew to mourn the tragic loss of their beloved cast member.
Additionally, the show's executive producers Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and Jon Goldwater, along with WBTV and The CW, released a statement about how much Perry meant to all of them and described him as the kind, caring man, so many knew him to be.
"We are deeply saddened to learn today about the passing of Luke Perry," the statements reads, according to Variety. The statement continued:
"A beloved member of the Riverdale, Warner Bros. and CW family, Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all. A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness. Our thoughts are with Luke’s family during this most difficult time.”
Riverdale’s writers room also tweeted out a heartfelt message, writing: "Luke Perry … you were a joyful and vibrant soul. You will be missed but most certainly your legacy will be remembered forever. Rest in love and peace, friend."
Perry had suffered from a massive stroke on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Since then, he received an outpouring of love from fans and his fellow Riverdale costars, hoping he would make a speedy recovery. "Thinking of you, Luke. And praying for your safe recovery," Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper on the series, posted on Instagram along with a photo of the two of them.
But on Monday, March 4, a representative for Perry confirmed to Bustle in a statement that the actor had "passed away today after suffering a massive stroke," adding:
"He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends. The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time."
Perry's Riverdale co-star Molly Ringwald, who played his character's ex-wife, has also taken to Twitter to express her sorrow over her dear friend's loss, writing: "My heart is broken. I will miss you so much Luke Perry. Sending all my love to your family."
At this time it's unclear how Riverdale will choose to address Perry's death on the series, but for the time being, everyone involved in the show's production are taking some time away to deal with their grief and mourn the loss of one of their own. One thing's for sure, though — Riverdale won't be the same without him.