Riverdale has found a special way to honour Luke Perry, who died Monday at age 52 following a stroke.
Beverly Hills, 90210 icon Perry portrayed father Fred Andrews on Riverdale for the show's three seasons. In the wake of his death, his Riverdale co-workers came forward to express their grief over the great loss. In a statement from Riverdale's executive producers, The CW, and Warner Bros., Perry was described as an "incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all," who acted as a "father figure" and "mentor" to the young cast.
Now, Riverdale has found a way to honour Perry, in every episode of the teen drama moving forward.
According to an Instagram from Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, all future episodes of Riverdale, including Wednesday's "Fire Walk With Me," will be in honour of Perry.
"Going through pictures on my way to set. From the early days. With Luke in the middle. Our heart, always," Aguirre-Sacasa captioned a group photo from the Riverdale set. "Tonight’s episode of #Riverdale finds Fred doing what he does best — helping Archie. It is dedicated to Luke, as all episodes will be for the rest of our run."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, production on Riverdale was suspended immediately following news of Perry's death. It is unclear, thus far, how the series will continue without Perry for the remainder of season 3. The show was renewed for a fourth season earlier this year.
It's fitting that Perry portrayed a character like Fred Andrews, the moral centre of an often chaotic Riverdale, a man who cared more about doing the right thing than he did status, vengeance, or public opinion.
In the days after Perry's death, countless stories have surfaced about the wonderful man that Perry was. These anecdotes came from close friends of Perry's and near-strangers lucky enough to have interactions with him.
Grey's Anatomy TV writer Elisabeth R. Finch tweeted about an autograph she received in the mail from Perry when she was sick from cancer.
"when i was at my sickest, this showed up in my mail. i know stars get asked to do this a billion times over. but as a tv nerdgirl at heart, i don’t care how cheesy it sounds: it meant the world."
when i was at my sickest, this showed up in my mail. i know stars get asked to do this a billion times over. but as a tv nerdgirl at heart, i don’t care how cheesy it sounds: it meant the world. thank you, #lukeperry. (and not just for spelling my name right.) pic.twitter.com/71XO3gfzzW— Elisabeth R. Finch (@erfinchie) March 6, 2019
On Instagram, Colin Hanks revealed a story about how Perry calmed screaming kids on an airplane with a balloon.
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I only met him once but the story is too good not tell given todays sad events. My wife and I are on a plane back from Mexico. Couple of rows ahead of us, these two brothers, young kids, are beating the hell out of eachother. Their poor parents are powerless to stop the crying, yelling and screaming. If you're a parent you understand. Sometimes there's nothing you can do. It was like this for close to two hours. Then about 10 minutes before landing it starts to get real bad. Out of no where, a man comes from first class. Hat, beard, sunglasses, blowing up a balloon. He ties it off, hands it off like he's holding out a sword to a king. Kneeling, Head down, arms up. Kids calm down in milliseconds. Plane damn near bursts into applause. 15 minutes longer and it probably would have started WWIII, but we landed before that could happen. We get off the plane, are waiting on line in customs. Finally get a good look at the guy and I say to my wife "Holy shit. I think that balloon man/hero" is Luke Perry". As luck would have it we end up standing next to each other. Out of the blue he turns to me and says some kind words about Fargo, which kinda blew my mind. I start singing his praises about how long I've admired him and also about the move with the balloon. "That's a pro move! You can't teach that!" I say. He tells me he always flies with a couple of balloons for that very reason, to give to screaming kids. Don't know if that's true, but have no reason to believe it wasn't. Guy seemed like a true gent. Gone way too damn soon. Also, I'll be damned if I don't start traveling with some spare balloons 🎈🎈🎈 #promove #rip #lukeperry #truegent
Filmmaker Josh Raby shared a photo of Perry handing out water and supplies during a flood in Tennessee.
Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Gabrielle Carteris and SAG-AFTRA President said of Perry in a statement:
"[Perry] was a very sensitive soul who was kind, generous and he fought for the underdog. He was a strong voice and an advocate who will be so missed by all who knew him. He has left his mark – never to be forgotten."
May we remember Perry's legacy of kindness with every episode of Riverdale dedicated to his memory.