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Written by / 3/04/2019 / No comments / , , , , , ,

LUKE PERRY HAS LEFT THE BUILDING: A 90'S NOSTALGIC TRIBUTE

Luke Perry's second image on Beverly Hills 90210 Episode 2 in 1990
Luke Perry was The Fonz of BEVERLY HILLS 90210. His first moment on the show, he protected a nerdy kid (and later, a cute beach bunny played by Heather McAdam, pictured throughout for obvious reasons); and that's what Fonzie did, especially earlier on on HAPPY DAYS: saved the underdogs from the bullies...

Also like Henry Winkler's iconic character, the lead of 90210 started out as Brandon Walsh, played by Jason Priestly... like Ron Howard's Richie Cunningham... but soon enough, as every poster shop in the world had Luke Perry's image backed by that era's neon-pink glow, the rebellious and rich, secretly deep, tortured, troubled and brooding surfer Dylan McKay was the draw of the show. But, as often happens, after a handful of seasons, the sex symbol had had enough. He left the series... but then miraculously returned, and literally became the main character since Jason Priestly had exited, for good. That paycheck must have been something else to lure Perry back. Plus the fact his movies either didn't do well at the box office (8 SECONDS), or succeeded for reasons other than him (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER).

Dylan McKay played by Luke Perry
By that time, though, 90210 had lost its fun, campy charm and, like the more popular spinoff, MELROSE PLACE, turned into a nighttime soap opera. Especially after the once seemingly-young cast not only graduated high school but college as well...

But going back to the first season/second episode, "The Green Room", Luke is pretty much everything... mostly because he's nowhere to be found on the 90-minute pilot. The producers must have been saving their James Dean-like cash cow for last...

After all, most girls fall for the "bad boys," and although Ian Ziering's perpetually flawed scapegoat Steve Sanders was the true rebel of the series, Luke's Dylan was the kind of self-induced loner girls wanted desperately to fix: And it's pop culture lore (with Memes and T-shirts included) how Dylan became a wishbone between Shannon Doherty's good girl and Jennie Garth's bad girl, Brenda and Kelly, who wound up letting HIM choose which girl HE wanted. Talk about a male fantasy!

Luke Perry with Heather McAdam on Beverly Hills 90210
Around this time, on the Howard Stern show, Luke Perry was humble and genuinely cool. Almost like he was not only embarrassed by his immense sex symbol status (he even presented Stern's infamous Fartman appearance on the MTV Music Awards), but hardly wanted to think about it at all. And then, years later, he got what most aging actors dream of, and what George Wendt from CHEERS once said was like winning the lottery, twice...

RIVERDALE has Perry playing the main characters' father. So the former 90's heartthrob showed show biz that fads can last albeit in a different fashion. And maybe his part as LANCER actor Wayne Maunder in Quentin Tarantino's ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD will stretch beyond what QT's been doing with his once-famous cameos: Let's hope the king of 90's Neon Cool will have more than a walk-on, and can go out with a posthumous bang!
Luke Perry again with Heather McAdam in BEVERLY HILLS 90210
Heather McAdam in BEVERLY HILLS 90210
Heather McAdam in BEVERLY HILLS 90210 says "Everyone's doing it"
Luke Perry with Kristy Swanson in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
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