Short yet sweet. KJ Apa mourned the loss of his onscreen father, Luke Perry, with an emotional tribute on Instagram on Thursday, March 7. The 21-year-old actor shared a heartwarming photo of the 90210 alum smiling on a boat with the caption: “Rest in Love Bro.” KJ, who plays Archie Andrews on CW’s hit show Riverdale appeared to first mention the late actor’s death on his Instagram Story, when he posted a screenshot of the Third Eye Blind song, titled “The Background” that he was listening to. The song is all about how one moves on following the loss of a loved one: “Everything is quiet, Since you’re not around, And I live in the numbness now,” the lyrics read.
Luke, 52, who played Archie’s loving father, Fred Andrews, passed away on Monday, March 4, after experiencing a massive stroke. The show’s executive producers suspended production for two days to allow for the cast and crew to mourn the late actors shocking death. The episode on Wednesday, March 6, was the first episode to air following the loss of the iconic actor.
The episode titled “Chapter Forty-Nine” featured Luke for a brief moment, where he played his true persona as a caring father who rushed to his son’s rescue after being stabbed. The final seconds of the show featured a special moment of remembrance to honor the legacy of its late patriarch. “Luke Perry In Memoriam Luke Perry 1966-2019,” a black screen read at the end of the program.
Riverdale’s tribute is not ending there, as all future episodes will be dedicated to Oz actor. The show’s executive producer took to Twitter to share an old photo of Luke surrounded by his co-stars. “Going through pictures on my way to set. From the early days. With Luke in the middle. Our heart, always. 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,” Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa‘s tweet read.
The Ohio native’s former costars, friends and family from around the world have been sharing their reactions to the tragic news all over social media. The outpouring of love proves how much of a humble, real guy he was. Cami Mendes, who plays one of Archie’s love interests on the show, also broke her silence on Thursday, March 7. The brunette beauty shared a candid goofy photo of Luke and herself. “He took care of us all. An authentic man who took pleasure in offering us his guidance and wisdom. His presence was healing; he had the ability to make you feel comfortable and at ease within seconds of seeing him,” she captioned the photo.
Luke first rose to fame when he became every teenage boy’s idol from his role as Dylan Mckay in Beverly Hills, 90210. There was no one more popular than the mysterious bad boy icon who captured hearts across the world. He basically created the obsession with bad boys, who women thought they could change – the 90’s very own James Dean. Luke departed from the famous zip code in 2000 to go on to different roles. He continued to make his bad boy mark in Buffy and made cameos in Will and Grace and Law and Order. In 2017, he took on his latest role which ironically portrayed his true character as a loving, stand-up guy who made friends and family his first priority. In 2017, Luke told The Hollywood Reporter, I like playing the dad because I like being a dad.”
On Monday, March 4, Luke’s rep confirmed that the 52-year-old actor had died following a massive stroke. “He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, stepfather Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends,” Arnold Robinson said in a statement.
Our hearts are with Luke’s close ones during this extremely difficult time.