Luke Perry was the epitome of cool. The teen heartthrob, who died on March 4 after suffering a massive stroke, was once on what seemed like every young girl’s bedroom wall.
Perry, who shot to fame playing bad boy Dylan McKay on the hit TV series Beverly Hills, 90210, is now being remembered in the new Reelz special Luke Perry: In His Own Words. The show explores the career of the ultimate teen idol through his own reflections on a life of influence, legacy, tabloid romances and personal tragedy.
Plus, reflections from his closest friends and co-stars reveal and relive the mania that surrounded his devoted fans.
“I mean, I'd show up at school and people were asking me questions about the episodes the night before," according to Randy Spelling, son of late 90210 creator Aaron Spelling. "And both Luke and Jason Priestly, who played Brandon Walsh were just the two guys that every guy wanted to be, every girl wanted to date. Yeah, that was it. The coolness factor was 10-plus.”
Perry’s suave persona could often be overwhelming. Like the time, in 1991, a crowd of about 10,000 screaming teen-age girls turned up at a Florida mall for an autograph session with the hunk. Perry was forced to leave after just 90 seconds, and officials had to close the mall for two hours to clear cut the enthusiastic crowd of fans.
Clearly, Perry had come a long way from the show's slow start.
“I know the first year, the show was really teetering and there was a chance that they weren't gonna pick it up,” Randy reflected. “Then it started picking up and gaining momentum, and in a couple years there were dolls and T-shirts and lunchboxes.”
Watch the video for a special look at Luke Perry: In His Own Words, airing Sunday, March 17, at 9 p.m. ET on REELZ.