Perry was born in Mansfield and raised in Fredericktown, Ohio, where he was the school mascot, the Fredericktown High School Freddie. His mother, Ann Bennett, was a homemaker, and his father, Coy Luther Perry, Jr., a steelworker. They got divorced when he was six and when his mother remarried, he and his brother Thomas and sister Amy got a step sister, Emily. Perry likes to get home annually for the Fredericktown Tomato Show, an annual street fair. He didn't do really well in school, although he played sports on the tennis team and the baseball team. He states that the coolest thing he did was dressing up as the school mascot, Freddie Bird, for all of the football games.
He spent his teenager years with no real aim in life except for a vague desire to become an actor someday. That desire solidified into reality when Perry headed for Los Angeles in 1984, took acting lessons, and sought out auditions. He did a myriad of odd jobs,from selling shoes to chauffeuring people around, to maintain himself while he auditioned a total of 217 times before landing his first acting gigs in the daytime soap operas Loving (1987–88) and Another World (1988–89).
Following this, he then won the role of brooding millionaire's son Dylan McKay on the appealing teen drama, Beverly Hills, 90210. While starring on 90210, Perry then won a supporting role in the original film version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992). Even though the film wasn't very successful, Perry had already become a very popular teen idol in the early 1990s. Perry also starred in Terminal Bliss in 1992.
Perry starred in 8 Seconds in 1994. After that experience and in an attempt to find more mature roles, he decided to leave Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1995. In the same year, he took a part in the Italian movie Vacanze di Natale '95, playing himself. Although he announced that 90210 was behind him, his departure would eventually turn out to be for only three years. During that time, Perry starred in the independent film Normal Life, in the TV sci-fi movie Invasion (1997), a Rodney King-era drama Riot (1997) and also had a small role in Luc Besson's sci-fi adventure film The Fifth Element (1997). Even though Perry had left 90210 in 1995, he returned in 1998 due to financial reasons. Perry starred in the 1999 film Storm. He then went on to star in a 2002 TV movie called The Triangle.
From 2002 to 2004, he starred in the post-apocalyptic TV series Jeremiah. In 2006, Perry co-starred in the ensemble drama series Windfall, about a group of friends who win the lottery. The series ran for 13 episodes during the summer of 2006. In 2007, he landed the role of Tommy 'Santa' Santorelli on the film The Sandlot: Heading Home and in the 2008 western A Gunfighter's Pledge. Later on, Perry appeared in the series John from Cincinnati, which ran for 10 episodes and also starred in the Swedish film Äntligen Midsommar (Finally Midsummer) which was released in the summer of 2009.
Perry has done considerable voice-over work for various animated series, often playing himself. He played himself (as Krusty the Clown's half brother) in an episode of The Simpsons (1993). He voiced himself in an episode of Johnny Bravo, giving Johnny dating advice after Johnny saved him from a stampede of fan girls. Perry then voiced himself once again in an episode of Family Guy, where he was labeled as gay by Peter and sues the family. His other voice work includes The Incredible Hulk, Biker Mice from Mars, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, and The Night of the Headless Horseman.
Aside from his self-parodying role on Family Guy, Perry has also guest-starred as gay characters in the sitcoms Spin City (1997) and Will and Grace (2005). In 2005, Perry guest starred in What I Like About You, (clearly a parody of the 90210 'Brenda years'). Next, he guest-starred as Rev. Jeremiah Cloutier in the television series Oz. In 2008, Perry landed a role as rapist Noah Sibert, in the season premiere of the television series Law & Order: SVU and later as cult leader Benjamin Cyrus in an episode of Criminal Minds.
He appeared in the music video Be Chrool To Your Scuel for the band Twisted Sister alongside Alice Cooper. Years later, Perry sang the hit song Gorilla Hips with Britney Spears in the spring of 2009. In late 2009, Perry starred in The Killers' music video for their fourth annual Christmas single Happy Birthday Guadalupe.
Perry appeared on Broadway in 2001 in a revival of The Rocky Horror Show playing Brad Majors. In 2004 he made his West Enddebut withthe London production of When Harry Met Sally as Harry. During this production he was labeled a hero after rescuing people trapped, tending to some of the injured and helping with the London Theater's evacuation when a ceiling fell while he was performing.
Perry has now been working on the show Riverdale playing Archie Andrew's father, Fred Andrews.
Perry died at the age of 52 on March 3rd, 2019 after a massive stroke on Feb. 27.
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) - Scott Lancer
- Riverdale - 52 episodes (2016-2019) - Fred Andrews
- The Griddle House (2018) - Older Jack
- It's Gawd! (2017) - Jeffrey
- Race to Win (2016) - Gentry Rhodes
- Love in Paradise (2016) - Avery Ford
- Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise (2015) - Richard Steele
- Ties That Bind - 5 episodes (2015) - Tim Olson
- Dudes & Dragons (2015) - Lorash
- Welcome Home (2015) - Stewart Paylor
- Black Beauty (2015) - James
- K-9 Adventures: Legend of the Lost Gold (2014) - Paul Stevenson
- The Beat Beneath My Feet (2014) - Steve
- Hot in Cleveland (2014) - Trevor
- Major Crimes (2014) - Jonny Worth
- A Fine Step (2014) - Cal Masterson
- Scoot & Kassie's Christmas Adventure (2013) - Paul Stevenson
- Red Wing (2013) - Carl Blanton
- Flat Chested (2013) - Ralph
- Body of Proof - 5 episodes (2012-2013) - Charlie Stafford
- Community (2013) - Inspector Spacetime (uncredited)
- Raising Hope (2013) - The Ghost of Arbor Day
- Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts (2013) - John Goodnight
- Goodnight for Justice: The Measure of a Man (2012) - John Goodnight
- Pound Puppies (2011) - Fang (voice)
- Battle Scars: The Bud Moore Story (2011) - Narrator
- Goodnight for Justice (2011) - John Goodnight
- FCU: Fact Checkers Unit - 8 episodes (2010) - Luke
- Hanna's Gold (2010) - Cole
- Generator Rex (2010) - Jacob (voice)
- Redemption Road (2010) - Boyd
- The Final Storm (2010) - Silas Hendershot
- Good Intentions (2010) - Chester Milford
- Leverage (2010) - Dalton Rand
- The Killers: ¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe! (2009) - Cowboy
- Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency (2009) - The Cat
- The Storm - 2 episodes (2009) - Stillman
- Angel and the Bad Man (2009) - Loredo
- Silent Venom (2009) - Lieutenant Commander James O'Neill
- Upstairs (2009) - Ward Weaver
- A Midsummer Comedy (2009) - Sam
- A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride (2008) - Charlie
- Criminal Minds - "Minimal Loss" (2008-2018) TV episode - Benjamin Cyrus
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2008) - Noah Sibert
- A Gunfighter's Pledge (2008) - Matt Austin
- Biker Mice from Mars (2007) - Napoleon Brie (voice)
- Alice Upside Down (2007) - Ben McKinley
- John from Cincinnati - 10 episodes (2007) - Linc Stark
- The Sandlot: Heading Home (2007) - Tommy Santorelli
- Windfall - 13 episodes (2006) - Peter Schaefer
- Dishdogz (2005) - Tony
- Supernova (2005) - Doctor Chris Richardson
- Descent (2005) - Doctor Jake Rollins
- What I Like About You - 3 episodes (2005) - Todd
- Will & Grace (2005) - Aaron
- Jeremiah - 34 episodes (2002-2004) - Jeremiah
- Down the Barrel (2003) - David
- Clone High (2003) - Ponce de Leon (voice)
- Johnson County War (2002) - Harry Hammett
- Fogbound (2002) - Bob
- Oz - 10 episodes (2001-2002) - Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier
- The Triangle (2001) - Stu Sheridan
- Night Visions (2001) - Doctor Michael Sears
- Dirt (2001) - Attorney
- The Enemy (2001) - Doctor Michael Ashton
- Pepper Ann - 3 episodes (1999-2000) - Stewart Walldinger (voice)
- Attention Shoppers (2000) - Mark Pinnalore
- Johnny Bravo (2000) - Luke Perry (voice)
- Family Guy (2000) - Luke Perry (voice)
- Beverly Hills, 90210 - 199 episodes (1990-2000) - Dylan McKay
- The Heist (2000) - Jack
- The Night of the Headless Horseman (1999) - Brom Bones (voice)
- Storm (1999) - Doctor Ron Young
- The Florentine (1999) - Frankie
- Indiscreet (1998) - Michael Nash
- Hollywood Squares - 5 episodes (1998) - Panelist
- Invasion - 2 episodes (1997) - Beau Stark
- Lifebreath (1997) - Martin Devoe
- The Incredible Hulk - 10 episodes (1996-1997) - Rick Jones (voice)
- The Fifth Element (1997) - Billy
- Riot (1997) - Boomer
- The Legend of Calamity Jane - 13 episodes (1997) - Additional Voices (voice)
- Spin City (1997) - Spence Kaymer
- Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm - 13 episodes (1996) - Sub-Zero (voice)
- American Strays (1996) - Johnny
- Normal Life (1996) - Chris Anderson
- Vacanze di Natale '95 (1995) - Luke
- Biker Mice from Mars - 6 episodes (1994-1995) - Napoleon Brie (voice)
- 8 Seconds (1994) - Lane Frost
- The Simpsons (1993) - Sideshow Luke Perry (voice)
- At Home with the Webbers (1993) - Garbage Guy (as A Famous Teen Idol)
- Saturday Night Live (1993) - Host
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) - Pike
- Jeopardy (1992) - Contestant
- Scorchers (1991) - Ray Ray
- Terminal Bliss (1990) - John Hunter
- Another World - 10 episodes (1988-1989) - Kenny
- Loving (1988) - Ned Bates
- Voyagers! (1982) - Union Prisoner (uncredited)
For an up-to-date filmography, see here.
- Born on the same day as Sean Patrick Flanery.
- He is an avid fan of crossword puzzles and is frequently seen working on them. In addition, he has amassed a large collection of historical ballpoint pens.
- Auditioned for the role of Steve on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990) before being cast as Dylan, a new character wrote specifically for him.
- During the 90s, Luke Perry was a very popular teen idol. Once, the crowd got so big at a shopping mall that he had to be escorted outside in a trolley by security.