- Coy Luther Perry III
October 11, 1966 (age 54)
- Rachel Sharp (m. 1993–2003)
Coy Luther "Luke" Perry III (born October 11, 1966) is an American actor. He starred as Dylan McKay on the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990 to 1995, and again from 1998 to 2000.
Perry was born in Mansfield, Ohio and raised in Fredericktown, Ohio. There, he was the school mascot, the Fredericktown High School Freddie. His mother, Ann Bennett, was a homemaker, and his father, Coy Luther Perry, Jr., was a steelworker. Perry likes to go home annually for the Fredericktown Tomato Show, an annual street fair.
Perry moved to Los Angeles shortly after high school to pursue acting as he did not have any opportunities to do so in Ohio. He worked as a paver and lived in various cities including Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Downey, and Paramount.
In an interview with Whoopi Goldberg in the 1990s, Perry said he auditioned for 215 acting jobs in New York before finally scoring a TV commercial. After appearing in the music video "Be Chrool to Your Scuel" for the band Twisted Sister alongside Alice Cooper, Perry's earliest roles were in the daytime soap operas Loving (1987–1988) and Another World (1988–1989).
Following this, he then won the role of brooding millionaire's son Dylan McKay on Fox's teen drama, Beverly Hills, 90210. He had auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders, a role that went to actor Ian Ziering, before being cast as Dylan. While starring on 90210, Perry then won a supporting role in the original film version of the Joss Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992). Perry had already become a very popular teen idol in the early 1990s. Perry also starred in Terminal Bliss in 1992.
Perry starred as Lane Frost in 8 Seconds in 1994. 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 opposite Ashley Judd, starred in the TV science fiction movie Invasion (1997), a Rodney King drama Riot (1997) and also had a small role in Luc Besson's science fiction adventure film The Fifth Element (1997). Even though Perry had left 90210 in 1995, he returned in 1998 for financial reasons. Perry starred in the 1999 film Storm. He then went on to star in a 2002 television movie called The Triangle.
From 2001 to 2002, he starred in the HBO prison drama Oz, as Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier. From 2002 to 2004, he starred in the post-apocalyptic TV series Jeremiah. In 2005 Perry was rumoured to be in Day of the Dead 2: Contagium, but did not appear to be in the film. 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 on NBC. 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.
Perry appeared in the HBO series John from Cincinnati, which premièred on June 10, 2007, and ran for 10 episodes, with the series finale airing on August 12, 2007. He also stars in the Swedish film Äntligen Midsommar (Finally Midsummer) which was released in the summer of 2009. He said of his role on Beverly Hills, 90210 as Dylan McKay: "I'm going to be linked with him until I die, but that's actually just fine. I created Dylan McKay. He's mine." However, he did not reprise his role on the spin-off. He stated: "When you're in the professional acting business, you have to look into all these offers and I don't mean anything bad about it but creatively it's something I have done before and I don't know how it will benefit me if I do it again."
Perry finally revealed a major reason as to why he did not want to be part of this revival, citing the show's long-time producer Aaron Spelling: "The difference between CW bringing something back and Aaron Spelling doing something back is significant. "And I cannot do it without Aaron." However, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, and Tori Spelling reprised their roles in the 2008 revival of the series.
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 parodied himself in an episode of Family Guy, in which he was labelled as gay by Peter and he 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 role on Family Guy, Perry has also guest-starred as gay characters in the sitcoms Spin City (1997) and Will & Grace (2005): he appeared as Carter Heywood's ex-boyfriend who subsequently fell in love with a woman on Spin City, and played a geeky birdwatcher who caught the eye of Jack McFarland on Will & Grace. In 2005, Perry was reunited with former 90210 co-star Jennie Garth when he guest starred on What I Like About You in a loose parody of their 90210 characters' relationship. In 2008, Perry guest-starred as rapist Noah Sibert in the season premiere of the television series Law & Order: SVU. He also guest-starred as cult leader Benjamin Cyrus in an episode of Criminal Minds. In late 2009, Perry starred in The Killers' music video for their fourth annual Christmas single "¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe!".
In 2009, Luke also lent his voice talents in the Thomas Nelson's audio Bible production known as The Word of Promise. In this dramatized audio, Perry played the characters of Saint Stephen and Judas the disciple. The project also featured a large ensemble of other well known Hollywood actors including Jim Caviezel, Lou Gossett Jr., John Rhys-Davies, Jon Voight, Gary Sinise, Jason Alexander, Christopher McDonald, Marissa Tomei and John Schneider.
Perry appeared on Broadway in 2001 in a revival of The Rocky Horror Show playing Brad Majors.
In 2004 he appeared in the London production of When Harry Met Sally as Harry, alongside Alyson Hannigan as Sally.
Following his appearance in the stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally, Perry was asked to reprise his role as Dylan McKay in a guest appearance on 90210. Due to scheduling conflicts with Shannen Doherty, he was subsequently written out of the episode. He appeared as the American version of Inspector Space-Time in an episode of Community.
Perry returned to television in 2015 in the Up Network original series Detective McLean: Ties That Bind. He plays Tim Olson, the brother of the lead character, who is arrested by his sister and sent to prison. Subsequently, she takes in his teenage kids, and thus the show revolves around that. He starred in the Hallmark Channel movie Love in Paradise in 2016.