Luke Perry passed away on March 4, 2019 after suffering a massive stroke. His current TV family, Riverdale paid tribute to Luke Perry who died shortly before their latest episode. The 52-year-old actor was a series regular on the CW series, playing Fred Andrews, Archie’s (KJ Apa) dad. The end of Wednesday night’s episode aired a special tribute to the actor. The blank screen at the end read, “In Memoriam Luke Perry 1966-2019.”
The episode, which was filmed in advance, also featured appearances from Perry. In fact—spoiler—the episode included a scene where Fred heroically came to Archie’s rescue after he was attacked in their home. On Monday, after the announcement, production of the currently-shooting Riverdale was halted. Production remained suspended on Tuesday, as well, according to Entertainment Weekly.
In a statement to People magazine, the series’ executive producers Greg Berelanti, Sarah Schechter, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Jon Goldwater said the cast and crew were all “deeply saddened” by the sudden loss of Perry.
“We are deeply saddened to learn today about the passing of Luke Perry. A beloved member of the Riverdale, Warner Bros. and CW family, Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all. A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness. Our thoughts are with Luke’s family during this most difficult time.”
Many of the current Riverdale actors have shared sweet messages honoring their former co-star.
Cole Sprouse wrote, “Love you bud,” prior to his passing.
“Thinking of you, Luke. And praying for your safe recovery,” Lili Reinhart said when Pery first suffered the stroke. Following his death, the young actress shared a poem on her Instagram story.
“When someone you love, gets taken from you. And the small circumferences surrounding you is stuck. Frozen in a moment. Of loss. And shock. Yet the people passing you are moving at full speed,” she wrote. “Did they not feel the earth shake? Or slow? Can they hear the thoughts screaming in my head? His name. His face. Memories. Flashes. Of a friend. A lost friend.”
She continued, “We always expect the earth to stand still. For the universe to grieve the loved ones we have lost, along with us. But it keeps moving. Maybe as a sign that we should too. The movement of strangers, like a wave taking us with them.”
Reinhart also Tweeted on March 4 writing, “I’m finding it hard to grasp that he will no longer be around to give long hugs and share his wisdom and kindness with all of us. I’m thinking of his family. His children. I pray for them to heal and find peace in this devastating loss.”
Casey Cott also tweeted writing, “I’m totally heartbroken. Luke took me under his wing the day I was cast and made me feel like I belonged. He was the most generous, wise soul with unmatched kindness,” he wrote.
“He treated everyone with love and joy. We had so much fun. Praying for his family.”