Before being cast as one of TV's ultimate heartthrobs, being christened "the next James Dean" and becoming the ideal guy for legions of viewers, Perry was working construction as a way to pay his bills between auditions, one of which was for the role of Steve Sanders, which Ziering ultimately landed.
But when producers realized they were lacking a brooding bad boy, Perry, then 27, got the call. "When Luke walked into the audition, it was like 'Wow, that's the person,'" Star gushed to Rolling Stone. "He seems exactly like James Dean to me, but it isn't a conscious imitation—he's really being himself."
While Dylan McKay was only set to appear in a few episodes and Perry wasn't a main cast member initially, it was clear from the moment he drove up in that black Porsche 356 Speedster that a star was born...even if Fox didn't initially think so, with Spelling having to fight to make Perry a series regular. (Imagine their reaction when they learned 20 people were injured after a riot broke out at a mall during one of Perry's appearances, with 10,000 fans showing up?)
Perry remained on the show until 1995, leaving for three years to pursue other opportunities before returning in 1998 and remained on until the end, often credited as a special guest star.
In March 2019, Perry died at the age of 52 due to complications after suffering a stroke. He was starring on Riverdale, the latest teen soap that can credit the original 90210 for leading the way, playing the father of Archie (KJ Apa), the show's brooding lead. While he wasn't set to appear on Fox's BH90210 revival, the show is set to pay tribute to the beloved star in its premiere.