It was meant to be a day of celebrating for Beverly Hills, 90210 fans.
After months of rumors and speculation that beloved primetime soap would be revived in some capacity for the second time, following the CW's sequel series 90210, which ran for five seasons from 2008-2013, FOX confirmed on Wednesday, Feb. 27 that they'd handed out a six-episode limited order for a very meta "revival" of sorts to debut this summer.
With original stars Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling all on board, the new series, also shortened to simply 90210, will see the OGs "playing heightened versions of themselves in a brand-new serialized drama—with a healthy dose of irreverence—that is inspired by their real lives and relationships."
According to the network's press release, the series, which see the franchise returning to its home network nearly 20 years after its decade-long run from 1990-2000, will find the actors reunited after "one of them suggests it's time to get a Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot up and running. But getting it going may make for an even more delicious soap than the reboot itself."
And yet, while fans and stars alike were celebrating the impending return to America's most popular zip code, another member of the famous cast whose name was conspicuously missing from the press release was in the fight for his life. As we learned the morning after the news was announced, Luke Perry, who played bad boy Dylan McKay and now stars as Fred Andrews on the CW's popular Riverdale (where contract obligations have reportedly kept him from being able to commit to the new 90210), was hospitalized after suffering a stroke at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
The 52-year-old actor's condition remains unknown, as of press time, though a rep for Perry has informed E! news that he is not in a coma, despite some reports. He remains in hospitalized in the Los Angeles area under observation, his rep said.
The timing couldn't have been more eerie, as a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson confirmed that the 911 call made from the actor's home took place at 9:39 a.m. on Wednesday—only about 20 minutes before 90210 was announced via press release by FOX. And it's a stark reminder that life for Perry and his co-stars after the show's dramatic 10-year run has been just as intense as anything their characters faced.
Though Perry's current health woes certainly overshadow anything that's come his way in the 20 years since he said goodbye to 90210, it's certainly not his first bit of bad luck. As he steadily worked to overcome the teen soap image attached to him thanks to the show's success, taking roles in grittier fare like HBO's prison drama Oz and working on Broadway in the 2001 revival of The Rocky Horror Show before returning to the sort of show that made him a star as one of Riverdale's elder statesmen, he saw his ten year marriage to Rachel Minnie Sharp, whom he married three years into his time on 90210, in 2003. Though both of their children are now 18, Perry and Sharp shared joint custody of son Jack, 21, and Sophie, 18, after their split, which seemed relatively light on fireworks, all things considered. No reason for the split was ever made public.
While he focused on his career and raising his kids, Perry had his first health scare becoming an advocate in the fight against colorectal cancer in 2015. After losing a friend to colon cancer and watching his childhood friend Chad Schrack's wife survive the disease, he got involved with Fight Colorectal Cancer's "One Million Strong" campaign, which urges people to get screened for the disease. "Once I found out what the numbers were about this cancer – about how detectable it is, and how lethal it is if you don't detect it – it boggled my mind," he told People at the time.
So, Perry practiced what he preached and underwent a colonoscopoy himself. And, as he revealed to Fox News in 2017, the test revealed precancerous growths, which the actor was able to have removed before they really became something to worry about. "Right now, there are 23 million Americans who haven't been screened who need to be screened," Perry told the news organization. "If I had waited, it could have been a whole different scenario."
For his former on-screen love interest Shannen Doherty, it was.
Around the same time that Perry was getting that fateful colonoscopy, Doherty found herself forced to disclose her breast cancer diagnosis when she filed suit against her accounting firm as she alleged they failed to pay for her SAG medical insurance without her consent or knowledge in early 2014, causing her coverage to lapse and leaving her unable to re-enroll until 2015. Upon getting her coverage back, she visited a doctor who discovered that she had "invasive breast cancer metastatic to at least one lymph node." As her lawsuit revealed, Doherty "was informed that her cancer had spread during 2014 (when she was uninsured)."
Over the next few years, Doherty documented the many ups and downs of her journey on social media, from the day she first shaved her head to first day of radiation treatment, paying tribute to her doctors and hubby Kurt Iswarienko along the way, until she was able to declare the one thing fans had been waiting to hear. "Moments. They happen. Today was and is a moment," Shannen shared with her followers in April of 2017. "What does remission mean? I heard that word and have no idea how to react. Good news? YES. Overwhelming. YES. Now more waiting."
While certainly not out of the woods entirely, as she admitted that the ensuing five years following her remission revelation would be paramount in its need for vigilance to watch for recurrences, it was a moment that allowed for Doherty and those who've loved her since she was raising hell as Brenda Walsh to breathe a sigh of relief. And it capped off a tumultuous period in the actress' life that began almost immediately after she left 90210 after its fourth season in 1994.
Her career wouldn't begin to rebound until 90210 creator Aaron Spelling took another chance on the notoriously difficult actress as he was casting his 1998 WB series Charmed. And it seemed like things were back on track for Doherty, as she starred in the supernatural series as Prue Halliwell for three seasons, even directing some episodes of the show. But it came to an end in 2001, amid rumors of on-set tensions between her and co-star Alyssa Milano, and her character was killed off. From there, she bounced around between reality TV gigs and made-for-TV movies.
Around the time her last episode of Charmed aired, Doherty was also sentenced to either 10 days in jail or 20 days of work-release duty, as well as three years probation and a $1,500 fine for a drunk driving arrest. A year later, she would marry Rick Salomon (aka Paris Hilton's sex tape co-star) only to have the marriage, her second after her six-month union with Ashley Hamilton in 1993-94, annulled after nine months.
In 2011, though, she tied the knot with Iswarienko, a photographer. "I've definitely found my soul mate," she told us in 2012. "I've found my partner. He's a good one—and it's about time."
Struggles in love have plagued many of the 90210 stars since their days spent at the Peach Pit. Garth, for instance, has been unlucky in love not once, not twice, but three separate times. Her first marriage, to musician Daniel B. Clark, fell apart in 1996, while she was still on the FOX hit. She remarried in January 2001, to actor Peter Facinelli, and the couple welcomed three daughters—Luca, Lola, and Fiona—into the world until Facinelli filed for divorce in March of 2012, citing irreconcilable differences.
"You get the rug pulled from under you," Garth told People at the time. "I have no landscape of what my future will look like, where before I had something that I can count on."
She began dating actor David Abrams in the fall of 2014 after meeting him on a blind date that she only agreed to for dating practice. He proposed the following April and they were wed on July 11, 2015. Nearly three years later, Abrams filed for divorce, a decision made five months after the couple decided to spend time apart so they could work on their marriage. Though, all hope might not be lost for Garth and Abrams. In early February, E! News obtained court documents filed by Abrams requesting the court dismiss the "entire action of all parties and all causes of action without prejudice."
Another 90210 alum who knows a thing or two about reconciling with the one they love is Green. After welcoming a son, Kassius, into the world in 2002 with former castmate Vanessa Marcil, the erstwhile David Silver began dating Megan Fox in 2004 after meeting her on the set of Hope & Faith when he was 30 and she was just 18. By 2006, they were engaged and by 2009, they weren't. The engagement was revealed to be back on in June 2010, just days before they tied the knot in Hawaii. As they began to welcome children into the world—three sons, to be exact—and tussled with paparazzo, resulting in a lawsuit filed against the couple in 2012, they separated once more, with Fox filing for divorce on August 21, 2015. That, too, wouldn't stick and the couple would reconcile in early 2016 before the birth of their third son that August.
And he would need a united front when, a few years later, Marcil would level some distressing accusations against the father of her son. In November of last year, in a lengthy Instagram post, the former Las Vegas star said, among other things, that Kassius had never met his youngest brother Journey and that Green and Fox had "completely cut Kass out of their lives" five years prior. As of press time, Green has yet to publicly respond to Marcil's claims.
Perhaps Green was able to commiserate with his friend Spelling over Marcil's claims. After all, she and husband Dean McDermott, whom she met on a film set in 2005 and began an affair with the first night despite the fact that both were otherwise married, have repeatedly faced down claims from his ex-wife Mary Jo Eustace that he stopped paying child support for their son. It's one of many woes, financial or otherwise, the couple has weathered in the decade and a half they've been together, many of which have played out in front of the prying eyes of reality TV viewers and the paparazzi.
While the mother of five expected to inherit a sizable portion of her father's $500 million dollar estate after his death in 2006, she and her brother Randy each only received $800,000. And since then, there have been plenty of setbacks. We've watched as McDermott entered rehab in 2014, as a difficult fourth pregnancy left Spelling hospitalized for 10 weeks, and as they've both faced down debt bills that have ordered to court as recently as this week. Here's hoping 90210 is the sort of gig that'll help turn those woes around.
Not even the 90210 cast members with more stable personal lives have made it through the past 20 years entirely scot-free. Ziering, who reinvented his career in the last few years as the star of Syfy's totally bonkers Sharknado film franchise, found himself divorcing first wife, Playboy model Nikki Schieler, in 2002, with his former missus claiming the divorce was contentions and that she was not giving any support or even help moving out. (Ziering remarried in 2010 and he and new wife Erin Ludwig have two daughters.)
Priestley, who's been happily married to make-up artist Naomi Lowde since 2005—the couple have two children—found himself in not one, but two life-threatening situations over the years. In 2002, the race-car driving enthusiast was completing a practice run at the Kentucky Speedway when his Indy Pro Series car crashed into a wall while going nearly 180 miles per hour. He was left with a broken back and a head injury. And in 2015, he was hospitalized with a concussion after he was thrown from a horse on a film set.
As for Carteris, the elder stateswoman of the group—she was 29 when the show began—who's been serving as the president of SAG-AFTRA since 2016 and has been happily to husband Charles Isaacs since 1992, had a scare of her own in 2006 when an injury caused by stunts while filming the movie Past Tense left her face partly paralyzed and racked by intense spasms. "For the first year I didn't go out in public," she told People in 2008. "I was losing my speech. I went to several doctors. I have permanent damage to my facial nerves. I went to the UCLA Movement Disorder Clinic, and after two years of tests and constant monitoring they have finally found the right medication that keeps the spasms under control. I did a lot of acupuncture and physical therapy. Six months after the injury occurred the paralysis in my face eased."
"This has been a real journey, and I'll probably be on meds for the rest of my life," she continued. "But I don't look at myself as a victim. I'm blessed that I wasn't paralyzed forever."
And while all the OGs have remained relatively close through the years, with many of them speaking out in support of Perry in the wake of his stroke, there's one cast member who has definitely fallen out of favor with her old friends. And that's Doherty's replacement, Tiffani Theissen. Despite being so close to Garth at the end of 90210's run that she was in the delivery room when her firstborn entered the world, the pair had a serious falling out, with Theissen telling Howard Stern in 2012, "We had a falling out and we grew apart. I was the one who was hurt, let's just say that."
During that same interview, she also revealed that, following Spelling's first divorce and subsequent union with McDermott, she awkwardly found herself in the middle. "It was a hard situation for everybody. We were close with Charlie [Spelling's first husband]. My best friend was Charlie's roommate," she said. "It was really trying to take care of the person who I thought was, probably, done wrong."
Though, in recent years, Garth has attempted to downplay the idea that there's any longstanding beef. In 2017, she said the two had crossed paths and it was no big thing. "[We] did some small talk and it was great," she admitted to Us Weekly.
However the new 90210 writers plan on working in the cast's real lives and relationships into the series, it's clear that there will be no shortage of material to mine for inspiration. And there's no doubt that we'll be watching, with rapt attention.
90210 debuts on FOX this summer.