Luke Perry, the Riverdale star and actor best known for his role as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, has died, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. He was 52.
Luke Perry’s parents — his mother, Ann Bennett, and his stepfather, Steve Bennett — were by his side when he passed away from a massive stroke. Here is what you need to know about Luke Perry’s parents.
1. Luke Perry Loved His Mom & Said She’s a Fighter & Never Bails
Luke’s mom, Ann Bennett, didn’t always have the easiest life. Luke shared with Vanity Fair in 1992 that his biological father was abusive and frightening. But his mother found the strength to leave and get a divorce when Luke was only six. She remarried when he was 12 to Steve Bennett.
Luke Perry told Vanity Fair that his mother was a fighter. “She’s a fighter. Her life ain’t been easy, but she don’t walk around with her heart on her sleeve. She stuck it out. She never bailed.”
2. Luke Perry Said His Biological Father Was Frightening & Abusive
Luke Perry didn’t talk much about his dad. In fact, he was not very close to him because of how he treated his mom, Luke once said. Perry told People that his relationship with his biological father “sucked.” He said in 1991, “I used to be very bitter about it, but I’m not now. It’s not worth my time.” He wouldn’t elaborate, except that: “I don’t like anybody who hurts my mom.”
But he did elaborate a year later in his interview with Vanity Fair. He said his dad was violent, frightening, and drank too much.
He told Vanity Fair:
He was a drunk. He treated my mother very poorly. Had I been big enough at the time, I would have beat his ass. But I wasn’t. So I always felt that I should have been able to protect her better, but I was a six-year-old kid. That’s where my frustration stems from… Looking back at it all now, it was pretty frightening… I saw what was going on. I knew what was happening as much as they tried to shelter me from it. I was aware.”
3. His Biological Father Died at 35 When Luke Was Just a Teenager
Luke Perry’s father, Coy Luther Perry, Jr., was only 35 when he died. Luke himself was just a teenager. His parents got divorced when he was six, and Luke’s father died of a heart attack before Luke was even out of his teenage years. Although Luke did attend his dad’s funeral, he said they never reconciled. His dad was a steelworker.
4. Luke Perry & His Stepfather, Steve Bennett, Were Very Close
Luke may have had a difficult and sometimes frightening relationship with his biological dad, but his stepfather Steve Bennett was amazing to him. Luke once told:
[Steve] is the greatest man I know. I love him. I wish he was my real father. He’s the one who taught me the important things I needed to know about being a man.”
Luke’s mom Ann told People that Steve would frequently take Luke and his brother with him to work at the construction business. She said, “Steve used to take Luke and his brother to work with him on weekends, and they learned a lot about the construction business. They learned what it really was to put in a hard day’s physical labor.”
What makes this especially sweet is when you realize that Luke’s character on Riverdale owned a construction business and sometimes took his son, Archie Andrews, with him to work. It’s not too difficult to imagine that Luke was thinking about his stepdad when he was filming those scenes.
5. Luke Perry’s Mother & Stepfather Were By His Side When He Died
Luke Perry died far too young. He was surrounded by his family, including Ann Bennett and his stepfather Steve Bennett, when he died, Hollywood Reporter shared. His representative said: “He was surrounded by his children, Jack and Sophie; fiancée, Wendy Madison Bauer; ex-wife, Minnie Sharp; mother, Ann Bennett; stepfather, Steve Bennett; brother, Tom Perry; sister, Amy Coder; and other close family and friends… The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”