Luke Perry (born Coy Luther Perry III; October 11, 1966) is an American actor. Perry starred as Dylan McKay on the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210, a role he played from 199095, and then from 19982000. Much publicity was garnered over the fact that even though he was playing a sixteen-year-old when 90210 began, Perry was actually in his mid-twenties at the time. Perry returned to 90210 in 1998 (this time billed as a permanent 'special Guest Star) and remained with the series until its conclusion in 2000.
Perry was born in Mansfield, Ohio and raised in Fredericktown, Ohio, where he was the school mascot, the Fredericktown High School Freddie. His mother, Ann Bennett, was a homemaker, and his father, Coy Luther Perry, Jr., a steelworker. Luke Perry has revealed he likes to go home annually for the Fredericktown Tomato Show, an annual street fair.
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 (198788) and Another World (198889).
Following this, he then won the role of brooding millionaire's son Dylan McKay on Fox's appealing 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 McKay. While starring on 90210, Perry then won a supporting role in the original film version of the Joss Whedon-written 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-era 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 due to 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, in which he performed a full frontal nude scene, as Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier. From 2002 to 2004, he starred in the post-apocalyptic TV series Jeremiah. In 2005 Perry was rumored 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 premiered on June 10, 2007, and ran for 10 episodes, with the series finale airing on August 12, 2007.
Perry also stars in the Swedish film ntligen Midsommar (Finally Midsummer) which was released in the summer of 2009.
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 then voiced himself once again in an episode of Family Guy, where he was labeled as gay by Peter and sues the family. Peter tries to seduce Perry into revealing his homosexuality and fails. However, by the end of the episode Perry is seen with Mayor Adam West, about to engage in sex. 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 self-parodying 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 in What I Like About You, where he played a character who claimed he had been dating Kelly's best friend when he and Val (Jennie Garth) became romantically involved (clearly a parody of the 90210 Brenda years). He guest-starred as Rev. Jeremiah Cloutier in the HBO television series Oz. He was also featured in a full-frontal nudity scene in Oz. 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!.
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.