Molly Ringwald, who played Luke Perry's estranged wife on Riverdale, said of her late costar: "He was so beloved by everyone"

By Natalie Stone
May 02, 2019 06:05 PM
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It’s been nearly two months since Luke Perry‘s sudden death, and his costar Molly Ringwald still can’t believe that he’s gone.

“I expect him to just be there,” Ringwald, who played Perry’s on-screen estranged wife Mary Andrews on Riverdale, told WSJ. Magazine in an interview published Wednesday.

Perry was hospitalized following a stroke on Feb. 27 after paramedics were dispatched to his home in Sherman Oaks, California. A source told PEOPLE he never regained consciousness.

The actor remained “under observation” for five days, but died on Monday, March 4. He was 52.

“We thought it was going to be a temporary thing,” Ringwald, 51, told the publication about Perry’s stroke. “He was so beloved by everyone.”

luke perry molly ringwald riverdale
Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

The Sixteen Candles star also shared a sweet anecdote about Perry — who starred as Fred Andrews on Riverdale — from more than two decades ago.

When she was in her twenties, Ringwald moved to France and thinks that Perry adopted her potbellied pig when she made the transition to Europe.

“It was supposed to stay really little, and it didn’t,” Ringwald, who was told by a friend that Perry had a farm, said of the pig.

“So apparently, he took the pig,” the actress told WSJ. “He’s somebody that you felt like you knew him whether you did or not. He had that very warm, wide-open way about him.”

(According to a copy of his death certificate obtained by PEOPLE, Perry was buried in Dickson, Tennessee, one week after his death. The actor was a part-time resident of Tennessee and had owned a farm there since 1995.)

Last week, Perry appeared in his final episode of Riverdale, leaving fans wondering how the show was going to address the actor’s death in future episodes.

KJ Apa, who plays Perry’s onscreen son Archie in the hit CW series, opened up about the actor and where the show goes next in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight.

“His legacy is gonna live on in the lives around him, that he worked with, you know?” the 21-year-old actor shared. “I’m never gonna forget him and I think it’s still very fresh and we’re all still dealing with it.”

Apa added that his character’s mother — played by Ringwald — may become a bigger part of the show.

“We’re definitely gonna obviously have to address it at some point,” he said. “Whether that’s Molly stepping in as more of an active parent for Archie — again, that depends on the availability of the actors around us. So we’ll do what we can.”

On Friday, Apa reminisced about his close relationship with Perry during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter
Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

“It’s not every day you come across a guy like Luke,” he said. “Luke is the kind of person who did everything he can to make whoever you are, no matter how big or small you are, feel comfortable and feel welcome. It’s hard to kind of put into words how that makes me feel.”

Apa said the late actor treated him like a son while on set, making sure he always felt safe, comfortable and loved.

“He would call my parents every week and keep them updated on how I’m doing,” said Apa. “If I had a cold or something he’d be like, ‘I got him, I brought some Gatorade to his apartment the other day.’ “

“He made such a huge effort from the very beginning,” Apa continued. “I wish I could be like that.”

Riverdale airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on The CW.