The Riverdale and Beverly Hills, 90210 actor died in March after suffering a stroke

By Ashley Boucher
June 19, 2019 11:14 PM

Season 4 of Riverdale will kick off with a tribute to Luke Perry, the show’s creator announced Wednesday.

“Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever,” showrunner Robert Aguirre-Sacasa said on Twitter. “A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred.” 

In his tweet, Aguirre-Sacasa shared a photo of the script for Season 4’s first episode, titled “In Memoriam.” Gabriel Correa will direct the episode.

While Perry’s last appearance on Riverdale aired in April, nearly two months after his death, the absence of his character, Fred Andrews, has yet to be addressed on screen.

Aguirre-Sacasa previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the decision to hold off on wrapping up Fred’s story was made out of respect.

“It was just devastating,” he said in May of Perry’s sudden death. “And we wanted to honor Luke, and figure out the best way to handle the character of Fred Andrews in the show, so we sort of said, you know what? Let’s not squeeze, let’s not rush to squeeze something into the finale, or into the last couple of episodes, let’s really think about it, and let’s tell that story at the beginning of season four.”

Luke Perry
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

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“Luke was one of the hearts of the show — Luke and [Archie Andrews actor] KJ [Apa], their relationship, and as crazy as things got, we always turned back to them,” he added. “That was so wonderful to have, and so that was part of our thinking too. We wanted to take the time to understand how the show will change [without Fred], and how we could best address that.”

Perry was an original cast member of The CW hit, appearing in almost every episode since the drama’s premiere in January 2017.

Aguirre-Sacasa, along with his fellow executive producers Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater, said in a joint statement at the time of Perry’s death: “We are deeply saddened to learn today about the passing of Luke Perry.”

Luke Perry, KJ Apa
Dean Buscher /The CW

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“A beloved member of the Riverdale, Warner Bros. and CW family, Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all,” the statement continued. “A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness. Our thoughts are with Luke’s family during this most difficult time.”

Perry died suddenly in March at age 52 after suffering a “massive stroke.”

According to his rep, Perry was surrounded by close friends at family at the time of his death, including his children, Jack, 22 and Sophie, 19.

Riverdale Season 4 premieres October 9 on The CW.