Shannen Doherty 'Deeply Honored' to Be Cast in Riverdale's 'Beautiful' Tribute to Luke Perry
On Sunday, the Beverly Hills 90210 alumn shared some sweet images with her former costar on Instagram, revealing that she had been cast to play a special character on CW’s hit series for a tribute episode they have planned to honor Perry following his tragic death.
“I am deeply honored to pay tribute to Luke on Riverdale. The care in which this show takes in honoring his memory is beautiful,” Doherty wrote alongside two photos with Perry, who was her costar in Beverly Hills, 90210.
“He is missed. Today. Tomorrow. Forever,” she added.
The announcement of Doherty’s casting was made at Comic-Con on Sunday.
Perry, who played Archie Andrews’ father Fred on Riverdale, died at the age of 52 after suffering a “massive stroke” in March 2019.
The tribute will “reflect Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character” Fred Andrews had on Riverdale, the show’s creator, Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, said during the Comic-Con panel, according to Variety, which also reported that Doherty’s cameo is “very emotional” and was “something that Luke wanted to happen since season 1.”
Aguirre-Sacasa added, “They were such good friends, and when we were putting together this tribute episode, we wanted to make it as special as possible, and so we asked Shannen to do a pivotal, super-emotional role. She read the script and immediately said, ‘Yes.’ It’s very impactful.”
On Friday, Aguirre-Sacasa said they would begin season 4 honoring his death.
“Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever,” showrunner Robert Aguirre-Sacasa wrote 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.”
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 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.”
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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.”
Doherty will be starring in the BH90210 reboot with original stars Gabrielle Carteris, Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green, Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling and Ian Ziering.
Season 4 of Riverdale premieres Oct. 9 on The CW.