After seven seasons and countless kooky storylines, Riverdale will officially air its final episode this week. The seventh season of the ARCHIE Comics-based series exudes plenty of nostalgia, which was a given due to the backdrop and story arc. It takes place in the 1950s and in a new timeline (and has seemingly been building to something). As the show reaches it conclusion, one can’t help but think of major moments and people that influenced the teen drama. One important individual is cast member and Fred Andrew actor Luke Perry, who died at 52 in 2019. Now, ahead of the finale, several members of the cast are sharing their fondest memories of Perry.
The principal stars of the long-running series took part in a lengthy exit interview with Vulture, and talk eventually turned to the late Luke Perry. Madelaine Petsch shared some particularly warm thoughts about the beloved actor. She specifically discussed how he predicted Riverdale‘s longevity and overall position within the cultural landscape before the series even premiered:
Obviously, the late actor was no stranger to teen dramas, considering he starred as bad boy Dylan McKay throughout Beverly Hills, 90210’s 10-season run. He knew all of the ins and outs of working on such a show. And unsurprisingly, he was also knowledgeable of the intense fame that came with such a position. Cole Sprouse conveyed that very idea while weighing in during the conversation:
Luke Perry starred as Fred Andrews during Riverdale first three seasons. The father of lead character Archie Andrews, he served as a mentor to his son and, after Perry’s death, the elder Andrews was killed off screen in a hit-and-run accident. Though he died amid production on the third season, the show formally said goodbye to Perry during the Season 4 premiere. The character’s send-off was sweet, and the episode even included a guest appearance from Shannen Doherty, who worked with Perry on 90210.
While the actor himself seems to have been a positive force behind the camera, his character filled the same position in front of it. Fred was one of the few parents on the show with no devious, ulterior motives and was well-respected within the titular town. It goes without saying that Fred is missed as is the man who perfectly played him.
Madelaine Petsch and Cole Sprouse continued to have a back-and-forth, as they reminisced about their late co-star, bringing up the way he’d wear his glasses and how he would get “super-close” to your face when he was speaking. But Camila Mendes summed it all up perfectly by saying they were “lucky to work with him.” It’s clear that even now, Luke Perry continues to make an impact on the cast, and one would think that they’ll carry his lessons with them for years to come.
With Riverdale’s final episode airing this Wednesday, August 23 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW as part of the 2023 TV schedule, I’m curious to see if the series pays tribute to Luke Perry one more time. Whether that happen through archival footage or a brief mention of Fred, I’d be pleased with almost any sweet manner in which the cast and crew could honor him