Luke Perry was an American actor, primarily remembered as a teen idol throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s. Perry was born in Mansfield, Ohio in 1966. Mansfield was known at the time as a center for the home appliances and stove manufacturing industries. The city's largest employer used to be the Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
Perry's parents were the steelworker Coy Luther Perry Jr. (1944-1980) and his wife Ann. Perry's parents divorced in 1972, when he was 6-years-old. Ann gained custody over her children, and later married construction worker Steve Bennett. Luke was mostly raised by his mother and stepfather, and did not have a close relationship with his biological father. Coy Perry suffered a heart attack in 1980 and died, when Luke was 14-years-old. Luke attended his funeral.
Perry was mostly raised in the village of Fredericktown, Ohio, and attended the Fredericktown High School. In his high school years, Perry served in the role of the school mascot, the "Freddie Bird".
In 1984, the 18-year-old Perry moved to Los Angeles, with the intention of becoming a professional actor. For several years, Perry kept auditioning for various roles without ever being hired. He supported himself financially by working at odd jobs, and serving as an extra for music videos. His most notable role in this period was in the 1986 music video for the song "Be Chrool to Your Scuel" (1985) by the heavy metal band "Twisted Sister".
Perry's first successful audition landed him the role of a recurring character in the soap opera Loving (1983) (1983-1995). From 1987 to 1988, he played the character of Ned Bates. In Perry's own words: "Ned was a dirt-poor mechanic from Tennessee who always got taken advantage of".
Perry next received a recurring role in another soap opera, Another World (1964) (1964-1999). From 1988 to 1989, he played the character of Kenny, the manager of aspiring model and actress Josie Watt (played by Alexandra Wilson).
In 1990, Perry landed the most significant role of his career, depicting the character of Dylan McKay in the teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990) (1990-2000). He played the character for a total of 199 episodes. Dylan was the teenage rebel son of business tycoon Jack McKay and hippie ex-wife Iris McKay. He started the series as a loner, but he offered help to nerdy schoolmate Scott Scanlon (played by Douglas Emerson) against the local bullies. This act of bravery gained him new friends and the romantic attention of Brenda Walsh (played by Shannen Doherty).