Always in her heart. Shannen Doherty will be making an upcoming appearance on season 4 of Riverdale to honor close friend and former Beverly Hills, 90210 costar Luke Perry. Shannen, 48, took to social media on Sunday, July 21, after it was revealed that she had been tapped to play a special character on a tribute episode planned in the late actor’s honor.
“I am deeply honored to pay tribute to Luke on Riverdale,” the 48-year-old beauty gushed on Instagram after the casting news was announced at San Diego Comic-Con earlier in the day. “The care in which this show takes in honoring his memory is beautiful.”
Shannen shared the heartwrenching message alongside two photos of her and Luke, who sadly passed away on March 4 after suffering a “massive stroke” just days before. “He is missed. Today. Tomorrow. Forever,” she sweetly added.
The special episode is expected to reflect Luke’s “enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character,” Fred Andrews, had on the hit CW series, a press release read. Series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said the Charmed actress’ cameo is “very emotional” and was “something that Luke wanted to happen since season 1.”
“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,” Robert the press release continued. “She read the script and immediately said, ‘Yes.’ It’s very impactful.”
Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever. A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred. ❤️🏆💎👨🏻💻 pic.twitter.com/MH7xOjNyDu
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) June 19, 2019
Prior to the bittersweet announcement, the showrunner opened up about honoring the beloved star. “Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever,” he wrote on Twitter on June 19. “A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke and Fred.” In Roberto’s social media post, he also shared a photo of the script for season 4’s first episode, titled “In Memoriam.”
Although Luke has appeared on the show since his death, the absence of his character has yet to be addressed on screen. The show’s creator previously told The Hollywood Reporter that their choice to pause Fred’s story was made out of respect for Luke.
“It was just devastating,” he said of the Once Upon a Time In Hollywood actor’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.”
We can’t wait to see what they put together for Luke — and we’re so happy Shannen is involved in support of her longtime pal.