KJ Apa Speaks Out After ‘Riverdale’ Onscreen Dad Luke Perry Dies

K.J. Apa Reacts to Luke Perry's Death
KJ Apa and Luke Perry attend The CW Network's 2016 Upfront party at Park Avenue Spring on May 19, 2016 in New York City. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The CW

A state of shock. KJ Apa shared a heartbreaking message about Luke Perry, who portrayed his Riverdale character Archie Andrews’ father, Fred Andrews, on Thursday, March 7.

The actor shared a photo on Instagram of his late TV dad in sunglasses. He captioned the image simply, “Rest in Love bro.”

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Perry died at age 52 on Monday, March 4, after suffering a massive stroke. Many of his Riverdale costars have since shared warm words about his life and legacy, and the show’s executive producers vowed to dedicate all future episodes to him. 

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Camila Mendes, who plays Archie’s love interest, Veronica Lodge, paid tribute to Perry with a touching Instagram post on Thursday, March 7. “He took care of us all. An authentic man who took pleasure in offering us his guidance and wisdom. His presence was healing; he had the ability to make you feel comfortable and at ease within seconds of seeing him,” she captioned a throwback photo of the pair having a candid conversation. “I will never forget the collective shock and distress we experienced when the news broke on set. We lost a dear friend. My heart hurts for his family and anybody who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

She added: “Rest in peace, Luke. Although you’re no longer around to wrap me in the warmth of your hug, I can still remember what it felt like. Whenever I think of you, I will remember that feeling.”

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Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse, who are dating in real life and portray onscreen couple Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones, have also spoken out after Perry’s untimely passing.

“I’m finding it hard to grasp that he will no longer be around to give long hugs and share his wisdom and kindness with all of us,” Reinhart, 22, tweeted on Monday. Sprouse, 26, added in an interview with journalist Andrew Freund on Wednesday, March 6, “It’s obviously not the easiest thing to talk about, but he was well-loved and there’s been an outpouring of emotional support from people around the world, which just goes to show what a wonderful person he was and how much he impacted people’s lives and impacted our lives.”

The Wednesday, March 6, episode of Riverdale ended by honoring Perry.

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