Luke Perry's sudden death Monday at 52 following a stroke came as a huge shock to "Beverly Hills, 90210" fans who'd grown up watching him play the charming, troubled Dylan McKay on the show.
Over six of "90210's" 10 seasons (with guest appearances in seasons nine and 10), McKay stole as many hearts as he broke, providing drama aplenty for the soapy nighttime series. As we mourn his untimely passing, we wanted to look back at some of the high points of his years in his defining, defiant, role.
'Heartbroken': Shannen Doherty speaks out after Luke Perry's deathMarch 5, 201902:57
1. Dylan Smashes His Way Into Brenda's (and Our) Hearts
Fans met Dylan McKay in episode two of the first season, but the young man who compared himself to Lord Byron ("Mad, bad and dangerous to know; that was him and that's me") came into his own when he dramatically smashed a flower pot in front of Brenda (Shannen Doherty) while furious at his dodgy, usually absent father. The move endeared him to Brenda, kicking off their tumultuous relationship over the ensuing seasons.
2. Dylan and Brenda Sleep Together for the First Time
By the end of the show's first season, Dylan and Brenda were an established couple, and headed off to the spring dance together in their formal wear. But while Brenda's pal Kelly (Jennie Garth) won the spring queen crown, Brenda got a bigger prize: a night in a hotel with Dylan, where she had sex with him for the first time. (Dylan was, shall we say, a little more experienced.)
3. Brenda and Dylan Split Up
Not long after their first night together, Dylan and Brenda call it quits — also for the first time, but certainly not the last. Brenda has a pregnancy scare and decides she isn't emotionally ready for a sexual relationship. They head out to the beach and smooch for a while to the tune of REM's "Losing My Religion," but ultimately she says they have to break up — she's not ready for a sexual relationship. Heartbroken, Dylan argues with her, but has no choice ... and they split.
4. Dylan Chooses Between Kelly and Brenda
With Brenda out of the picture in Paris with Donna, season three gave Dylan and Kelly a chance to really get to know each other. Really well. And suddenly, a love triangle emerged — leaving Dylan to have to decide between two women he was very close to. And to many people's surprise ... he picked Kelly, telling her as they frolicked in their swimsuits, "I choose you."
5. & 6. Two Deaths Rock Dylan's World
OK, so it's really one death, and one "death." At the end of the third season, Dylan and his wayward father Jack (Josh Taylor) start to reconnect. But Jack's early release from jail means he has to testify against his old gangster pals ... and he is suddenly blown up by a car bomb. Dylan falls to his knees and rages against the injustice of it all, and it takes many episodes for him to recover. But in season 10, Dylan learned Jack was actually alive, under an alias, in Arizona. As for the real death that shocked everyone: the night he weds Toni Marchette (Rebecca Gayheart) in season six, she's shot while driving his Porsche when a hit man mistakes her for Dylan.