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Beverly Hills, 90210 Actors You May Not Know Passed Away

The premiere of "Beverly Hills, 90210" in the fall of 1990 marked a shift in the way teen drama was portrayed on network television. While the equal parts saccharine and melodramatic depiction of all the trials and tribulations of being rich, white, and 16 years old may seem absurd to audiences in 2021, it was Aaron Spelling's surprise high school hit that paved the way for shows like "Dawson's Creek," "Melrose Place," "Roswell," and, more recently, every show on The CW. 

The show launched the careers of stars like Shannen Doherty ("Charmed") and Tori Spelling ("Tori & Dean") and introduced audiences to a brand-new '90s "Brat Pack." It's been over two decades since audiences first pulled up a stool at the Peach Pit, and while many of the series' stars continue to pop up on screens both big and small, a few have unfortunately died. Here are three "90210" actors whose deaths you may not have known about. 

Brian Turk's breakout role is getting a second look

Fans of "90210" will no doubt remember Brian Turk's two-episode cameo as the ironically named "Tiny." The actor — who'd starred in 1994's "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" before popping up briefly in Beverly Hills — became a familiar TV series face in the late '90s and early '00s when he showed up in everything from "Cybill" and "Nash Bridges" to "Boy Meets World." Turk also landed one-episode arcs in hit series such as "ER," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and "The Jamie Foxx Show" before landing his longest recurring role as traveling strongman Gabriel in HBO's "Carnivàle." Though the series aired for just two seasons (2003-2005), it's enjoying a kind of renaissance lately in the wake of the rise of popularity in historical and supernatural dramas. After the cancellation of "Carnivàle," Turk went on to appear in CBS' "Two and a Half Men" and "Criminal Minds" before nabbing a three-episode arc as Bo Cromwell in "General Hospital." The actor saw some success on the big screen as well, with small roles in "American Pie 2" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." 

Following his 2019 death from brain cancer at the age of 49, a GoFundMe page was created to assist his family, including his wife and then-8-year-old son. The fundraising description notes that the actor and Colorado native "impacted so many of us in a positive way whether it be on the football field, at Mater Dei or USC, on stage or in our personal lives."

Jed Allan defined the wealthy patriarch archetype

Over the course of a career that spanned six decades, veteran soap star and "90210" patriarch Jed Allan became a fixture on daytime television and TV movies. After landing his first recurring role in 1969 as Scott Turner on "Lassie," Allan went on to play successful attorney Don Craig on NBC's long-running soap opera "Days of Our Lives" from 1971 to 1985. His next role, as wealthy businessman C.C. Capwell on "Santa Barbara," saw him inhabit the television time slot directly following "Days of Our Lives," allowing fans of the actor to maintain their network loyalty. Allan then brought his experience playing wealthy patriarchs to "90210," where he portrayed assertive businessman Rush Sanders (father to Ian Ziering's Steve Sanders). In 2004, Allan published his autobiography, "Please Spell the Name Right" (a reference to the unique spelling of his last name), and in 2011, he starred in the ITV drama "The Bay." The daytime dramatist also starred in "General Hospital" and "Port Charles."

Jed Allan died at the age of 84 in March 2019. Following his death, fellow "90210" star Ian Ziering remembered his TV dad in an Instagram post, saying Allan was "a great guy to work with" who "will be missed."

Luke Perry found his voice after 90210

Beginning in the early 1990s and running well into the early 2000s, Ohio native Luke Perry was the swoon-worthy teen idol by which all other teen idols were judged. After moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18, he landed a few small parts in soaps (e.g., "Another World") and music videos (including Twisted Sister's "Be Chrool to Your Scuel") before landing his breakout role as Dylan McKay in "90210." As the famous zip code's contagiously cool McKay, Perry channeled rebellious but sensitive silver screen heartthrobs from Hollywood's golden age like James Dean and Steve McQueen and became an instant sensation. Though the success of the show didn't immediately translate to success in feature films and other live-action series, Perry's career was no less prolific for it. 

After his first feature film, "Terminal Bliss," performed poorly at the box office and was panned by critics, Perry saw big-screen success starring opposite Kristy Swanson in 1992's cult classic "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." From there, the actor enjoyed consistent voice work. Following a guest role voicing himself on "The Simpsons," the former teen idol lent his familiar pipes to various series, including "Biker Mice from Mars" (1994-95), "Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm" (1996), "The Legend of Calamity Jane" (1997), "The Incredible Hulk" (1996-97), "Pepper Ann" (1998-00), and "Family Guy" (2000). 

Riverdale remembers cast member Luke Perry

In 2002, Luke Perry returned to live-action TV as Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier in Tom Fontana's acclaimed HBO hit "Oz" and continued his comeback with lead and recurring roles in Showtime's "Jeremiah," NBC's "Windfall" and "FCU: Fact Checkers Unit," HBO's "John From Cincinnati," and CBS' "Body of Proof." Younger generations will best remember the actor for playing Fred Andrews — father to Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) — on The CW's dark and mysterious reimagining of the Archie Comics, "Riverdale."

The series paid homage to the beloved cast member in the Season 4 premiere, titled "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam." The episode sees Archie's father killed in a hit-and-run, and as Insider nsider reports, "In the Andrews' backyard, Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Kevin (Casey Cott), and Reggie (Charles Melton) sat in a circle and recalled moments they had with Fred, who was considered the moral compass of the show." The last episode of "Riverdale" to feature the actor is Season 3's "Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper."

Luke Perry died at the age of 52 on March 4, 2019, in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, following a massive stroke.

Joe E. Tata's Nat ran the beloved Peach Pit

Joe E. Tata had a lengthy run on "Beverly Hills, 90210," with 238 episode appearances. As the owner of the Peach Pit, Nat was privy to a lot of the drama surrounding Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Kelly, and many others. Tata died on August 25, 2022, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Former co-star Ian Ziering remembered Tata, writing a nice tribute online. "Joey was truly an OG, I remember seeing him on the Rockford files with James Garner years before we worked together on 90210. He was often one of the background villains in the original Batman series. One of the happiest people I've ever worked with, he was as generous with his wisdom as he was with his kindness," the actor wrote on Instagram.

Tata reprised his role as Nat on the "90210" reboot in 2008, where he appeared in three episodes. The actor also is known for his work on "The Rockford Files," and voicing several characters on the 60s "Batman" animated series.

Denise Dowse was the strong Vice Principal of West Beverly Hills High School

Denise Dowse passed away on August 13, 2022, after falling into a coma due to complications from meningitis, according to the Los Angeles Times. She starred on "Beverly Hills, 90210" as Vice Principal Mrs. Yvonne Teasley and appeared in 24 episodes. After her death, former co-star Ian Ziering mourned her loss online.

"This is insanely heartbreaking. Throughout all my years working on Beverly Hills 90210, my scenes with Denise will always be remembered with the utmost in respect for her talent, and fondness for the loving soul she was. Some of my heartiest off camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the the discipline her Mrs. Teasley would dish out to my Steve Sanders. My sincere condolences to her family, and all others who she was dear to. God bless you Denise, pay forward that Legacy Key," Ian Ziering wrote in response to the news.

Dowse also had runs on "Insecure," "Imposters," and "Rocket Power," in addition to two episodes of "Seinfeld."