In its third season, Riverdale is known for casting former teen idols as parents. They’ve done it with the likes of Skeet Ulrich, Molly Ringwald, Mädchen Amick, and most recently, Chad Michael Murray. But it was the late Luke Perry who played the biggest role in launching that trend.
Perry, who passed away in March of 2019 after suffering a massive stroke at the age of 52, was the first parent cast on the hit CW drama. “Initially we were afraid of casting former teen idols because we thought that would be too kitschy,” casting director David Rapaport tells EW. “But Luke [Perry] came in and fought for the role [of Archie’s dad]. We had to make a decision: Do we do this or do we not do this. Part of the show is there’s so much nostalgia involved, so there is something about having a former heartthrob play the father of a heartthrob. Luke was the first one that we cast. And then Mädchen [Amick] was undeniable, and Marisol’s [Nichols] performance blew us away. Then Skeet Ulrich came in and seemed like a no-brainer, and we hired Robin Givens and Molly Ringwald, and then it became the cool thing to do.”