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Luke Perry's unexpected death leaves behind two kids and his secret fiancée.

In making a public statement about actor Luke Perry’s death, his publicist told the world about his fiancée, who was unknown to the public, but was by his side when he died.

A deep dive into Luke Perry’s life shows a man with a very private personal life and an acting career spanning decades, transforming him from heart throb to father figure – all thanks to a fierce determination perfected in his early years.

Luke Perry auditioned for 215 acting jobs in New York, while working construction to make ends meet, before he got his first break in a TV commercial.

His earliest acting roles were in the daytime soaps Loving and Another World, before he managed to score the part of the brooding millonaire’s son Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210.

He met the casting director after a failed audition for Ferris Bueller.

Flashback: Brandon meets Dylan [Perry] in 90210. Post continues after video.

Video via CBS

The show premiered on Fox in 1990 and drew millions of viewers a week across its 10 seasons.

Perry’s teen heart throb character was so popular that in 1991 an expected crowd of 2000 at a Florida mall turned into a stampede of 10,000 when he appeared to sign autographs. A total of 21 people were injured.

“I don’t know why it happened. I don’t even sing,” Perry joked to the Washington Post at the time.

Perry left the show to “demonstrate his range as an actor” telling The Post “the show doesn’t challenge me.”

In 1994 he starred in the film 8 Seconds as bull riding champion Lane Frost.

He then went on to have supporting parts in the films The Fifth Element and Dishdogz, before returning to 90210 for its final three seasons.

90210 cast
Perry and his 90210 cast. Image via Getty.
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In the years after 90210, Perry landed a variety of roles on TV shows from Oz and Jeremiah, to John from Cincinnati. In 2017, he was cast in what is arguably the teenage heart throb drama of today; Riverdale.

He played the role of Fred Andrews, father of the lead character Archie Andrews.

"I like playing the dad because I like being a dad," he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

perry riverdale
Perry with his Riverdale cast members. Production on the show has stopped today as his colleagues mourn his death. Image via Getty.

Luke Perry's private personal life

In terms of his personal life, Perry was very private and never released many details. He grew up in rural Ohio and was raised by his mother and step-father after his parents split when he was six.

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Thanks to his 90210 character, Perry was adored by millions of woman across the globe - and as a result, his love life was closely scrutinised.

It's believed he dated Baywatch star Yasmine Bleeth for a year in the late 80s, and he was also linked to Kelly Preston in 1990.

In 1993 at the height of his fame he married Rachel 'Minnie' Sharp, a former model.

The couple had two children, Jack in 1997 and Sophie in 2000, before they divorced in 2003. They did remain close after divorce to raise their children.

1995 World Music Awards
Luke and his wife of 10 years Minnie. They share two children. Image via Getty.

In 2015, after losing a friend to colon cancer, Perry became an advocate for colorectal cancer.

"Once I found out about what the numbers were about this cancer - and how detectable it was, and how lethal it is if you don't detect it - it boggled my mind," he told People magazine.

In 2017, after having a colonoscopy, Perry's test revealed precancerous growths which he had removed.

After that scare, Perry drastically changed his diet to decrease his risk. "I have significantly cut down the amount of red meat I eat," he told Fox.

Perry suffered a stroke last Wednesday, on the same day Fox announced it was rebooting the show that made him famous, Beverly Hills 90210.

When the ambulance first arrived it is understood he was able to communicate with the paramedics and was responsive.

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It's reported his condition worsened once he was in hospital.

His neighbour told media he'd been experiencing bad back problems prior to his stroke.

Perry died on Monday with his publicist releasing a statement to announce his passing;

"He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder and other close family and friends.

"The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time."

At the time of his death, at the age of 52, his children are just 21 and 18 years old.

Luke Perry's mystery fiancée

It was only in his publicist's statement that the world learned Perry was even engaged. Before today, it wasn't even known that he had a serious girlfriend.

According to Wendy Madison Bauer's LinkedIn, she is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Between undergrad and graduate school, she was working as an actress under the name Madison Bauer.

She had small roles in a number of television shows from 2004-2011 including House and The Mentalist.

It's believed they only appeared publicly together once, on a red carpet in 2017.

The world reacts

Riverdale has shut down production for the day as the cast and crew mourn Perry's death.

The series producers released a statement describing Perry as an "incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart and a true friend to all."

"He was a father figure and mentor to the show's young cast and was incredibly generous," it continued.

His co-stars have taken to social media to mourn.

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