Not everyone lives to be 80 or 85 or 90. Poor Luke Perry only made it to the two-thirds mark, or his early 50s. The shocked reaction is over a feeling that Perry was, in a sense, a perennial 20something, as 90% of those who knew him are referencing Dylan KcKay in Beverly Hills 90201. The rest are thinking about Fred Andrews on Riverdale.

Perry never made his mark in films, never costarred with Tom Cruise or Meryl Streep or Clint Eastwood or Sigourney Weaver, never appeared in a success d’estime or Oscar contender. But he was “Luke Perry”.

What does everyone think when somebody famous dies? What caused it, were drugs or booze a factor, what was he doing that was wrong or reckless?…maybe I can avoid the same fate. But sometimes it’s just bad cards.

I’m thinking of Richard Conte‘s Tony Bergdorf in the original Ocean’s 11, keeling over from a heart attack on the Las Vegas strip. A World War II vet, only 38 or 39 years old. Tomorrow is promised to no one.