Luke Perry would have been celebrating his 53rd birthday today had the actor not tragically died last year.

The showbiz world was rocked when the news broke that the 90210 and Netflix Riverdale actor had died following a stroke at the age of 52.

Luke, who was born on October 11, 1966, died on March 4, 2019, and left behind his two children, Jungle Boy and Sophie Perry – who he left all of his wealth to.

He was most famous for playing Dylan McKay in 90210 and Fred Andrews in teen drama Riverdale.

The American actor lived a successful life surrounded by his loved ones with regular acting jobs coming in. But his Hollywood career wasn't all smooth-sailing...

His death

Luke Perry died at the age of 52 after suffering a stroke

Luke tragically died at 12.44pm on March 4, 2019 at 52 years of age – leaving behind two children.

According to the death certificate, his cause of death was an "ischemic cerebrovascular accident".

A week before his death, the actor suffered a stroke on February 27, 2019, in his Los Angeles home.

According to the publication New Idea, in the 911 call, a woman could be heard asking the operator to tell the ambulance to "hurry".

The paramedics arrived around 9.40am before taking him to the local hospital where he remained for five days under observation.

US Weekly reported at the time that his family had to make the heartbreaking decision to take him off life-support.

"He never regained consciousness. Things were so dire that they put him under heavy sedation. He was gone, basically, by the time he got to the hospital," a source told People Magazine.

Luke was buried on March 11, 2019, in Dickson, Tennessee.

His family asked that instead of flowers, donations be made to charities.

Following his death, his rep released the following statement: "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."

Hundreds of rejections

Luke was rejected 216 times before he landed his role on 90210

The star arrived in Hollywood back in 1984 but it wasn't as easy as he thought it would be to get into the acting world.

At the time, to tide him over, like many struggling actors and actresses, he worked a number of odd-jobs from polishing shoes to paving Asphalt.

He used the money from his odd jobs to pay for his acting classes.

In a period of three years, Luke previously said he counted how many times he was rejected for acting jobs.

The star said he was rejected 216 times before he got his first break.

His first break was in 1987 when he landed the role of Ned Bates in the daytime TV drama Loving, which led to him moving to New York and then landing a role on the soap opera Another World.

It was a year later that Luke got his big break in 90210.

And his glittering career continued after that, seeing him then go on to land the role of Fred Andrews in Riverdale in 2017.

But it was a recurring role that was cut short due to. his untimely death.

His fear of dying young

Luke had a fear of dying young

Tragically, Luke had a fear of dying young and even confessed it in an interview once.

While appearing on the US show Today, Luke opened up on how he hated being compared to actor James Dean because unlike the tragic actor who died aged 24, he hoped to work into his fifties.

Back in 1992 at the height of his 90210 heartthrob fame, the then 25-year-old shared the comparisons to Dean, who died in a car crash, had unsettled him.

He said on the show: "James Dean died in a car crash aged 24, I think in a way if they make the association strong enough, I'll have to pay for the fact he checked out early. And I don't want to, you know.

"I hope to still be working when I'm 30, and 40, and 50, and for however long I want to.

"I think that when I can no longer maintain that James Dean fantasy for them, they'll look to get it from someone else and I'll be gone."