Patrick Swayze Passes Away At Age 57
Patrick Swayze Passes Away At Age 57
Actor Patrick Swayze, who rose to fame with roles in the movies Dirty Dancing and Ghost, has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  He was 57.

"[He] passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," his publicist, Annett Wolf, said in a statement.

Swayze has been battling pancreatic cancer since March 2008, when he went public about his illness, which was a particularly deadly form.  Despite initial reports that he had only weeks to live, the actor pushed on, continuing work for the A&E police drama The Beast.  Its first and only season ran earlier this year and got respectable ratings, but was cancelled by the network, albeit reluctantly.

Swayze was born on August 18, 1952 in Houston, Texas, and was inclined towards dancing and gymnastics at a young age.  His breakthrough role came in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, a surprise hit that earned $300 million in the box office.  His biggest movie, however, was Ghost in 1990, where he appeared alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.  It had a considerable cultural impact, with the slang term "I'm Swayze"--short for "I'm leaving"--being coined.

Swayze was often typecast in hunky roles, culminating in People magazine naming him "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991.  However, his acting was also praised, with three Golden Globe nominations.  His repertoire was a generally broad one, with roles in Point Break, Donnie Darko and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar showing a different side of him.  Another known aspect of his career was his singing: "She's Like The Wind", the theme to Dirty Dancing, became a hit.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa Niemi.

- Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of WENN)