Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze, best known for his roles in the hit films “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost,” passed away today after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, his publicist stated Monday. The 57-year-old heart-throb had succumbed to complications from the illness.
Swayze was diagnosed with advanced stage-four pancreatic cancer in January 2008, leaving him with only a one-percent chance of surviving longer than five years, according to medical experts.
Swayze had bravely fought the disease in the public eye, continuing to work despite cancer treatment and significant weight loss. In January he bravely declared that he was determined to beat his condition.
In an interview with Walters he says: “Hope is a very, very fragile thing in anyone’s life and the people I love do not need to have that hope robbed from them when it’s unjustified and it’s untrue.”
In May, Swayze’s spokesperson condemned “reckless” reports that the star had died, saying he was alive and well and responding to treatment.
Originally from Texas, Swayze is the son of a dance teacher and an engineering drafter. As a young man, he moved to New York City in 1972 for more formal dance training at the prestigious Harkness Ballet and Joffrey ballet schools.
After several roles on television and the silver screen, he shot to superstardom in 1987 with his film “Dirty Dancing”. Meanwhile, in “Ghost,” Swayze starred opposite Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg in a film that won Goldberg an Oscar. In 1995, he took a turn in drag in “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.”
Swayze spent the last days of his life with wife Lisa Niemi, a dancer and actress. Thank you Patrick Swayze, thank you for the memories.