Patrick Swayze Dies at 57
Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.
"Patrick Swayze 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. No other details were given.
The actor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2008 and had been undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments ever since.
Swayze -- who once said, "I dream of a future with a long, healthy life, a life not lived in the shadow of cancer but in the light" -- made a point to tell fans that even throughout his battle with the disease, his life was filled with positive moments.
"I am one of the lucky ones with pancreatic cancer that is responding well to the treatment," he said in a statement in March, at the same time some reports claimed he only had weeks to live. "There is a brand new, 12-week old, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy named Kumasai in my life who is gorgeous and already showing that he will be one special dog... I have so much to be thankful for at this time."
In April, his Ghost costar, Whoopi Goldberg told Us that he was "doing the best he can."
"He's kicking butt," she said. "And, you know, he's sick. And he, like the rest of us, doesn't know when it's going to happen -- because it will happen, that he is going to go -- but he doesn't know when or where."
She added: "His attitude is, 'Why wait for it to happen?' So he's busy as hell."
In his first television interview since his diagnosis, the star spoke to Barbara Walters for her ABC special, Patrick Swayze: The Truth in December.
"I'd say five years is pretty wishful thinking," he had said. "Two years seems likely if you're going to believe statistics."
He told Walters that he was waging his battle against cancer "moment to moment."
The actor added: "When do you decide the fight isn't matching up to your quality of life? So far, I've got potential for a lot of quality of life."
Swayze was born on Aug. 18, 1952, in Houston, Texas. His mother Patsy, a choreographer and dance instructor, inspired him from a young age to pursue ice skating, classical ballet and dancing before he moved to NYC in 1972 to complete his formal dance training.
The actor's breakout role was in the 1983 ensemble movie, The Outsiders, but he was best known for his role as Johnny Castle in 1987's Dirty Dancing, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
He was also nominated for Golden Globes for his role in 1990's Ghost opposite Demi Moore and for 1995's To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.
His career also included performances in such films as Red Dawn, Point Break and Donnie Darko. His last role was in A&E series The Beast.
In January, the star announced that he would write a memoir with his wife Lisa Niemi and was in the process of meeting with publishers.
"I am starting work on my new book, in addition to enjoying the fantastic response from everyone on my A&E series," he said in March.
Swayze has been married to Niemi since 1975. They met when she took dance lessons from Swayze's mother.