Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze: A career retrospective of the actor and dancer, dead at 57

Patrick Swayze, the hunky actor who danced his way into moviegoers' hearts with "Dirty Dancing" and then broke them with "Ghost," died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

AP reports:.
"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 Monday evening. Swayze died in Los Angeles, Wolf said, but she declined to give further details. Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from a particularly deadly form of cancer. He kept working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting "The Beast," an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot. Swayze said he opted not to use painkilling drugs while making "The Beast" because they would have taken the edge off his performance. The show drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran in 2009, but A&E said it had reluctantly decided not to renew it for a second season. When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was "considerably more optimistic" than that. Swayze acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease. READ MORE.

Patrick Swayze: Friends and colleagues pay tribute

Whoopi Goldberg (co-starred in Ghost):

“Patrick was a really good man, a funny man and one to whom I owe much that I can’t ever repay. I believe in Ghost’s message, so he’ll always be near.”

Gary Busey (co-starred in Point Break):

“Patrick Swayze was a kindred spirit and a spiritual brother of mine. His focus was center target and his purpose was with faith, kindness, grace, understanding, and love. Patrick Swayze’s book of life will never be over because he’s moved on to the spiritual plateau where life is forever.”

C. Thomas Howell (co-starred in The Outsiders, Red Dawn and Grandview, U.S.A.):

“I have always had a special place in my heart for Patrick. While I was fortunate enough to work with him in three films, it was our passion for horses that forged a friendship between us that I treasure to this day. Not only did we lose a fine actor today, I lost my older Outsiders brother. My heart goes out to not only his entire family, but all his fans as well.”

Travis Fimmel (co-starred in The Beast):

“He was an inspiration, a gentleman and I was blessed to have worked with him and even more blessed to have called him my friend. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Lisa and their families.” READ MORE.

Patrick Swayze: 22 Key Roles

The actor, who died today after a public battle with pancreatic cancer, leaves behind many performances in movies fans hold near and dear, including ''Dirty Dancing,'' ''Red Dawn,'' ''Ghost,'' ''To Wong Foo'' -- see his career highlights:

Entertainment Weekly reports:
In 2005, Patrick Swayze, who died Sept. 14 at the age of 57 after a public battle with pancreatic cancer, told EW his plan for evolving into a mature leading man. ''No matter whether the movie is a giant hit or not, you keep putting 100 ercent of yourself into everything you do, and never work for money — only for passion,'' he said. ''And no matter what opinion Hollywood has of you, the fans never forget if you never forget them.'' Here, we remember the Dirty Dancing star's 30-year film career, from the roles he fought for (Ghost; To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar) to the roles he fought in (Red Dawn, Road House).

Continue reading Patrick Swayze: 22 Key Roles

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