'Dirty Dancing' star Patrick Swayze dies at 57
Patrick Swayze, best known for starring in the blockbuster films "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost," was diagnosed with cancer in January 2008, but outlived the prognosis of just several months he received.
"One thing I'm not gonna do is chase staying alive," Swayze said. "You spend so much time chasing staying alive, you won't live."
Patrick Swayze RIP , We Will Miss You!
Patrick Swayze's Life Rise To Stardom!
Fans of the actor Patrick Swayze were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from an especially deadly form of cancer. He continued 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 chose not to use painkillers 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 this year, but A&E said it 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.
Swayze wasn't always an actor. Before acting and his eventual illness he was into something different. From the time he could walk, Swayze, whose mother was a instructor, took dance lessons in his hometown of Houston.
Swayze's father, on the other hand, was a great outdoorsman, which is where Swayze got his love for horses.
His primary passion growing up was dancing, but eventually Swayze was forced to stop because of injuries and began investing his energy into acting.
He moved to New York and had his first big break in the Broadway musical "Grease" in 1978. His popularity on the Great White Way soon led him to Hollywood, where he appeared in a teenage movie called "Skatetown USA."
Although he was compared to Rudolph Valentino and John Travolta, Swayze decided not to go the route of being a teenage idol. Instead, he chose to pursue films such as "The Outsiders" and the television miniseries "North and South."
Swayze achieved true stardom with the biggest break of his life, starring as the gyrating dance instructor Johnny Castle in 1987's "Dirty Dancing" opposite co-star Jennifer Gray. He earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role, along with a cult-like following of fans.
He received another nomination for his 1990 blockbuster "Ghost," in which he starred alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. He was named by People magazine as the "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991.
Moore released this statement upon hearing of Swayze's death, "Patrick you are loved by so many and your light will forever shine in all of our lives. In the words of Sam to Molly. 'It's amazing Molly. The love inside, you take it with you.' I will miss you. Demi."
Swayze continued acting in films, including "Point Break," "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar" and "Donnie Darko."