Patrick Swayze, the man who put “dirty” and “dancing” together and made the year 1987 one long, sizzling hot summer, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Monday. He was 57.
Publicist Annett Wolf released the following statement to the media:
“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months.”
Swayze became a movie star and sex symbol in his breakout role of bad boy Johnny in the film “Dirty Dancing” alongside actress Jennifer Grey. Dance studios around the world added ‘dirty dancing’ lessons to their repertoire and the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack to the movie spun three number one records including Swayze’s “She’s Like The Wind.”
Then the movie that propelled Patrick Swayze to superstardom status opened in theaters in 1990. “Ghost” featured Swayze playing the role of murdered banker Sam Wheat who seeks justice and revenge for a life ended too soon. Whoopie Goldberg won a best supporting Oscar for her role as a fake psychic who helps Wheat brings his murderers to justice and protect his girlfriend, Molly, played by Demi Moore.
Patrick Swayze said in a past interview that once he read the script for “Ghost,” he knew he had to have the part. He said that the script moved him to tears. Swayze waged a courageous fight against one of the most deadly cancers, pancreatic cancer. Patrick Swayze fought tabloid magazines who invaded his privacy as he came to grips with his medical diagnosis. Tabloids, such as the National Enquirer, splashed personal medical information on their pages which forced Patrick Swayze to publicly acknowledge his condition against his will.
Funeral arrangements are pending.