Actor Patrick Swayze, who went from Broadway dancer to Hollywood star in box-office hits like Dirty Dancing and Ghost, died on Monday after a two year 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,” said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf.
Swayze was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly forms of the disease, in January 2008. He said at the time that the cancer had already spread to his liver. Since then, he starred in the TV series “The Beast.”
Swayze became a pop culture icon with 1987’s Dirty Dancing, which earned Golden Globe nominations and spawned the Oscar-winning hit single “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” The film earned $214 million worldwide. Swayze co-wrote and performed the song “She’s Like the Wind” for the movie’s soundtrack, which went to No. 3 on the pop music charts.
In 1990 Ghost was an even bigger hit than Dirty Dancing earning $505 million around the world.
His breakout roles came in 1983’s The Outsiders and 1984’s Red Dawn in which he and future Dirty Dancing co-star Jennifer Grey played teenagers fighting invading Russians.
Swayze’s credits also included Steel Dawn, Road House, Point Break, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, and the TV mini-series “North and South.”