Dirty Dancing star dies

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beijing - Tributes are pouring in for film star Patrick Swayze, who died at his Los Angeles home on Monday.

The 57-year-old Dirty Dancing star died after a 20-month battle with cancer.

"Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," representative, Annett Wolf, said in a statement released Monday evening.

Swayze was diagnosed with cancer in January 2008, but outlived the prognosis he received of living just several months.

His best-remembered movies, Dirty Dancing and Ghost, were unexpected hits with terrific soundtracks and appealing performances.

The Texas native began his career as a dancer and made dozens of stage, film and television appearances over four decades. Pop culture immortality came with Dirty Dancing, which defied Hollywood expectations to become one of the most-watched movies of all time.

Dirty Dancing featured Swayze as a dangerously hunky Catskills dance teacher named Johnny Castle, who teams with a guest's shy daughter for a dance performance at a neighbouring hotel.

Swayze's role of an investment banker in Ghost, killed during a robbery, helps his lover, played by Demi Moore, solve the crime with the aid of a psychic played by Whoopi Goldberg.

While undergoing chemotherapy for his cancer, he received good reviews for his gritty portrayal of an undercover FBI agent in The Beast, a drama series for the A&E cable network.

Swayze missed only one day of work while filming the series.

His last television interview was in December 2008 with ABC News' Barbara Walters.
"One thing I'm not going to do is chase staying alive," he told Walters at the time. "You spend so much time chasing staying alive, you won't live."