Patrick Swayze dead at 57

Sep 15, 2009 by Ian Evans

The news spread along the red carpets at the Toronto International Film Festival as photographers and publicists received calls and texts from friends and colleagues: “Swayze died!”

Patrick Swayze, who captured the hearts of millions with roles in films like Ghost and Dirty Dancing, lost his long battle with pancreatic cancer on Monday. 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,” spokesperson Annett Wolf said in a statement.

Swayze, who was a three-time Golden Globe nominee, shot to star status when he was cast as the dance instructor Johnny Castle in film Dirty Dancing. Working opposite Jennifer Grey, the film was a huge hit in the summer of 1987 and became a staple of swooning teenage girls (and their mothers) everywhere.

Though that film was best known for his sexy dance moves, the film Ghost provided another scene for audiences to swoon over when he molded pottery with Demi Moore to the tune of “Unchained Melody.” Ghost co-star Whoopi Goldberg said on The View that she wouldn’t have won without him and added, “When I won my Academy Award, the only person I really thanked was Patrick.”

Patrick was married to fellow dancer Lisa Niemi since 1975.