Tragedy has struck Hollywood. Patrick Swayze has died after a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57. Swayze's publicist Annett Wolf says the 57-year-old Dirty Dancing actor died Monday with family at his side.
"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. No other details were given.
Swayze was first diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in January 2008. He came forward about his illness last spring, but continued working on his A&E TV series, The Beast while he underwent treatments.
However, due to a prolonged decline in health, Swayze was unable to promote the series and the show was eventually canceled. In an ABC interview in January, Swayze said it "seemed likely" he would live for two more years.
According to friends and family members, Swayze knew his days were numbered. "Patrick knew it was coming because he was suffering increased weakness," said a source close to the family.
"At times, he was so weak that he could barely walk without feeling faint. Sometimes he feels out of breath and has to sit down."
Swayze shot to international fame after he starred in Dirty Dancing back in 1987. He followed Dirty Dancing with two other projects that capitalized on his sex appeal: Road House and Next of Kin, both released in 1989. He then won over audiences with his heartfelt performance in the 1990 film Ghost.
Swayze was working on a personal memoir with his wife Lisa Niemi that he sadly didn't get to finish.
Patrick said of his memoir, "With everything I've been fortunate enough to do in my life, and covering such a wide range of diverse subject matters, I'm told that my story has been inspirational to people.
"I will write from my heart about these experiences and, aside from the sheer pleasure of doing it, if people happen to garner inspiration from it, or incentive, or find a new way to love, it would be wonderful."
While we may have lost a great actor today, he will live in through his movies, his family and hopefully his memoir. Rest in peace Patrick, you'll be missed!
UPDATE: At 10:30AM on Tuesday, The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce will honor Patrick Swayze and his contribution to the world of entertainment.