Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 16:57 UK

US film star Patrick Swayze dies

Patrick Swayze
He was always uncomfortable with the Hollywood sex symbol tag

Dirty Dancing film star Patrick Swayze has died aged 57, his publicist says.

Annett Wolf said that the US actor, who had been battling pancreatic cancer for nearly two years, died with family at his side on Monday.

Swayze was diagnosed with advanced stage four pancreatic cancer in January last year.

The actor had been starring in US TV show The Beast since being diagnosed with the disease. He had also planned to write a memoir with his wife.

Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace
Actress Jennifer Grey

"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 by Annett Wolf.

Jennifer Grey, who co-starred with Swayze in Dirty Dancing, said in a statement: "Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace. Gorgeous and strong, he was a real cowboy with a tender heart.

"He was fearless and insisted on always doing his own stunts, so it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified."

Patrick Swayze speaking in 2006: "I'm torn between guy movies and heart movies"

Rob Lowe, who played in a number of films with Swayze, said: "Patrick lived a thousand lifetimes in one lifetime. He was an expert dancer, he wrote hit songs, he starred in hit movies, he was an amazing horseman.

"But the thing I will remember him most for was his amazing love affair with his wife Lisa."

Demi Moore has also paid tribute to her co-star in the hit film Ghost, saying: "Patrick you are loved by so many and your light will forever shine in all of our lives."

She added: "I love and will miss you Patrick."

California governor and former Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger called Swayze a "talented and passionate artist who struck a memorable chord with audiences throughout the world."

"He played a wide range of characters both on stage and in movies and his celebrated performances made the hard work of acting look effortless - which I know from experience is not easy," he said.

Swayze's dream

In January, Swayze admitted he might only have two years to live, but denied he was near death.

In a US TV interview, he admitted he was "scared" and "going through hell".

"Am I dying? Am I giving up? Am I on my death bed? Am I saying goodbye to people? No way," Swayze told TV interviewer Barbara Walters.

"I keep dreaming of a future, a future with a long and healthy life, not lived in the shadow of cancer but in the light," he said.

The film star's biographer, Wendy Leigh, who wrote the book Patrick Swayze One Last Dance, said he had endured physical pain throughout his life.

'Determined'

"As a high school athlete he injured his knee tremendously badly, yet he still carried on playing football," she said.

Stars including Sharon Osbourne, Nick Cannon and David Hasselhoff paid tribute

"As a dancer he had all sorts of injuries and Patrick learnt to live with pain, to fight pain.

"When he got diagnosed with this awful, awful disease he was determined to fight it and actually he lived far longer than most people who are diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, which was what Patrick had."

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most virulent forms of cancer which medical experts say has a 5% five-year survival rate.



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