It is with sadness to inform everyone that Patrick Swayze has died. We all know that he had been battling pancreatic cancer for some time, but because of his strength and determination to, at the same time, beat this thing AND to keep working, this is a shock. Swayze had just turned 57.
Dirty Dancing has been one of my mother's favorite movies since it's release in 1987. She would play the soundtrack cassette all the time. All the ladies loved Patrick. He was the quintessential leading man of the 80's and an excellent dancer. He even had a hit single with the Dirty Dancing ballad, "She's Like the Wind". Then there was of course Ghost, a movie that would forever cement his status as romantic-leading-man legend.
However, we must not forget that the man was a really talented and versatile actor. As a kid, Swayze wasn't just a dude who did chick flicks. I also remember him as an action hero as well. Who could forget movies like Point Break, Red Dawn, Next of Kin, the Mad Max-rip-off, Steel Dawn, and the end all and be all of man movies, Road House? In addition, how could you deny the cajones this guy had to don a dress to play a drag queen in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar? Plus, Swayze wasn't above making fun of his public image, as he proved on Saturday Night Live with that classic Chippendale's audition skit with Chris Farley.
What truly showed Patrick Swayze's character as a person, though, was his optimism and his unwavering determination to overcome his illness. Instead of letting his cancer slow him down, he continued to work, busting his ass on the cable drama, The Beast. Although he lost his two-year battle with the disease, the example he set for himself is one we can all learn from. It is a positive message in the most meaningful sense, though it won't deter from the fact that he will be sorely missed.
R.I.P. Patrick Swayze