Patrick Swayze personified a particular kind of masculine grace both on and off screen, from his roles in films like “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost” to the way he carried himself in his long fight with pancreatic cancer.
Swayze died from the illness on Monday in Los Angeles, his publicist said. 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,” Annett Wolf said in a statement Monday evening. She declined to give details.
Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from an especially deadly form of cancer. He continued working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting “The Beast,” an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot.
Patrick Swayze was one of the few likeable, genuine Hollywood actors. He was unpretentious, a rarity for an actor, and he faced his adversity with courage and a no-bullshit atittude.
His last role as an FBI agent battling internal demons on A&E’s The Beast, was one of his finest.
Most people diagnosed with advanced stage pancreatic cancer die within six months of the diagnosis. During an interview with Barbra Walters in January of this year—his last ever—he said: “Watch me! You watch what I pull off.”
He was one of those people who say: Fuck you, I’ll go when I’m damned good and ready.