After a long battle with cancer, actor Patrick Swayze has died, Access Hollywood has learned.
Swayze was 57.
A publicist for the actor confirmed the news to Access Hollywood on Monday.
“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,” Swayze’s publicist said in a statement to Access.
The actor was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in January 2008 and underwent chemotherapy, but went on with his work, taking on a grueling schedule to play FBI agent Charles Barker in A&E drama “The Beast” – the series was canceled in June 2009.
In July 2009, the actor’s rep issued a statement to Access Hollywood dispelling a tabloid report that the “Dirty Dancing” star had suffered a heart attack.
“He’s well,” the rep said at the time. “He’s continuing his treatment and doing very well, actually. Contrary to reports, he did not suffer a heart attack and has even gained a little weight.”
A year before his death, Swayze participated in the “Stand Up To Cancer” telecast in September 2008, telling audiences, “I dream that the word ‘cure’ will no longer be followed by the words, ‘It’s impossible.’”
In January 2009, despite waging a brave battle against the disease, he told Barbara Walters in an ABC interview that he had “a lot of fear.”
“It tests everything I believe in,” he said. “I like to believe that I’ve got a lot of guardian warriors sittin’ on my shoulder.”
And in February, Atria Books announced that Patrick would be penning a memoir with the help of wife Lisa Niemi, detailing everything from his early days to his “brave fight” against cancer. It is unknown if the book has been finished.
In March, he responded to rumors that his health was failing with the news that he had started a new chemotherapy and called himself “one of the lucky ones” who was responding to the treatment.
Swayze was born on August 18, 1952, in Houston, Texas, and was best known for his leading roles in film hits, such as “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost,” for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe.
The actor trained as a dancer at the Harkness Ballet and Joffrey Ballet schools before entering the worlds of Broadway, television and film, an experience that served him well in his breakthrough role as a dance instructor in “Dirty Dancing,” where he co-starred alongside Jennifer Grey.
His biggest hit was 1990’s “Ghost,” with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, which earned over $200 million at the box office.
In 1991, he scored another hit with action film “Point Break” and was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”
His final role came in 2009 in the straight-to-DVD film “Powder Blue,” in which he played an aging rock star alongside Jessica Biel, Forest Whitaker and his younger brother, Don Swayze.
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