Swayze spent much of the late 80s and early 90s as a highly successful movie star and sex symbol. His films, most notably Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Roadhouse, and Point Break, made him a household name as well as one of Hollywood's most marketable actors. In 1991 he was named one of People Magazine's 50 most beautiful people.
While ultimately succumbing to illness, many doctors feel that Swayze did defy the odds by surviving over a year and a half with pancreatic cancer (diagnosed in January 2008). Pancreatic Cancer usually takes its victims in three to six months. In the past year, Swayze did more with his life than most healthy people manage to do as he (with the help of his wife) wrote his memoires and starred in A&E's The Beast (and did so without the use of painkillers, which the actor felt would hinder his performance).
While his death did not come as a surprise to anyone- his battle with the undefeated pancreatic cancer being very public- his passing has left many, from Hollywood to Middle America, shaken. All over America, Twitter and Facebook statuses were updated with "Patrick Swayze, RIP" to express the sense of loss the passing of the beloved actor had on his legions of fans.
Whoopi Goldberg, Swayze's co-star in Ghost, released this statement regarding Swayze: "Patrick was a really good man, a funny man and one to whom I owe much that I can't ever repay. I believe in 'Ghost's' message, so he'll always be near."
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also released a statement to Entertainment Tonight:
"Patrick Swayze was 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. As a fan and as an actor, I admired Patrick and I know that he will be dearly missed. On behalf of all Californians, Maria and I send our deepest condolences to Patrick's family, friends and fans."
So safe home Patrick Swayze... You may be gone, but through your work, you will live forever....