Patrick Swayze, best remembered for playing big-screen hunks, died of pancreatic cancer on September 14, 2009. He was 57.
After starting his professional career as a dancer for Disney on Parade, Swayze starred in 'Grease' on Broadway. He subsequently made appearances on television roles, and became noticed after being cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders, in which he played the older brother of C. Thomas Howell and Rob Lowe. Swayze would re-team with Howell in the 1984 cult hit Red Dawn, and with Lowe in the hockey drama Youngblood, two films that cemented his rising star status.
But the role that catapulted Swayze to stardom was dance instructor Johnny Castle in 1987’s Dirty Dancing. The film was intended to show in theaters for one weekend, then go straight to video; however, it became a massive hit. Swayze’s follow-up vehicles were mostly flops, although the action film Road House had its dedicated admirers. »
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