Patrick Swayze passed away today at age 57 after approximately a year and a half battle with pancreatic cancer. We have loved him over the years for his roles in films like Ghost and Dirty Dancing, but he was also an accomplished singer/songwriter, and dancer, and was a loving husband to Lisa Niemi for 34 years. Here, we take a look back on the successful career of Patrick Swayze, who has touched the lives and hearts of many.
1979- Although Patrick Swayze got his foot in the door acting briefly in the Broadway production of Grease as a replacement for Danny Zuko, he made his big screen debut as Ace Johnson in the movie Skatetown U.S.A. in 1979.
1987- After spending some time working his way up in Hollywood, Swayze got his big break with his part as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. He played opposite actress Jennifer Grey, and danced his way into our hearts. Later that year, Swayze was nominated for his first Golden Globe for the role, but didn’t end up taking home the award.
1990- Swayze was nominated for a second time in 1990, this time for his role as Sam Wheat in Ghost, a film in which he played a man who is murdered, but stays on Earth in attempt to communicate the impending danger that he sees looming in the future for his girlfriend who is still alive. The film, also starring Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, solidified Swayze’s career and made him the next hot thing in Hollywood.
1991- People Magazine named Swayze “Sexiest Man Alive.” Girls everywhere plastered his picture to their bedroom walls.
1994- After struggling overy his father’s death from a heart attack in 1982, Swayze’s sister Vicky committed suicide in 1994 with a painkiller overdose, devastating Swayze even further. The media had been reporting issues of the heartthrob’s alcohol abuse for some time, but the death of his sister finally prompted him to seek treatment and finally get over his alocholism.
2003- After a long time churning out movies on the big screen, Swayze made his return to Broadway as the lead, Billy Flynn, in Chicago.
2008- It was only a year ago from this past January, that Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The actor was very open about his disease with the press, and even when rumors had spread that his medical diagnosis was not optimistic, he was often quoted saying that he was getting along just fine.
2009- While in the midst of his battle with cancer, Swayze signed on to a new television series, The Beast, which he was most recently known for. He played FBI agent, Charles Barker, in the A&E series, but was unable to participate in any promotional events for the show, and in June of 2009 the series was cancelled.
September 14, 2009- After struggling with pancreatic cancer for over a year, Patrick Swayze passed away from the disease this afternoon, leaving a strong legacy in the acting and entertainment industry that will not easily be forgotten.