Cancer Takes Swayze, 57
Dirty Dancing star diagnosed with deadly pancreatic cancer in Jan. 2008
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2009 7:12 PM CDT
Barbara Walters, right, visits with actor Patrick Swayze, left, and his wife Lisa Niemi at their California ranch Dec. 6, 2008.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Patrick Swayze died today, TMZ reports, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. The actor, whose credits included Dirty Dancing and Ghost, was 57. Named People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1991, he was diagnosed with the deadly form of cancer in January 2008; he continued film and TV work, and was working on a memoir with his wife, Lisa Niemi, the AP adds.

Swayze’s father was a rodeo cowboy, and his mother was a choreographer and ballet-school owner, Variety notes; Swayze himself trained as a dancer at the Harkness and Joffrey ballet schools in New York. Niemi, whom he married in 1975, was one of his mother’s students. “There’s a lot of fear here,” Swayze, who was part Apache, told ABC’s Barbara Walters in January. “Yeah, I’m scared. Yeah, I’m angry.”