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April 24, 2014

Patrick Swayze succumbs to pancreatic cancer at 57

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 15th 2009 2:04AM
Patrick SwayzeSome more sad news from Tinseltown. Movie star and recent television star Patrick Swayze has lost his 20 month battle with pancreatic cancer at his ranch in Los Angeles. He was 57 years old.

Barbara Walters will air the actor's final television interview in a one hour special titled Last Dance tonight at 10 PM eastern/9 PM central on ABC.

He's probably best known for his work on the big screen in movies like Ghost, Dirty Dancing and (of course) the timeless Road House, a movie that became a cult sensation for all the wrong reasons and helped birth the sense of humor of MST3K and Rifftrax's Michael J. Nelson. But like all Hollywood actors, he made his presence known on the small screen, and his reach goes much further than his recent venture into cable drama glory with A&E's The Beast.

Like most actors of the 80s, he got his big start on M*A*S*H playing, oddly enough, on an episode called "Blood Brothers" in which he plays a private who discovers he has leukemia when he tries to donate blood to another wounded soldier. I couldn't find a clip in any of the Internet's series of tubes, but it does stick in my mind as a heartfelt and genuine performance. It's also another sad reminder of Larry Gelbart's recent passing.

More recently, he took a chance on a big budget cable series with the aforementioned Beast. I never saw an episode and, apparently, not a lot of other people did either since it didn't score a second season. The reviews weren't always kind, but it was nice to see the man get back on his feet after receiving his diagnosis only a year prior to the start of the show.

Of course, in terms of television, he'll probably be best remembered for being the absolute perfect straight man to the pudgy Chris Farley in the notorious Saturday Night Live "Chippendales" sketch. I'll let the sketch speak for itself because words can't do it justice, and I really don't want to delve that deep into my mind to find the words to describe Swayze's performance. Let's just say I hope to have children some day.

Chris Farley - Chippendales

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Joyce N.

He was a good, good man. RIP Patrick.

September 15 2009 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MAKB

I forgot to mention - I've been a fan of SNL since S1 and this sketch made me wet myself in hysterics the 1st time I saw it live. It's in my list of top 5 SNL sketches. May there be dancing in heaven tonight.

September 15 2009 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MAKB

Oh yeah ... N & S is where I first 'discovered' Patrick (as the debonair Orry Main) and have followed his work ever since. I watched N & S on DVD (both 1 & 2) about 6 months ago and was surprised how I was still sucked into the passionate Civil War Saga. It really gives 'Gone With The Wind' a run for its money. I'm so glad it's in my DVD lib. I will miss the actor and his wonderful contributions to both Film and TV. He will 'live on' in his works.

September 15 2009 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ggrrl

UMMMM North and South? Didn't that deserve a mention?

September 15 2009 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Udit Khanna

Patrick Swayze was a star. One of my favorite celebs. He was a fighter and will always remain in our hearts. I have created a blog to remember him. Pay your tribute to him on http://patrick-swayze-dead.blogspot.com/

September 15 2009 at 6:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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