Annett Wolf, The Dirty Dancing star’s publicist, confirmed to the media that Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with his family at his side. After battling pancreatic cancer for the last 20 months, the actor finally succumbed to this deadly form of cancer. The public first learned of Swayze’s diagnosis in March 2008. Initially when he went public with the disease, there were reports that only gave him a few weeks to live. It was only later in early 2009 during an interview with Barbara Walters that two years would be the most likely if you were going to believe statistics. Sadly, the actor lost his battle sooner than expected. When I found the picture above, it truly saddened me to see the crippling effects this horrific disease can do to someone who was once so strong and vital.
Three-time Golden Globe nominee, Swayze has starred in some of the most memorable movies in past twenty years. As an homage to his legacy, I will list my five favorite movies he’s starred in.
5. Red Dawn
One of my favorite films growing up: I won’t go into too much detail on why I loved this movie. Feel free to check out an article I wrote a few weeks ago about Red Dawn. I suggest checking out one of Swayze’s earlier works as a bit of homework before the remake hits theaters in 2010.
4. Thanks for Everything… Julie Newmar
Proving he had a wicked sense of humor, Swayze donned on full drag to play an aging drag queen in this road trip comedy also starring Wesley Snipes & John Leguizamo. Given the fact how he always was typecast as a tough romantic lead, it was great to see him in a movie that put him into a different light. This movie also makes Kevin‘s top gay themed comedy picks.
3. Point Break
A young Keanu Reeves with a long-blonde-haired Swayze. De.lic.ious. Enough said. Despite Keanu’s wooden performance, I still able to love this movie. It was primarily due to Swayze’s portrayal of a surfer-by-day and bank robber-by-night that captivated me. Keanu goes undercover to try to infiltrate a gang of bank robbing surfers. Along the way he develops a friendship with Swazye which leads to a series of acts of betrayal that cumulate at the movie’s ending.
The pottery wheel, that song, and Whoopi Goldberg. How can you not love this movie? This much beloved movie about a murdered husband looking to avenge his death and protect his widow, Demi Moore, from harm was a huge critical and commercial hit. It even garnered several Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Miss Goldberg. There are current plans to launch a musical stage version in 2010 which will open in London’s West End.
1. Dirty Dancing
Was there ever any doubt what my number one choice would be? Dirty Dancing would probably make the top spot in 95% of people polled. This romantic sleeper hit which took over the summer of 1987 made household names out of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. It even holds the distinction as the first film to sell more than 1 million copies on home video- I think I even have a VHS and DVD version of this movie. Having said that I’ve probably watched this movie at least 50 times if you factor the multiple showings on TBS.