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May-07-2009 03:06printcomments

Patrick Swayze Battles Pancreatic Cancer as the World Watches and Prays

As one of the nation's top actors remains very sick with terminal pancreatic cancer, Patrick Swayze's fans continue to express their feelings about him in our story comments.

Salem-News.com
Special thanks to babble.com, Wikipedia, iguanabio.com, nydailynews.com, a.abcnews.com, timeinc.net, for images in this report.

(SALEM, Ore.) - "I also have cancer and yes, chemo is hell on wheels. But when it works, it's great and worth it. I am so deeply sorry to see that it's spread to the liver. I'm keeping you and your family in my daily prayers. You do not walk alone in this fight."

This comment was left on a recent Salem-News.com story by a viewer named Linn, on Patrick Swayze's status as he deals with cancer that according to most reports, is terminal.

"It's funny how someone we'll never meet can affect us so much. In a sense, we all know Patrick, without really knowing him at all", Niall from Northern Ireland said.

Patrick Swayze's struggle with cancer is affecting people all the world over. Stories we have published about his illness have been getting continual traffic, and I thought it was only fitting to explore the career of this actor and dancer and singer, who has inspired people beyond belief with his genuine top grade talent.

Swayze first appeared in front of a public audience as a professional dancer for Disney on Parade. He also starred as a replacement for Danny Zuko in the Broadway production of Grease.

He then turned to film and debuted in the movie Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979) which was a disco movie in the vein of Saturday Night Fever (1977).

It was a surprise for me to learn that he portrayed Pvt. Sturgis in the M*A*S*H episode Blood Brothers, on April 6th 1981.

He also appeared briefly in the short-lived 1982 TV series The Renegades where he played a gang leader named Bandit.

His fan base numbers clearly in the millions. This actor who stormed into the hearts of moviegoers and television fans did it with gusto every step of the way.

Sophie, a Salem-News viewer in the United States, said this about Swayze, "You are a miracle on the screen and in our life because of your unique attitude towards this terrible disease."

Mark M. Jr. who is also in the U.S. said, "Patrick, you did good fighting this, keep loving your family like you have, enjoy every second with them, you're a great person and you will be with us for our remaining days, you're still alive on the screen!!"

And he's still alive in general, it is important to note.

Patrick Swayze & cast in 'The Outsiders'

Swayze's first major film role was in The Outsiders (1983) as the older brother of C. Thomas Howell and Rob Lowe.

Swayze, Howell, and Howell's friend Darren Dalton appeared the next year in Red Dawn which was a tremendous hit with near Cult Film status

Rob Lowe and Swayze reunited in Youngblood, where he was considered a member of the Brat Pack, but his first major success was in the 1985 television miniseries North and South, which was set during the American Civil War, Wikipedia explains.

Swayze's struggle with his health has held the nation's attention for weeks now and the actor that first came onto the scene so many years ago, still inspire people like Salem-News viewer Marianne, who lives in the U.S. and left this comment on our previous story updating his condition:

"May God Bless You and Your Family. I lost my father 11 years ago from this UGLY disease and can only say It was a very hard not only for you but also for your loved ones. My prayers are with you and yours, Keep your head high!I will ALWAYS be a fan of Yours. Stay Strong keep smiling."

This most amazing actor and dancer was showing so much natural talent at this point; I remember it like yesterday. I think Red Dawn is a fantastic movie and one that made people really think. As always, he showed strength in every respect of his acting.

Most people believe Swayze's real leap to stardom stemmed from his performance in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, alongside his Red Dawn costar, Jennifer Grey.

Dirty Dancing scene with "I've had the time of my life"

This is where Swayze's ballet training came into play and allowed him to glide through that movie in a way that compelled people in ways that few had before.

Dirty Dancing was actually a low-budget film intended to be shown in theaters for one weekend only before going straight to video.

Instead, it became a surprise hit that gained notable international success.

And, it was the first video of a movie to sell a million copies. They abound on back shelves and at garage sales all over the country.

By 2007, Dirty Dancing had earned US$ 300-million worldwide while spawning a number of alternate versions that included a TV series and stage productions for a computer game.

Patrick Swayze's She's Like the Wind

His performance in that film led to a Golden Globe Award nomination. He also sang one of the songs on the soundtrack, "She's Like the Wind," and he was even one of the song's original co-writers along with Stacy Widelitz for the film Grandview, U.S.A.

"She's Like the Wind" soon became a top ten hit and other performers like David Hasselhoff have covered it. Then in 2006, the song was converted into a hip-hop version by Lumidee, and again it went to the top of the charts, this time in Germany.

There were a few movies that came after Dirty Dancing that didn't exactly bring the roof down. Wikipedia explains that, "Swayze found himself heavily typecast as beefcake and appeared in several flops, of which Road House (1989) was the most successful."

Scene from the hit movie 'Ghost' with co-star Dimi Moore

Then Swayze excelled again in the 1990 movie Ghost which also starred Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.

It may be sad to consider him playing a ghost at this point, but his memorable performance in that film showed a depth that once again, completely floored the audience. The role also had considerable cultural impact, and modern hip-hop lyrics routinely use the phrase "I'm Swayze" (meaning "I'm ghost," which is in turn slang for "I'm leaving") in reference to that film (for more info, see the "Cultural Impact" section of the movie Ghost), Wikipedia states. I personally didn't know that.

I do know that the comments left on our stories about him are touching. As you noted in the first paragraph, Swayze's popularity is very international in nature. People everywhere share a bond with this actor and many of us literally grew up with his popularity.

An Albanian Swayze fan named Bekim Fazliu in Kosova said, "Since the series North and South, I am very big fan of Patrick Swayze. That was the first time I knew him. Since than I have collected all of his movies. He is my hero, my Idol. I am so said about his illness."

You could clearly say that he's an icon in our culture.

Theatrical Trailer for 'Point Break' with Patrick Swayze

I grew up surfing in Southern California, and I can tell you that by and large, most surfers like Point Break and aren't extremely critical about its portrayal of the sport, and there are only a few major films that surfers really approve of.

Hollywood started with Gidget and moved on to Frankie and Annette in embarrassing movies like Beach Blanket Bingo which showed dry-hair fake surfing in front of a big screen.

Swayze played the spiritual character Bodhi in Point Break, who lived to ride the biggest wave, as he and his band of surf buddies robbed banks in LA to finance their "endless summers". Along with Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey, he pulled the role off very well with a high impact, fast action hit that never slows down.

That movie came out in In 1991, the same year Patrick Swayze was chosen by People magazine as that year's "Sexiest Man Alive." I surfed once with the guy who doubled in Swayze's skydiving scenes. He said the whole cast of Point Break was a blast to work with.

The last scenes of the movie which are represented to be Australia, are actually shot in the town of Wheeler on the Northern Oregon coast.

Swayze was seriously injured in 1996 while filming HBO's Letters from a Killer in the Ione area. He fell from a horse and hit a tree, breaking both legs and also suffering four detached tendons in his shoulder.

They had to suspend the shoot for two months. The movie finally aired in 1999. The injuries kept him moving slowly until 2000, when he costarred in Waking Up in Reno, with Billy Bob Thornton and Charlize Theron, and in Forever Lulu, with Melanie Griffith.

Swayze appeared in the 2001 film Donnie Darko, where he played a motivational speaker and closet pedophile.

In 2004, he played Allan Quatermain in King Solomon's Mines. He also had a cameo appearance in the Dirty Dancing prequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004) where he played an unnamed dance instructor.

After film, Swayze went to London and made his stage debut in the musical Guys and Dolls as Nathan Detroit in July, 2006, alongside Neil Jerzak. He stayed in that role until November, 2006. Prior to that, he also appeared on the Broadway stage in Goodtime Charley (1975) and Chicago (2003).

His most recent work is the starring role in the film Christmas in Wonderland (2007). In August of that year, he played an aging rock star in the upcoming film Powder Blue which is scheduled to be released in 2009. This co-stars his younger brother Don in their first film together. Patrick currently stars in the A&E FBI drama The Beast which is filmed in Chicago. His role in this production is as an FBI Agent named Charles Barker.

We conclude this report the way we started the last one, and that is by saying that Patrick Swayze in indeed very ill, but he is also very much alive and undergoing the very best possible care and treatment.

Special thanks to Wikipedia and the photo sources listed in the caption above.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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margo August 1, 2009 5:30 am (Pacific time)

Patrick you are the best actor there ever was cancer is a evil disease I know my husband has fought esophageal cancer for 4 years and is now losing the battle he is not expecting to make it through the day my prayers are with you and your family


Cheryl Nestor June 2, 2009 11:43 am (Pacific time)

I lost my father to pancreatic cancer in June, 2003. We never saw it coming. It's a dreadful disease, to watch your loved one go through the pain and suffering from treatments and the cancer itself. Patrick Swayze, you have always been one of my most favorite actors and you will be sorely missed. I pray to God that he will guide you through the heavens above and I pray for those you will leave behind who love and adore you so much. Keep on singing and dancing when the pain is over. You have inspired so many of us. We wouldn't want you to stop just because you wouldn't physically be with us. God Bless you always and your family.


Randall May 27, 2009 8:40 am (Pacific time)

My father passed from Pancreatic Cancer in 2004 and what a struggle it was. I pray for you and your family as well as others that might have this type of cancer. It truly is something that is incredibly hard to endure. May god be with you and your family. Randall.Sallee@barksdale.af.mil if you ever need to talk.


Pastor Pete May 21, 2009 1:22 pm (Pacific time)

Patrick's cancer is a horrible thing for anyone to endure, and I feel very badly for him. But I want to say that whether one lives to be 100 years old or dies prematurely, the need for salvation from sin through Jesus Christ is still the same. Does Patrick know the Lord? This is the most important question for Him to answer at this difficult hour of his life. John 3:16.


brenda May 19, 2009 9:56 am (Pacific time)

i hate to hear about patrick swayze no matter what he goes through he will always be the sexyest man one the face of the earth


CarolLevan May 17, 2009 5:40 pm (Pacific time)

Im so Sorry bout I Hear PatrickSwayze Having Cancel, I Love all his Movies,I Always Loves his Movies,Hes A Sexest Man.


gonzalo casas May 17, 2009 10:09 pm (Pacific time)

i love your movies,,please get better i know that you are a good person,fight and allow the lord to fight this battle with you


Anonymous May 17, 2009 9:59 pm (Pacific time)

I have seen in your eyes that you are a kind and strong man please fight as hard as you can, may the lord be with you and your family


JEAN May 15, 2009 10:15 pm (Pacific time)

my heart is with you and your family l pray every night for you my dear god bless you.


JEAN May 15, 2009 10:13 pm (Pacific time)

my heart is with you and your family l pray every night for you my dear god bless you.


kandy king May 13, 2009 5:38 pm (Pacific time)

God bless you Patrick.Your a wonderful actor.Miracles can happen hope one happens to you. God bless.


kitty May 10, 2009 5:27 pm (Pacific time)

my daughter has cancer and i pray for you and my daughter marlo all the time god be with you always


Elaine May 9, 2009 9:09 am (Pacific time)

I have probably watched Dirty Dancing 30 times. Thank you Patrick for such a wonderful movie. I have you and your beautiful wife in my prayers. Keep on dancin'


Joanne May 8, 2009 May 8, 2009 9:03 pm (Pacific time)

One of the best articles I have read about Swayze in a long time. Love him lots and have been praying for him and his family.


Bekah May 8, 2009 6:32 pm (Pacific time)

My heart goes out to Patrick and his family. May God put his hands around you and your family and keep you strong in the face of death. I saw a picture of you and had no idea that you were as ill as you are. It makes me stop and thank god for my small problems. You are one of a kind Patrick. May god bless you in your last days and keep you as comfortable as possible. Thanks for bringing happiness and sexy into our lives over the years.


Deborah May 8, 2009 4:14 pm (Pacific time)

Every time I think of you I cry and pray you overcome this


Oregon May 8, 2009 2:12 pm (Pacific time)

Patrick, we love you, and keep you in our prayers. Let God hold your hand so that you can feel at peace-


vueflix May 8, 2009 11:29 am (Pacific time)

patrick, you are in my prayers. vueflix.com is your answer to YouTube


Joyce May 8, 2009 6:34 am (Pacific time)

patrick, you are in my prayers.youre truly a wonderful person and actor.God speed my friend!


Valerie Rever May 7, 2009 10:36 pm (Pacific time)

I have enjoyed knowing Patrick in his movies, he is a great actor and very sexy man.   I pray for him and his family, it must be a struggle on them all.  


Martha Crow May 7, 2009 11:04 pm (Pacific time)

Patrick, Keep Dancing. You are the the greatest.


Valerie Rever May 7, 2009 10:29 pm (Pacific time)

I have enjoyed knowing Patrick in his movies, he is a great actor and very sexy man. I pray for him and his family, it must be a struggle on them all.


Sarah May 7, 2009 7:54 pm (Pacific time)

i'm going to miss patrick swayze and patrick you are a hottie and i'm praying for you and your family


Linda May 7, 2009 6:55 pm (Pacific time)

I have been a fan of yours for many years. I am praying for you and your family. May God bless you and shine his light on you.


Ron Spraggett May 7, 2009 5:44 pm (Pacific time)

Does Patrick Swayze have a public email address. I would sure like to talk to him. This is no joke ok. Thank you.

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