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Patrick Swayze's Death

Patrick Swayze

He was an all-around performer, enjoying success as an actor, dancer, songwriter and singer.

Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Patsy, was a choreographer and taught him to dance. His younger brother Don …

Don Swayze

…also went into acting.

And Patrick was a distant cousin of the legendary newscaster…

John Cameron Swayze

…John Cameron Swayze.

Growing up in Houston…

Patrick Swayze teenage photo

Patrick participated in ice-skating, ballet and acting in school plays. He also played some high school football and studied gymnastics. He went to New York City in 1972 to continue his formal dance training and made his first professional appearance as a dancer in "Disney on Parade."

Patrick Swayze dancing

His first big acting role was in the 1985 television series "North And South".

North and South movie poster

…and then he really made it big in "Dirty Dancing ", in 1987.

He wrote and recorded "She's like the Wind" and said that his wife, Lisa Niemi, was the inspiration for that song.

with wife Lisa Niemi

They married in June, 1975 and remained together until his death. They had no children.

A second memorable movie followed in 1990's "Ghost"

Among his other on-screen credit, Swayze co-starred with Keanu Reeves in "Point Break".

And he was selected People magazine's "Sexiest Man" in 1991.

People magazine cover

A chain smoker, Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in 2008. After the diagnosis, he said he was making progress and bouncing back and tried to keep working. But the disease progressed.

Patrick Swayze with cancer

He continued smoking in the months before he died. (In 2009, he said his habit probably had something to do with his disease.)

Twenty months after the diagnosis, Patrick Swayze died in September, 2009.

Patrick Swayze funeral

Swayze was cremated and his ashes were scattered over his New Mexico ranch.