LOS ANGELES - HOLLYWOOD actor Patrick Swayze, best known for his roles in hit films Dirty Dancing and Ghost, died on Monday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, his publicist said.
The 57-year-old heart-throb, whose other films included the surfing thriller Point Break, died after suffering complications from the illness, Swayze's publicist confirmed.
'Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,' a statement said.
California Governor and former Hollywood action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger led the tributes to Swayze, describing him as a 'talented and passionate artist who struck a memorable chord with audiences throughout the world.'
'He played a wide range of characters both on stage and in movies and his celebrated performances made the hard work of acting look effortless - which I know from experience is not easy,' Schwarzenegger said.
Swayze was diagnosed with advanced stage-four pancreatic cancer in January 2008, leaving him with only a one-percent chance of surviving longer than five years, according to medical experts.
The actor had bravely fought the disease in the public eye, continuing to work on set despite gruelling cancer treatment and significant weight loss.
In January he slammed tabloid reporting of his condition in an interview with ABC television's Barbara Walters, where he bullishly declared that he was determined to beat his condition.
He told Walters he had tried to keep his illness secret but went public to protect family and friends after tabloids reported he was close to death.
'Hope is a very, very fragile thing in anyone's life and the people I love do not need to have that hope robbed from them when it's unjustified and it's untrue,' Swayze said. --