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What Happened To Patrick Swayze? Inside The Tragic Death Of The Hollywood Actor

Patrick Swayze starred in many great movies, some of which are standing the test of time as bona fide classics. The "Dirty Dancing" and "Road House" star's career was tragically cut short in 2009 when he died due to complications from pancreatic cancer. The actor was 57 years old at the time of his passing, and his love of his craft was strong until his final days.

Swayze was diagnosed at the beginning of 2008, shortly after filming the pilot episode of "The Beast." He then checked into the Stanford University Medical Center for treatment, where he received chemotherapy and got put on an experimental drug called vatalanib in an attempt to stop the cancer from spreading. He was hospitalized with pneumonia in 2009, and doctors learned that the cancer had moved into his liver. The actor passed away in September of that year, surrounded by his family.

Despite having insurmountable obstacles to contend with, Swayze continued to go to work and appear in the public eye. Furthermore, he used his platform to spread awareness for cancer research and treatments.

Patrick Swayze kept on working through cancer diagnosis

"The Beast" was the last TV show Patrick Swayze starred in before he died. The A&E crime drama follows Swayze's character, FBI agent Charles Barker, as he takes down bad guys through questionable methods. Roles of this ilk require actors to get physical, but the demanding project was a welcome distraction for the "Dirty Dancing" star.

"I do find myself, at the end of the day, riding home sort of catching myself with a smile on my face," he told The New York Times while filming the series. "I'm proud of what I'm doing." The actor claimed that he enjoyed working despite being diagnosed with a disease with a 5% survival rate at the time, and his efforts led to the show completing its only season.

Swayze also appeared on "Stand Up to Cancer" in 2008, discussing his experience with the life-threatening illness. During the simulcast, the actor spoke about dreaming of a world where a cure for cancer didn't seem like a pipe dream. That notion might not be a reality yet, but Swayze remained hopeful of it becoming one down the line.

For more information on the actor's life and career, read all about Patrick Swayze's final movie.