News: Patrick Swayze Passes At 57, Ja Rule & Whoopi Goldberg React

Monday, Sep 14, 2009 9:00PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze has passed away after losing a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer Monday (September 14).

While details are still scarce, the late actor's publicist has confirmed the news.

Swayze died of pancreatic cancer, his publicist, Annett Wolf, told CNN. Swayze's doctor, Dr. George Fisher, revealed in early March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from the disease. "Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," Wolf said in a statement Monday. (CNN)

He previously spoke on his health condition with television personality Barbara Walters last January.

A week before the series began, Mr. Swayze was the subject of a one-hour 'Barbara Walters Special' on ABC, talking about his illness. 'I keep my heart and my soul and my spirit open to miracles,' he told Ms. Walters. But he said he was not going to pursue every experimental treatment that came along. If he were to 'spend so much time chasing staying alive,' he said, he wouldn't be able to enjoy the time he had left. 'I want to live,' he said. (New York Times)

Whoopi Goldberg, who starred alongside Swayze in the film Ghost, shared her reaction to his passing.

'Patrick was a really good man, a funny man and one to whom I owe much that I can't ever repay. I believe in Ghost's message, so he'll always be near.' (Entertainment Weekly)

Ja Rule, who recruited the actor to appear in his "Murder Reigns" music video around 2002, also revealed his reaction.

"R.I.P. Pat Swayze," he wrote via Twitter. "he did murder reigns vid wit me..." (Ja Rule's Twitter)

Swayze also found his name becoming widely popular within the hip-hop community and by the late Biggie Smalls on "Runnin' (Dying To Live)."

After Dirty Dancing, Swayze found himself heavily typecast as beefcake and appeared in several flops, of which Road House was the most successful. His biggest hit came in 1990, when he starred in Ghost, with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. This role had considerable cultural impact, and modern hip-hop lyrics routinely used the phrase "I'm Swayze" (meaning "I'm ghost," which is in turn slang for "I'm leaving") in reference to that film. Biggie rapped: "When he drop, take his glock, and I'm Swayze." -- "Runnin'" (Wikipedia)

Check out Patrick Swayze's "Murder Reigns" music video cameo below:

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