'Dirty Dancing' Star Diagnosed with Cancer

Well, the news is still breaking and the prognosis seems to change by the minute, but unfortunately, it is true that actor Patrick Swayze, 55, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The story broke originally in the New York Post, with the Post stating that the average life expectancy for someone with the disease is six to nine months. Swayze's doctor, though, according to People, said the timeframe given for the actor is "absolutely untrue."

Bottom line: you hate to hear about anyone being diagnosed with cancer, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Swayze and his family and friends.

ImageAfter having just seen him in recent behind-the-scenes docs for two of my favorite over-the-top Swayze action flicks (Point Break and Red Dawn), it's hard to believe he's sick at all. At 55, he doesn't look much different than he did twenty years ago.

One of my earliest movie memories was watching The Outsiders with friends, and then all of us 10-year-olds pretending we were Swayze and his gang of "greaser" brothers (including a young Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe), about to rumble with the big bad "socs."

One thing's been true about all of Swayze's characters. From stuff like the long-forgotten Renegades, on to the t.v. epic North & South and on to the glory years in Dancing and Ghost, Swayze's always projected a sense of strength and leadership, along with the whole sensitivity thing. Girls loved him, and guys could realistically imagine grabbing a brew and watching a ballgame with him.

We know he'll face this disease with the same resiliency he's shown up onscreen, and we'll definitely be rooting for him to make a full and speedy recovery.
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