It started with a report in American junk tabloid The National Enquirer, which people didn’t quite believe, but was then confirmed by his spokeman, and reported in more savoury publications. It’s true, one of the best actors of the late 1980s, early 1990s is suffering from pancreatic cancer.
The good news, if it can be called as such, is that early reports suggesting he was on his deathbed have been denied, and 55 year old Swayze is actually thought to be carrying on his working schedule as normal.
However, pancreatic cancer is still a very serious illness, and due to the lack of early symptoms, has one of the lowest survival rates, so the long term prognosis doesn’t look good.
Swayze is one of those actors who started his career with a bang, with Dirty Dancing gaining a horde of fans when it was released, and continuing to inspire countless youngsters. Even now, talking to teenagers, Dirty Dancing is regarded as one of the great movies of eighties.
Then came Ghost, which while cheesy as hell, and containing scenes which have been parodies countless times since its release, has got many fans to this day.
Point Break is where I best remember Swayze from, as he blew keanu Reeves out the water with his performance. And then there was cult classic Donnie Darko, where he starred alongside Jake Gyllenhaal.
Whether you’re a fan of Swayze’s or not, you can’t halp but admire his affability, and ability to relaunch his career. The sad thing is, that with many projects on the go, 2008 was shaping up to be his year.
He was diagnosed in late January, and has already received radical chemotherapy from Stanford University’s advanced cancer centre in Palo Alto.
I wish him all the best, and hope he’s one of the 5% who beat the illness, and can go on to live normal lives again.