Patrick Swayze was an American actor, dancer and singer who appeared in a number of popular films throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He became known for his romantic lead roles and tough guy persona, earning him three Golden Globe nominations. He was born and raised in Texas, and began his acting career by performing with New York City ballet companies. His appearance in the role of Danny Zuko on Broadway's long-running production of Grease in the late 1970s helped him secure bigger film parts.
After appearing in a series of action movies, including Road House and Next of Kin, Swayze received the big break that would define his career with 1987's hit romantic classic Dirty Dancing. His seductive performance as swaggering dance instructor Johnny Castle opposite Jennifer Grey's sheltered teenager Frances "Baby" Houseman made him an international star. He received another Golden Globe nod in the film Ghost, where he played a murdered investment banker who returns to haunt his wife and family.
Swayze also starred in the crime drama Point Break, the road trip comedy To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar and the cult classic Donnie Darko. He suffered from alcohol addiction and had a number of personal problems in his life, which he attributed to fame and the pressures of Hollywood.
Swayze died of pancreatic cancer in September 2009 at the age of 57. His widow, Lisa Niemi Swayze, continues to raise awareness of the disease and its symptoms through her work with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.