Patrick Swayze 1952-2009

Patrick Swayze: A Talented Heartthrob Remembered

From Dirty Dancing to his valiant battle with pancreatic cancer, see what made the actor a beloved star


Though he'd made his feature film debut as a bad-boy gang leader in the 1979 movie Skatetown, U.S.A., it wasn't until starring in 1983's The Outsiders that Swayze made his mark in Hollywood. Starring alongside a who's who of hot young actors – including Rob Lowe (pictured), Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio and Emilio Estevez – he formed enduring friendships in the business. "I've always known Patrick to be a good man, a fighter," Cruise told PEOPLE in 2008.