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

COUNTRY BOY

Often referring to himself as a cowboy, Swayze always found peace in nature. With wife Lisa and a menagerie of beloved animals, the actor treasured retreating from the spotlight on his 20,000-acre New Mexico ranch and his five-acre homestead in Los Angeles's San Gabriel Mountains (pictured in December 2008). "I get on a horse and disappear in the mountains with my dogs," he told PEOPLE in 2007.