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

'DANCING' INTO THE SPOTLIGHT

"Dirty Dancing just blew the lid off my career," Swayze (with costar Jennifer Grey) told PEOPLE in 2007 about starring as hip-swiveling dance instructor Johnny Castle in the 1987 box-office smash. The iconic film – which grossed $170 million worldwide – made him a bona fide heartthrob to all ages. "I constantly have some old lady pinching me on the rear," he said. "I turn around and see blue hair running back to a group of other blue hairs going, 'I did it, Martha! I pinched him!'"