'Dirty Dancing' star Patrick Swayze was described as a star whose “light will shine forever” today as Hollywood mourned his death.
The 57-year-old died yesterday with family members by his side after losing a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Swayze shot to fame in 1987 with his performance as misunderstood bad boy dance instructor Johnny Castle in 'Dirty Dancing' – a coming-of-age story set in a Catskills resort in New York.
His co-star, Jennifer Grey, said: “Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace.
“Gorgeous and strong, he was a real cowboy with a tender heart. He was fearless and insisted on always doing his own stunts, so it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified.”
The film – which cost just five million dollars to make – is a firm favourite with young and old and his line “nobody puts Baby in a corner” is one of Hollywood’s most quoted.
It was the quirky 1990 romance 'Ghost' that cemented Swayze’s status as a screen heart-throb.
Swayze played a murdered man trying to communicate with his fiancee, played by Demi Moore.
Moore said Swayze’s “light will shine forever”.
In the film the actress, 46, played Molly Jensen, the partner of murdered Sam Wheat.
Moore said: “Patrick you are loved by so many and your light will forever shine in all of our lives.”
In a Twitter post she added: “And in the words of Sam to Molly. ’It’s amazing Molly. The love inside, you take it with you.’
“I love and will miss you Patrick.”
Whoopi Goldberg, who also starred in 'Ghost', said: “Patrick was a really good man, a funny man and one to whom I owe much that I can’t ever repay.
“I believe in Ghost’s message, so he’ll always be near.”
Swayze kept on working even after it was disclosed that he had the particularly deadly form of cancer.
He starred in 'The Beast', a drama series about the FBI, and said he and his wife were working on a memoir.
But he acknowledged that his time might be running out.
“I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking,” he told ABC television’s Barbara Walters earlier this year.
“Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it.”
Other notable performances include surf thriller 'Point Break' – for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe – and as a drag queen in 'To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar'.
In 2006, Swayze made his debut on the British stage, playing Nathan Detroit in 'Guys and Dolls' in the West End opposite Claire Sweeney.
The former Brookside actress described Swayze as “a wonderful, brave man, a great talent and a sensitive and caring friend.
“I am very saddened by the news and I will miss him. My thoughts are with his family.”
Fellow actors expressed their sorrow from the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival, as the news of Swayze’s death broke.
Rob Lowe said he had “lost a brother”.
He added: “Patrick lived a thousand lifetimes in one lifetime.
“He was an expert dancer, he wrote hit songs, he starred in hit movies, he was an amazing horseman.
“But the thing I will remember him most for was his amazing love affair with his wife Lisa.
“He played my brother twice, in 'The Outsiders' when I was 17, and then in 'Youngblood'. Tonight I lost a brother.”