Patrick Swayze (August 18, 1952 - September 14, 2009)
His roles in "Ghost" and "Dirty Dancing" still make young women swoon. Young men around the world will forever regard his character Dalton in "Roadhouse" as one of the toughest guys in film. So when Swayze was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in 2008, it seemed anyone who had ever seen his work was saddened.
For a man with such a strong physique, photos quickly emerged of him appearing thin and gaunt, and tabloids claimed he had but a short time to live. But through it all, Swayze remained optimistic, even continuing to work on the A&E TV series, "The Beast," in which he had a starring role.
In a statement to People Magazine in December 2008, he said, "It's upsetting that the shoddy and reckless reporting from these publications cast a negative shadow on the positive and good fight I'm fighting. For me, my family, and those close to me, it amounts to downright emotional cruelty. That makes me angry when hope is so precious."
Swayze died in September at the age of 57.
Photo credit: A&E