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Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze

Courtesy: Brian Braff

Johnny Castle. Sam Wheat. Fighter.

Patrick Swayze, the movie star whose iconic roles in Dirty Dancing and Ghost transcended, and the man whose perseverance in the face of advanced cancer inspired, died today in Los Angeles. He was 57.

"One thing I'm not gonna do is chase staying alive," Swayze told Barbara Walters in January. "You spend so much time chasing staying alive, you won't live."

At the time, Swayze guessed he had two more years to live.

Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2008. Despite the gloom and doom of initial tabloid reports, Swayze went on to star in the A&E cop drama The Beast