Thanks For Everything: Remembering Patrick Swayze, 10 Years On

Ten years after his death, the Hollywood icon's legacy continues.

In January 2008,  Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, which he battled for 20 months.

On September 14, 2009, his publicist announced he passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family.

Despite his diagnosis, Swayze kept acting -- his diagnosis occurred soon after he filmed the pilot of an A&E drama "The Beast".

Swayze committed to filming the first season of the series, and refused to take painkillers while filming which he believed would inhibit his performance.

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 'Dirty Dancing'. Photo by /Getty Images.
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 'Dirty Dancing'. Photo by /Getty Images.

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Swayze also spoke openly about his health, fighting cancer publicly and appearing at the Stand Up to Cancer telethon in September 2008.

Walking out to a standing ovation, Swayze delivered an impassioned speech to the packed crowd.

"I keep dreaming of a future," he said, "a future with a long and healthy life. A life not lived in the shadow of cancer, but in the light.

"Together we can make the world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope or worse. Tonight I stand here, another individual living with cancer, who asks that we not wait any longer and I ask only one thing of you: Will you stand up with me. Will you stand up to cancer?"

Nominated for three Golden Globes, Swayze got his start dancing in 'Disney on Parade' before taking the lead role in the Broadway production of 'Grease'. Soon he began starring in TV shows before making a name for himself starring as Darry Curtis in 'The Outsiders'.

Demi Moore And Patrick Swayze In 'Ghost'
Swayze and Demi Moore in the infamous scene from 'Ghost'. Photo by Paramount/Getty Images.

In 1987, Swayze became a household name after starring alongside Jennifer Grey in 'Dirty Dancing'.  Following that up with the 1990 film 'Ghost' alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, Swayze cemented himself as a screen icon -- as well as the muse for one of the most famous pottery scenes in cinema history.

Last month Paramount Network released the documentary 'I Am Patrick Swayze,' which was released on what would have been the actor's 67th birthday.

In the documentary, his life's work and impact on the industry was remembered by those closest to him including Moore and Grey as well as Rob Lowe who starred with Swayze in 'Youngblood', along with his wife Lisa Niemi.

Patrick Swayze and his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi, circa 1992. Photo by Kypros/Getty Images.
Patrick Swayze and his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi, circa 1992. Photo by Kypros/Getty Images.

Niemi and "Buddy", as she called him, were married for 34 years -- and met in 1970 when she was 14 and he was 18 -- first meeting while Neimi was taking dance lessons from Swayze's mum.

"The first time Buddy and I danced together was at a school exhibition," she told 'Entertainment Tonight', "We walked out on stage. I looked in his eyes, it was like everything came alive."

She also said she still speaks to him every day, adding, "When you lose someone, you never stop loving them... I feel like I have a different relationship with him now. It's just, he's not physically present, you know what I mean?"

Featured image: Getty images.