Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rant #87: Saint Patrick's Passed Away

Actor Patrick Swayze passed away on Monday after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

Swayze could have been labeled as “just another actor,” but I know that my wife and millions of other women loved him.

His two defining movies—“Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing”—highlighted his acting persona, as a leading man who was much more sensitive than most. His roles allowed him to demonstrate a caring side that women loved.

He was so much different than the other leading men of his day—the Stallones, the Schwarzeneggers and the like—that he became something of a standout among brutes. He was originally a dancer, and perhaps that led to his acting persona being what it was.

But you have to hand it to Swayze. He took the diagnosis of cancer—and it was a grim diagnosis—like, well, a man. He admitted that the excesses of his younger days—the drinking, the smoking—probably did not help matters, and may have even led to the cancer.

And he continued to work. He was on the A&E series “The Beast,” which received at best mixed reviews and was recently cancelled. But he was proud to say that he missed minimal time from the series due to his illness.

He seemed to be a nice guy, and you know what they say, nice guys finish last. But although he is gone, he didn’t lag behind the rest of the field. During his final days, he became a true inspiration for all of us, and that, along with his dozens of film and TV roles, is his true legacy.

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