Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze, who shot to international stardom with the 1980s classic Dirty Dancing, has died earlier today at the age of 57.

"Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," said a statement released by his publicist.

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Swayze had been fighting pancreatic cancer since being diagnosed with the disease in March 2008. He had said in an interview with Barbara Walters this past January that it "seemed likely" he would live for at least two more years.

Swayze became an international sensation after the release of the 1987 sleeper hit Dirty Dancing, which lead to other wide-ranging films like the cult classic Road House, the romantic drama Ghost and the action thriller Point Break.