Guest post by Matt Ball, MSN UK editor-in-chief (http://twitter.com/thisismattball)
Patrick Swayze died on Monday September 15 2009, 20 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Here is how the web is reacting to the news of the actor’s death:
The Times begins its tribute by stating that “every male who grew up in the eighties at one point wanted to be Patrick Swayze. He was the classic all-American ‘beefcake’ who could also channel his more sensitive side - in real life, his mother was a choreographer - thus giving him almost supernatural powers with the opposite sex.”
The Guardian also focuses on Swayze’s looks in its obituary, saying that the actor was “a beefcake leading man with rugged, unpretty looks and a lean dancer's physique, who enjoyed staggering success in Reagan-Bush-era America with two classic movie roles”.
According to BBC Online, the actor always rejected the notion of himself as the sexy lead. He once said: “It's the cult movies that have given me a career for 30 years. It wouldn't have been worth it if I had been stuck as the leading man or the dance guy.”
The Independent recalls the Oscar winning song from Dirty Dancing and the dance move Swayze performed with co-star Jennifer Grey, suggesting with a touch of hyperbole that “no wedding reception is complete without ‘(I've Had) The Time of My Life’ and a drunken attempt at that lift”. I suddenly feel like I have attended some quite tame wedding receptions.
MSNBC.com says Swayze was “the ultimate romantic lead” and explains why one of his lines in Dirty Dancing became so well known, repeated and even parodied: “There’s a reason “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” became an iconic line: it combines someone loving you, someone insisting upon your freedom, and someone defending you from your parents — what could be dreamier? Swayze was just the right guy for that scene and that story; it’s a more effective version of a knight in shining armour than you’d get from a slicker, harder-edged actor.”
CNN.com reminds us he could still makes young ladies’ hearts flutter in his later years, citing 22-year-old Scarlett Johansson, upon receiving Harvard's Hasty Pudding Award in February 2007. “She said her dream date was ‘probably Patrick Swayze, my dream come true’.”
On Digital Spy some members are expressing their shock at the number of high profile celebrities who have passed away recently. Others express their feeling that Swayze always came across as one of the good guys in celebland. CJ Marlowe, for example, comments: “I'm genuinely moved by this one. He came across as such a nice guy and I grew up watching his films. This feels a bit more of a personal loss to me than the majority of celeb deaths ever do. I'm so sad for Patrick and his family.”
You’ll find similar sentiments on TMZ.com where Christy says: “Awesome Dancer, Great Actor, and Fantastic Horseman! We will miss you, wished you had done a western. Happy Trails, Patrick.”
You can share your thoughts and read others’ tributes on MSN’s message boards.