Jennifer Grey, who co-starred with Patrick Swayze in 1987's Dirty Dancing, described the 57-year-old actor, who died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, as "a real cowboy with a tender heart."
"Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace," she tells Usmagazine.com in a statement. "He was fearless and insisted on always doing his own stunts, so it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified."
Though it's been nearly 22 years since they shot the hit film, Grey tells Us she still vividly remembers filming those classic dance scenes.
"When I think of him, I think of being in his arms when we were kids, dancing, practicing the lift in the freezing lake, having a blast doing this tiny little movie we thought no one would ever see," she says.
The film went on to become an international phenomenon, spawning a hit song in "(I've Had) the Time of My Life," numerous stage productions and a 2004 sequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, in which Swayze made a cameo.
It also immortalized the line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."
Swayze also performed and co-wrote a song on the soundtrack, "She's Like the Wind," which was inspired by his wife, Lisa Niemi.
Says costar Grey, "My heart goes out to his wife and childhood sweetheart, Lisa Niemi, to his mom, Patsy, and to the rest of their family."
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