In this May 26, 1998 file photo, Patrick Swayze is seen at an activity in Dubai. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- U.S. film star Patrick Swayze died at home Monday local time at the age of 57, according to media reports Tuesday.
"Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," his rep tells PEOPLE in a statement.
Swayze said he was diagnosed with cancer in January 2008.
Swayze's best-remembered movies -- "Dirty Dancing" (1987) with Jennifer Grey and "Ghost" (1990) with Demi Moore -- were unexpected hits that relied more on terrific soundtracks and appealing performances than dramatic plausibility.
The Texas native began his career as a dancer and made dozens of stage, film and TV appearances over four decades. Pop culture immortality came with "Dirty Dancing," which defied Hollywood expectations to become one of the most-watched movies of all time.
"Dirty Dancing" featured Swayze as a dangerously hunky Catskills dance teacher named Johnny Castle who teams with a guest's shy daughter for a dance performance at a neighboring hotel.
Swayze's role of an investment banker in "Ghost," killed during a robbery, helps his lover (Moore) solve the crime with the aid of a psychic played by Whoopi Goldberg.
While undergoing chemotherapy for his cancer, he received good reviews for his gritty portrayal of an undercover FBI agent in "The Beast" (2009), a drama series for the A&E cable network.
Swayze missed only one day of work while filming the series. "One thing I'm not going to do is chase staying alive," he told interviewer Barbara Walters at the time. "You spend so much time chasing staying alive, you won't live."