100 years of movie stars: The action years

The stars of the 1970s and 1980s understood the allure of sex and violence. But they also knew how to perform, says Geoffrey Macnab

Kathryn Bigelow: Love and war

It's the battle of the Baftas as the film director's Iraq drama is up against her ex-husband's 3D epic

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Patrick Swayze: Actor best known for his roles in 'Dirty Dancing' and 'Ghost'

Most actors are fortunate to get one signature role, one part for which they are fêted or idolised. Patrick Swayze, who has died aged 57 from pancreatic cancer, found two. His career may have been short on the critical approbation that he craved, but his most memorable and successful performances, first in the nostalgic musical drama Dirty Dancing (1987), then in the Oscar-winning Ghost (1990), made him a superstar, and gave America one of its few leading men who were unafraid to play vulnerable. However, he remained ambivalent about his screen persona as a sex symbol.

Patrick Swayze and me

In 1987, a Texan trained in classical ballet became a star overnight, with a role as a holiday camp dance teacher who awakens love in an awkward teenager. And to millions of movie fans, the actor, who died this week, will always be Johnny Castle – the rebel with all the right moves

A life in pictures: Patrick Swayze

Following the tragic premature death of Patrick Swayze, we look back over some key moments in the life of the American actor.

Patrick Swayze dies aged 57

Friends and family have announced that Patrick Swayze, the actor who smouldered his way into the limelight in Dirty Dancing and went on to became one of the most influential leading men of his generation, had died in Los Angeles, following a two-year battle against pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

Patrick Swayze: the time of his life

Patrick Swayze enjoyed a long and varied career - but it was an 80s B-movie that made him famous.

DVD: The Beast - Series 1

If this is to be Patrick Swayze's swansong, he'llbe remembered kindly.The actor, ailing withpancreatic cancer,does well as the kind ofbuck-the-authorities FBI agent that has becomesomething of an uglyand unlikely cliché in US dramas. But at least hereit is done with somepanache. While the plotsaren't always believable,and many characters arelittle more than ciphers,the action is strangely gripping, and you'll care who's set up who, even ifa few of the actors don'tseem to.

Big screen blasts from the past

The new 3D animation film Monsters vs Aliens takes its characters from Fifties sci-fi B-movies – and makes them cuddly. Expect more of these retro-cultural mash-ups in a cinema near you, says Kaleem Aftab

Last Night's Television: Trouble In Amish Paradise<br />The Beast, Five, USA

“It would have been much easier,” Ephraim Stoltzfus declared in measured, even casual tones, “if they’d just killed us.” Instead, Ephraim, his wife, Amanda, and their four children had merely been excommunicated and shunned. Trouble in Amish Paradise was, in part, Ephraim’s plea for understanding from his own community, and a pretty desperate plea, too, since the Amish are by no means inveterate couch potatoes.

First Impressions: Donnie Darko (2002)

Like Jimmy Stewart in Harvey, teenage dreamer Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) finds an imaginary companion in a man-sized rabbit, only this one is called Frank, wears a scary devil-mask and says that the world will end in 28 days. Not a happy bunny, in short.

Swayze: 'Yeah, I'm angry. Yeah, I'm scared'

In his first interview since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Patrick Swayze reveals his despair &ndash; and defiance
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