Publicist denies Patrick Swayze death rumors

Tue May 19, 2009 10:28pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rumors of Patrick Swayze's death are reckless and the "Dirty Dancing" star is enjoying life and responding to treatment, the actor's spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

A hubbub broke out on cyberspace earlier in the day after a Florida radio station sent out an instant message on the popular Twitter social-networking site saying the 56-year-old actor had lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

"This is to confirm that Patrick Swayze did not pass away this morning contrary to severely reckless reports stemming from a radio station in Jacksonville, Florida," the actor's spokeswoman Annett Wolf said in a statement.

"Patrick Swayze is alive, well and is enjoying his life and he continues to respond to treatment."

Swayze was diagnosed in early 2008 with pancreatic cancer, one of the most virulent and deadly forms of the disease.

Wolf told Reuters the station, 97.9 KISS-FM, sent out a Twitter message about Swayze to its 309 followers after seeing a report on another Web site. The report spread like wildfire across the Internet as concerned cybercitizens forwarded it to their friends.

Messages left with the station and Twitter were not immediately returned. Swayze was one of the hottest topics on Twitter, according to the Web site.

Swayze starred in a US TV crime series "The Beast" after he was diagnosed but acknowledged in an interview in January that he might have only two years more to live.

<p>Patrick Swayze is seen at the premiere of Paramount Pictures "Last Holiday" at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles January 12, 2006. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>