Actor Patrick Swayze has died after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, his publicist has said.

Annett Wolf said the 57-year-old Dirty Dancing actor died on Monday with family members by his side.

He spoke about his illness last spring but continued working as he underwent treatment.

Swayze kept on working even after it was disclosed in March last year that he had a particularly deadly form of cancer.

He starred in The Beast, a drama series about the FBI, and said he and his wife Lisa Niemi were working on a memoir.

Swayze became a star in 1987 with his performance as dance instructor Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing, a coming-of-age story set in a Catskills resort in New York.

The 1990 quirky romance Ghost cemented his status as a screen heart throb. Swayze played a murdered man trying to communicate with his fiancee through a spirit played by Whoopi Goldberg.

He went on to receive warm reviews for the surf thriller Point Break and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his 1995 role as a drag queen in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

In 2006, the actor made his debut on the British stage, playing Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls in the West End opposite former Brookside actress Claire Sweeney.

Swayze talked about his illness in a US TV interview in early 2009, saying he thought “five years is pretty wishful thinking. Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it.”