Scoop: Patrick Swayze dead at 57

Patrick Swayze, the hunky star of “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost,” died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, The Associated Press reported. He was 57.

“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,” said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist.

Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from a particularly deadly form of cancer.

He had kept working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting “The Beast,” an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot. It drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran in 2009, but A&E said it had decided not to renew it for a second season.

When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was “considerably more optimistic” than that.

“I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking,” Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters in early 2009. “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.”

KANYE STRIKES AGAIN

Taylor Swift was reportedly reduced to tears backstage after Kanye West crashed the stage during her VMA acceptance speech. But the plucky country cutie told reporters after the show that she harbors no resentment toward the outspoken rapper.

“I was really excited because I had just won the award,” the 19-year-old recalled about the incident. “And then I was really excited because Kanye West was on stage. And then I wasn’t so excited anymore after that.”

But despite the initial shock, she said, “I’ve been getting so many text messages and everybody’s been really nice. So I’ve had a really, really fun night. It’s been interesting definitely. It’s definitely been an interesting night.”

So is this the start of a beef with Kanye? “I don’t know him, and I’ve never met him, so …” Taylor demurred. “I don’t want to start anything because I had a great night.”

As for Beyoncé Knowles, who drew accolades for classily ceding her Video of the Year acceptance speech, Taylor had nothing but praise.

“They told me to stand by the side of the stage, and I didn’t really know what was going to go down,” the “You Belong With Me” singer said. “But I thought it was so wonderful and gracious of her to do what she’s always done. … I thought I couldn’t love Beyonce more tonight, than tonight.” Frankly, this is probably the best press both ladies could get.

Taylor Tweets

Celebs rushed to Taylor Swift’s defense on the Internet after Kanye’s VMAs outburst. Katy Perry observed with a mid-show tweet, “Kanye, it’s like you stepped on a kitten.”

On her blog, Kelly Clarkson wondered “what would make a grown man go on national television and make a talented artist, let alone teenager, feel like [expletive].” She also pointed out, “I was actually nominated in the same category that Taylor won and I was excited for her … so why can’t you be??”

Avid tweeter Joel Madden fumed, “WOW, Taylor Swift’s first VMA and she didn’t even get to ENJOY it. Kanye, you were just a bully on that one man.” John Mayer offered support: “Big love to my girl @taylorswift13. A class act.” Spencer Pratt, who never met an opportunity to comment that he didn’t like, opined, “Taylor Swift deserved that award, damnit. It is what THE PEOPLE voted! My heart broke for her, she looked so sad at the end of that moment.”

And the ever-blunt Pink summed it up thusly via Twitter: “Kanye West is the biggest piece of [expletive] on earth. Quote me.” (Consider it done.)

For his part, Kanye briefly posted an apology on his blog, effusing, “I’m sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom …. I’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!” But he went on to add, “Beyoncé’s video was the best of this decade!!!! … Everybody wanna booooo me but I’m a fan of real pop culture!!!” Perhaps prudently, the post was quickly removed.

Hmm … interrupting someone’s moment in the spotlight, apologizing halfheartedly, and then backtracking? Maybe Kanye should consider running for Congress.

Kate’s “Meltdown”

Lest you were so busy being annoyed by Kanye West that you forgot all about the Gosselins, we’re here to remind you that they are also still annoying. The latest salvo in the he-said-she-said battle for public sympathy: Kate confided while guest-hosting “The View” on Monday that while she maintains a brave face in public, she had “a meltdown” at home over the weekend.

Apparently, thinking about estranged hubby Jon bringing new girlfriend Hailey Glassman around their children has taken its toll: “This is definitely, I’m not going to lie, difficult,” the mom of eight confessed.

Ever the martyr, Kate maintained that her continued presence in the media spotlight is necessary to support her kids. Asked if she was paid enough, the reality star responded, “Is anybody paid enough?”

Considering she doesn’t have an actual job, we’re pretty the answer in Kate’s case is yes.

Kitty Raymond is an entertainment writer and astrologer. She welcomes feedback at kitty@media-darling.com.

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