09/14/2009 AT 11:00 PM ET
Patrick Swayze promised never to put Baby in a corner. That signature line – and the sultry dance steps and smoldering chemistry between him and costar Jennifer Grey – rocketed the two young actors to stardom in 1987 with Dirty Dancing.
“When I think of him, I think of being in his arms when we were kids, dancing, practicing the lift in the freezing lake, having a blast doing this tiny little movie we thought no one would ever see,” Grey, who played Frances “Baby” Houseman, remembers of Swayze, who died Monday at age 57 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Grey, 49, says Swayze was a “real cowboy with a tender heart,” who was so fearless doing his own stunts that “it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified.”