Learn Patrick Swayze's 'Dirty Dancing' Lift & 6 Other Ways to Celebrate the Late Actor on His Birthday

How time flies: Patrick Swayze would be 62 years old today. The movie legend lost his battle with pancreatic cancer almost five years ago, on Sept. 14, 2009, and '80s cinephiles have been missing him ever since. In addition to being a dancing, sexiness, and singing triple threat, Swayze has starred in some of the pivotal films of his time. From his dancing work, with Dirty Dancing and multiple appearances on Dancing With The Stars, to his serious, twisted roles in films like Donnie Darko, Patrick showed the world that actors can grow beyond pigeonholed roles. He may always be remembered by one generation as Johnny, Bodhi or Sam, but he broke through his cute-guy image later in life, taking on complicated roles in equally complicated indie thrillers. Oh, and his dance moves aren't fake: Patrick was once the principal dancer at the Eliot Feld Ballet Company.

So if we're going to remember Patrick Swayze today, we should remember that he was more than amazing hair and a pair of arms that could execute the perfect lift: he was a Golden Globe-winning actor who cared about cancer research, music, and producing one heck of an action film. Here are some ways to remember a great actor through his life's work.

Ghost Your Favorite Potter

No, I'm not talking about haunting Harry Potter, although that might be amusing. Instead I am referencing the "ghosting" that stems from the scene in Ghost, where Sam completely ruins Molly's clay cylinder. A note on attempting this move in the wild: DON'T KEEP YOUR FOOT ON THE PEDAL WHILE MAKING OUT. This will lead to clay everywhere and possible injury.

Finally Watch Keeping Mum

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For a farce about a released-but-not-rehabilitated serial killer, Keeping Mum is surprisingly charming. Patrick Swayze kills it as the horny golf instructor, while the Dowager Countess of Grantham kills everyone around her in an attempt to keep her adoptive family happy. If you haven't seen this dark, British gem, it's time to dust off one of Swayze's best roles.

Learn that Move From Dirty Dancing

You know the move I'm talking about. It's like this, but better. According to Dirty Dancing, the best places to practice this lift are in open fields and lakes, both of which may lead to gratuitous making out.

Surf One Last Wave

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Although Point Break may not be the best '80s action flick, Swayze manages to create a complicated villain from a string over simplistic dialogue. Watch for the surfing, stay for the world-famous, now cliché ending.

Get Rad '80s Hair

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Road House may be one of the cheesiest movies of all time, but Patrick Swayze's hair saves the whole thing. It's as if some amazing mullet descended from the stars to save an otherwise-doomed film. For bonus mullet, see the new Road House graphic novel.

Donate to Pancreatic Cancer Research

Toward the end of his life, Swayze became the face of living through cancer without letting it control your life. Although he attended many benefits for cancer awareness and research, Swayze was adamant that his life would not be defined by pancreatic cancer. In his last televised interview, he said that "the outpouring of love" from fans was amazing, so if you'd like to continue to show your love, consider donating to a cure for a disease that will kill almost 40,000 people this year.

Get Out Your Dancing Shoes

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One of Patrick Swayze's lifelong loves was dancing. From his childhood obsession with ballet to his brief stint as a principal in a ballet company, he was committed to great form and great moves. So if you truly want to honor his memory, do a little dance today. 

Images: Great American Films; mlle-leelee/Tumblr; maudit/Tumblr

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