Swayze, known for such hit films as "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" succumbed to his illness yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 57.
"Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace, gorgeous and strong, he was a real cowboy with a tender heart," Jennifer Grey, Swayze's co-star in "Dirty Dancing," told "Entertainment Tonight."
"Patrick lived a thousand life times in one life," actor Rob Lowe said of Swayze.
C. Thomas Howell, who co-starred with Swayze in "The Outsiders," "Grandview U.S.A." and "Red Dawn" says he's always had a special place in his heart for Patrick. Howell says "it was our passion for horses that forged a friendship between us that I treasure to this day."
Read the full obituary for Patrick Swayze
Others used Twitter to express their sadness.
Demi Moore, who played Swayze's fiancee in "Ghost," writes: "Patrick you are loved by so many and your light will forever shine in all of our lives."
"It solidified him as a star," Bradley Jacobs of US Weekly magazine said of Swayze's role in "Ghost." Jacobs told CBS' "The Early Show" Tuesday that Swayze was not initially considered for a part in the film, but was so moved by the script that he auditioned six times until he received the starring role.
Larry King wrote of the late actor: "Patrick Swayze was a wonderful actor & a terrific guy. He put his heart in everything. He was an extraordinary fighter in his battle w Cancer." King adds that he'll do a tribute to Swayze on his CNN program tonight.
Swayze was married since 1975 to Lisa Niemi, a fellow dancer who took lessons with Swayze's mother, a choreographer; they met when he was 19 and she was 15.
Photo Essay: Patrick Swayze, 1952-2009