LOS ANGELES — Patrick Swayze has checked himself into the hospital for observation after contracting pneumonia, A&E President Abbe Raven announced Friday at a meeting of the Television Critics Association. Swayze was scheduled to appear to discuss his upcoming drama "The Beast."
Robert DeBitetto, A&E's programming senior vice president, explained his absence.
"Patrick has asked that I tell you that this morning he checked himself into the hospital for observation," said DeBitetto. "Chemotherapy can take its toll on the immune system, and illnesses are a part of that. Patrick wishes me to tell you that he's very sorry he cannot attend, but plans to get back to promoting `The Beast' soon."
Swayze's spokeswoman, Annett Wolf, confirmed that Swayze was in the hospital but would not provide additional details.
"In light of the news today, it's a bump in the road," said Vincent Angell, one of the show's co-executive producers. "We wish him all the best."
In the series, which premieres Jan. 15, Swayze plays an FBI veteran who trains a rookie partner played by Travis Fimmel. Producers said they found out Swayze had cancer four hours after learning A&E had picked up the series. They also said filming was completed on all episodes of the first season and hope Swayze could continue in the role for a second season.
"He's an inspiration," said Fimmel. "He makes the little things seem so not important."
Earlier this week, Swayze told ABC's Barbara Walters that his yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer put him "through hell" while he pushed ahead on his new TV series.
The 56-year-old actor also owned up to his fear: "Yeah, I'm scared. Yeah, I'm angry. Yeah, I'm (asking), 'Why me?'"
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