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."
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?"'