Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze, who has battled pancreatic cancer for the last year, checked into a hospital with pneumonia, A&E Network officials said Friday in a surprise announcement.

The Dirty Dancing star was supposed to attend a news conference to promote his new show, The Beast, on A&E, but network president, Robert DeBitetto, announced Swayze would not be attending. 

"Patrick is very sorry for being unable to attend this morning," DeBitetto said. "He thanks everyone for all the outpouring of support that he's been receiving lately."

DiBitetto said Swayze was hospitalized in Los Angeles, but he didn't know where. He said he believed the hospitalization was Friday because that's when he learned of it.

The announcement comes two days after the airing of a Barbara Walters interview, in which Swayze detailed his agonizing fight with the disease. "You can bet that I'm going through hell," Swayze said. "And I've only seen the beginning of it" (click here to watch the full interview).

Swayze has been undergoing chemotherapy to treat the cancer. Co-star Travis Fimmel says the strain of fighting the disease rarely shows on Swayze during filming: "You can hardly tell with the guy," he told TVGuide.com. "He's such a man. The sickest thing about him on set is probably his jokes."

Swayze's collaborators on The Beast expressed confidence in his health, noting his ability to run, climb walls, and carry his 190-pound co-star, Fimmel, while shooting episodes in the cold Chicago winter.

"I just think he's got a cold," exective producer Vincent Angell told TVGuide.com. "I think he was in New Mexico where it's cold and got a bug."

The actor has a home in New Mexico, Angell said.

DeBitetto said Swayze was under observation. There was no further word on his condition.