C. THOMAS HOWELL was left stunned when he received mail from pal Patrick Swayze - because it arrived days after the Dirty Dancing star had lost his battle with cancer.
The actor, who befriended Swayze on the set of their 1983 movie The Outsiders and went on to work with him in other films, had previously asked the Ghost star to autograph a poster from the Francis Ford Coppola classic for his 12-year-old son Dash.
The request went without a response from Swayze, who was busy undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, for months - but now it seems it was one of the last things Swayze did before he passed.
A pal of Howell's says, "Many months ago, Tommy asked Patrick to sign an Outsiders poster for his son. But it was so long ago he'd forgotten."
But the late star proved he hadn't forgotten about his pal - and packaged a signed poster for Howell's kid days before he passed away on 14 September (09), reports the National Enquirer.
And the heartfelt gift moved Howell to tears as he struggled to come to terms with Swayze's death.
The source adds, "Tommy was truly touched. He told me, 'I've always had a special place in my heart for Patrick. He was like an older brother to me. He was a really great guy.
"Now, every time Tommy and his son look at that poster, they know that Patrick was thinking about them toward the end."