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Actor Patrick Swayze


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Courtesy of: E! Online

Hollywood's 'Dirty Dancer' Patrick Swayze, Dead at 57

by Joal Ryan


Patrick Swayze (photo courtesy of: zap2it)

Patrick Swayze, the movie star whose iconic roles in "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" transcended, and the man whose perseverance in the face of advanced cancer inspired, died today in Los Angeles. He was 57.

"One thing I'm not gonna do is chase staying alive," Swayze told Barbara Walters in January. "You spend so much time chasing staying alive, you won't live."

At the time, Swayze guessed he had two more years to live.

Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2008. Despite the gloom and doom of initial tabloid reports, Swayze went on to star in the A&E cop drama, "The Beast."


Courtesy of: TV Guide, Today's News: Our Take

Patrick Swayze Dies at 57

by Tim Molloy

Patrick Swayze, who seamlessly blended sensitivity and brawn in roles as diverse as a dance instructor in Dirty Dancing and a surfing bank robber in Point Break, has died after playing a role that demanded more of his courage and determination than any other: cancer patient.

The 57-year-old star of Ghost and The Outsiders, who was nominated three times for an acting Golden Globe, endured a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Swayze's publicist said he died Monday with family at his side, according to the Associated Press.

Look back at Swayze's life in pictures

He fought until the end, even performing grueling stunts while filming his A&E drama series, The Beast. Co-star Travis Fimmel said in January that the strain of fighting the disease rarely showed 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."

Watch full episodes of The Beast

Swayze's mother, the head of the Houston Jazz Ballet Company, taught him dance at a young age. His love of ballet exposed him to teasing from classmates, and he turned to sports in high school, including gymnastics, swimming and football. He graduated with scholarship offers in football and dance.

The actor and his wife, Lisa Niemi

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I know, when I saw his name under this category just now all I could think was OH NO, it can't be. I'm sure he was suffering greatly towards the end, so I guess I am glad he can be at peace now. Gonna miss him. I LOVED him in Dirty Dancing, Roadhouse, Next of Kin, I could go on.....

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'Dirty Dancing' and 'Ghost' Actor Patrick Swayze

by Valerie J. Nelson


Actor and Dancer Patrick Swayze

LOS ANGELES, California -- Patrick Swayze, the actor and classically trained dancer whose role in the enduringly popular films, "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost," made him a movie star, one who struggled with the alienation of fame and against being typecast as a leading man, died Monday, September 14 from a long battle with cancer. He was 57.

Swayze died with his family at his side, his publicist, Annett Wolf, told the Associated Press. Early last year, Swayze learned he had pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis that came two weeks after production wrapped on the pilot of "The Beast," an A&E series in which Swayze starred as an unorthodox FBI agent.

Although the cancer was advanced, he was found to have a more controlled form of the disease and persuaded the network to go ahead with the series. It was shot over five months in Chicago while Swayze was undergoing chemotherapy and taking an experimental drug that targets tumors.


'Dirty Dancing' and 'Ghost' Actor Patrick Swayze

"I'm proud of what I'm doing," Swayze told the New York Times in October. "How do you nurture a positive attitude when all the statistics say you're a dead man? You go to work." Days before the series debuted in January, Swayze was admitted to a hospital with pneumonia, a turn that cast a pall over the launch of the show. He was released after a week and went home to rest.

His fame intruded on his final months as he wrestled with what he called the "reckless reporting" that regularly pronounced he was near death. Such coverage amounted to "emotional cruelty," he said, "when hope is so precious." When "Dirty Dancing" was released in 1987, it was a sleeper hit.

"Dirty Dancing" soared in large part because of Swayze's considerable charisma and dancing skills. Critics praised the ruffian nobility he brought to the character of Johnny Castle, a sexy-yet-sensitive dance instructor from the wrong side of the tracks. They also noted the red-hot chemistry between Swayze and his teen pupil, nicknamed Baby, played by Jennifer Grey.


Actor Patrick Swayze played dance instructor Johnny

Castle with Actress Erin Grey who portrayed Frances

'Baby' Houseman in the 1987 film, 'Dirty Dancing'

Their exuberant performances were considered career-making. To Swayze, the musical love story set at a Catskills resort worked because people relived "those wonderfully painful moments . . . when you just need to love somebody with all your heart, and to be loved back. . . . Plus, it was a pretty sexy movie," he told The Times in 1997.

In "Dirty Dancing's" climactic scene, Swayze delivers a line with swaggering perfection. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," he says as he defies her father and pulls her up for a final uplifting dance sequence. Fans said that scene secured the movie's place in the pantheon of best date movies of all time.

He turned down a reported $7 million to star in a "Dirty Dancing" sequel and resisted roles that would cast him as a hunk with a heart. "I look for curveballs in my life," Swayze told the Chicago Tribune in 1989.


Actor Patrick Swayze (far left) as Dalton in a scene

from the 1989 action-packed movie, 'Road House'

After appearing as a roughneck cop in "Next of Kin" and as a steely bouncer in "Road House" -- two 1989 movies that flopped -- he fought for a leading role in the romantic tear-jerker, "Ghost." Swayze told an interviewer that he thought the part would help him be seen as an actor, rather than the "dance dude" or "action guy."

In the film, Swayze is an investment banker who returns as a ghost to solve his murder and more fully express his love for his girlfriend, played by Demi Moore. Whoopi Goldberg, in an Oscar-winning role, is the reluctant medium who conveys his messages. The film struck a seductive chord with audiences and was a runaway hit.

"Ghost" confirmed Swayze's heartthrob status -- former Times movie critic Sheila Benson wondered in her 1990 review whether certain scenes had been earmarked "Swayze Shirt Opportunity" because he went without one so much. But the movie conferred legitimacy on Swayze as an actor.


Actress Demi Moore as Molly Jensen and Actor Patrick Swayze as

Sam Wheat in the popular 1990 romantic tearjerker, 'Ghost'

As People Magazine pronounced in 1990: Swayze "gave the flick . . . legs." The film seemed to assure a career for him as a leading man, but he went in other directions. He starred with Keanu Reeves in the 1991 action-packed movie, "Point Break," so he could become a licensed sky diver and surf big waves.

In the 1992 noble film, "City of Joy," Swayze was an idealistic American surgeon in Calcutta. Many critics said he was miscast but acquitted himself well. In the 1995 comedy romp, "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar," he played a drag queen on a cross country odyssey.

Defending his choices, Swayze said he was "fed up with that Hollywood blockbuster mentality." Cult movies "have given me a career for 30 years. It wouldn't have been worth it if I had been stuck as the leading man or the dance guy," he said, according to a story last year in the London Daily Express.

"The loneliness of fame" was a theme to which he often returned, cautioning in Playboy Magazine in 1992: Fame can make "you feel you've somehow pulled off an enormous hoax and that your whole life is a lie. All the hype wound up making me cynical, and I turned into a not-very-pretty drunk."


Actor Patrick Swayze with his wife, Lisa Niemi

He credited his wife, Lisa Niemi, a dancer he met back home in Texas and married in 1976, for pulling him back from a drinking problem that he said started after the death of his father in 1982 and seemed to keep pace with his growing fame. Swarmed by a crowd at a 1989 film premiere, Swayze destroyed his hotel room and realized he needed to quit drinking, he told People Magazine in 1990.

Swayze said he quit drinking the next day. But his drinking problem recurred, and he struggled with depression after his older sister, Vicki, committed suicide in 1994 and several friends died. An ultimatum from his wife sent him into rehab, he said in 2006 in the Sunday Times of London.

"I have a wild-man edge," Swayze once said. "If my life looks good, I sabotage it." He escaped from fame to the five-acre ranch the couple named Rancho Bizarro in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. They raised Arabian horses and peacocks.

He was born August 18, 1952, in Houston, the second of five children of Jesse and Patsy Swayze. His mother was a dance teacher and professional ballet choreographer who would choreograph the 1980 film, "Urban Cowboy." His father was an engineering draftsman whom Swayze called a "gentle cowboy."


Patrick Swayze (top row, far left) poses for a family picture in Houston, Texas in 1981.

The Swayze Family are: (top row, L-R) Patrick Swayze; his brothers, fellow actors Don

and Sean Kyle; his sister, Vicky Lynn; (bottom row, L-R) his mother, Patsy; his father,

Jesse Wayne and his adopted sister, Bambi in Houston, Texas in 1981

His mother taught Swayze to dance at an early age, and he was unmercifully bullied because of it. "I had to fight my way up from the days I was little," Swayze said in the Sunday Times story. After two years at San Jacinto College in Houston, Swayze dropped out to play Prince Charming in a touring "Disney on Parade" Ice Show. In 1972, he moved to New York, intent on a career in ballet.

His future wife, Niemi, whom he met at his mother's dance studio, was five years his junior. She followed after graduating from high school in 1975. Both landed jobs with The Joffrey Ballet's second company. Swayze joined The Eliot Feld Ballet Company in 1976, but after a year as a principal dancer, a knee injury from his high school football days flared up, ending his dance career.

Swayze turned exclusively to acting and was cast in the lead of "Grease" on Broadway, a role that had previously helped make stars of John Travolta and Barry Bostwick. The year he moved to Los Angeles, Swayze appeared in his first film -- 1979's "Skatetown, U.S.A.," as the leader of a roller-skating and dancing gang.

The movie has been called "amiably trashy," but his performance received an enthusiastic review from The Times' Kevin Thomas: "Not since Valentino did his tango in 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' has there been such a confident display of male sexuality as when a lithe newcomer to films named Patrick Swayze hits the rink."


Actor Patrick Swayze as Darrel 'Darry' Curtis

in the 1983 cult film, 'The Outsiders'

On television, he received attention for playing a leukemia victim on television series, "M*A*S*H*," in 1981. He said the role gave him hope that he could do quality work. In 1983, he appeared with Matt Dillon and other fledgling stars in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Outsiders," which boosted Swayze's career.

He starred in the first film widely distributed with a PG-13 rating, 1984's "Red Dawn." The violent Cold War film was largely dismissed as implausible by reviewers, but Swayze's performance as a young man who quickly becomes a leader of a group of rebels was praised for convincingly communicating his emotional torment. Grey, with whom he would re-team in "Dirty Dancing," was also in the cast.

He considered his first big break to be a starring role as Confederate soldier Orry Main in ABC's 1985 Civil War miniseries, "North and South." With his wife, Swayze co-starred in the futuristic film, "Steel Dawn," which was released in 1987 after "Dirty Dancing" but was not well-received.

Occasionally, he composed for movies, including writing and singing "She's Like the Wind" in "Dirty Dancing" and performing background music in "Road House." Throughout the 1990s, he sporadically appeared in films but remained largely out of the limelight. Thrown from a horse in 1997, he shattered his legs and left shoulder; it took 12 operations to rebuild them.


Co-Stars on and off the screen, Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa

Niemi, strike a pose for the poster of their film, 'One Last Dance'

In 2003, he fulfilled a long-held dream of making a dance movie with his wife, called "One Last Dance," based on her semi-autobiographical play about two aging ballerinas. Swayze called it his "swan song . . . the last time I could pull that kind of dancing off." Swayze believed in various forms of spiritualism and was always quick to say that he reveled in his marriage. The couple had no children.

When asked in 2004 what he did in his spare time, he told The Times that he didn't have any -- being a rancher, wildlife conservationist and actor-director-producer kept him busy. "I feel like I wasted time with stardom back in the '80s," Swayze said. "Now I want it all. I want to do as much as I can."

Swayze is survived by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi; his mother, Patsy, a dancer, dance instructor and choreographer; two younger brothers, Don, an actor and Sean Kyle, actor; and one adopted younger sister, Bambi. Swayze was preceded in death by his father, Jesse, an engineering draftsman, and sister, Vickie Lynn who committed suicide in 1994.

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I'm so sad.....I've probably watched Dirty Dancing 100 times or more... :( I loved one of his early movies too...."The Outsiders" I could relate to that movie growing up poor......

RIP Patrick....You Will Be Missed :pixiedust:

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Yes, The Outsiders, Ghost and DD I've seen many many times. Love them. Saw City of Joy in the theatre and hope to find it around one day to rent and see again. Always loved this man's honesty and heart. And those sexy dance moves, of course. RIP to an inspiration. Prayers out to Lisa.

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I lost count of the number of times I watched Dirty Dancing. It always put a smile on my face. :)

I was so happy for him when he beat his bout with pneumonia last January. He was a class act and will be missed by so many fans.

RIP Patrick and thank you for all your contributions to Hollywood.

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  • 3 months later...

Courtesy of: TV Guide, Today's News: Our Take

TV Guide Network Airs 'Dirty Dancing' Christmas Marathon

by Gina DiNunno

Nestle into your favorite corner: On Christmas Day, TV Guide Network will air a 12-hour marathon of "Dirty Dancing." Marathon airings of the 1987 coming-of-age story about dance and love, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, will air from noon on Friday, December 25, through midnight ET/PT.

"Sometimes a movie encapsulates a period or a moment in all of our lives in such a way that it never dies. And I think 'Dirty Dancing' did that," Swayze said in an interview featured on the film's 20th Anniversary DVD release.

Swayze, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for his turn as dance instructor, Johnny Castle, died in September at the age of 57 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.


WOW what a way to honor a great actor!!

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