Patrick Swayze (born 18.8.1952) (died 14.9.2009)
Patrick Swayze is an American actor. His most famous film appearances are the lead roles that he played in Dirty Dancing and Ghost.
Patrick Swayze: Childhood
Patrick Swayze was born and raised in Houston, Texas. His father Jessie, was an engineering drafter. His mother Patsy was a choreographer and dance instructor.
Swayze attended the St Rose of Lima Catholic School, Oak Forest Elementary School, Black Middle School and Waltrip High School. Swayze took part in a number of school plays and also studied gymnastics for two years. He later toured as Prince Charming in the Disney on Ice show. He moved to New York in 1972, where he studied at the Harkness Ballet School and Joffrey Ballet School.
Patrick Swayze: Performing Career
Swayze's Broadway debut was as Danny Zuko in the stage version of Grease. This was followed by his film debut as Ace in the film Skatetown U.S.A. in 1979. Swayze then appeared in a number of successful films such as The Outsiders (1983), Red Dawn (1984), and Youngblood (1986). Swayze's television appearances around this time include a role in an episode of M*A*S*H and the American Civil War drama, North and South, which was Swayze's first breakthrough success.
The film Dirty Dancing, released in 1987 was the venture that really propelled Patrick Swayze to super-stardom. His dance skills came in handy for the film, in which he starred alongside Jennifer Grey. The film was originally intended for a short-term cinema release but became a surprise success. To date, the film has earned over $300 million and was the first ever feature film to sell a million video copies. The film earned Patrick Swayze his first Golden Globe nomination. The song 'She's Like The Wind', from the soundtrack, was sung by Swayze and became a Top 10 hit.
Three years later, Swayze found himself starring in another international hit when he starred in Ghost alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. The next year, he joined up with his co-star in Youngblood, Keanu Reeves in Point Break, a big-budget action film.
In 1996, Swayze broke both his legs and detached four tendons in his shoulder whilst filming Letters from a Killer. The accident happened when he fell from a horse and hit a tree. Although the filming was eventually completed, Swayze struggled to fully resume his acting career until 2000. That year, he starred alongside Billy Bob Thornton and Charlize Theron in the film Waking Up in Reno. He also co-starred with Melanie Griffith in Forever Lulu.
The successful indie film, Donnie Darko (2001), featured Patrick Swayze, as well as Drew Barrymore and Jake Gyllenhaal. A few years' later in 2004, Swayze had a cameo role as a dance instructor in the Dirty Dancing sequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.
His London stage debut came in 2006 when he appeared in Guys and Dolls between July and November. The next year, Swayze returned to the movie world, appearing in the film Christmas in Wonderland and filmed Powder Blue, in which he plays an ageing rock star. His brother, Don Swayze also appears in the film. It was the brothers' first film appearance together.
Patrick Swayze: Personal Life
Patrick Swayze married Lisa Niemi in 1975. The couple remain married.
Swayze lost his father in 1982 and 12 years later, his sister Vicky also passed away. The incidents caused him to start drinking heavily and following his sister's death he sought treatment for alcoholism. Following his recovery, he ceased his acting work and retreated to his ranches in New Mexico and California, where he breeds horses. However, in June 2000, Swayze suffered a minor crash in his small aircraft. Before calling the police, he asked a member of the public to help him to remove an open bottle of wine and several cans of beer from the aircraft. Witnesses claimed that Swayze appeared to be intoxicated. It was later claimed that the alcohol was in a storage compartment and that the intoxicated state was due to the hypoxia caused by the swift descent.
In January 2008, Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. He has been undergoing chemotherapy at the Stanford University Medical Research Center. It has been reported that Swayze continued to smoke cigarettes, even after his diagnosis of cancer. Swayze continued to act in TV and Film roles whilst suffering with illness.
On September 14th 2009 Patrick Swayze lost his battle with cancer. On the same day TV Chef Keith Floyd died of a heart attack.