Lisa Niemi

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Lisa Niemi Swayze
Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi.jpg
Niemi and her husband Patrick Swayze on the red carpet at the 1989 Academy Awards
BornLisa Anne Haapaniemi
(1956-05-26) May 26, 1956 (age 57)
Houston, Texas, USA
EthnicityFinnish American
Alma materHouston Ballet Dance Company - (High school diploma, 1974)
OccupationActress, dancer, director, writer, choreographer
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)Patrick Swayze (m. 1975–2009; his death)
 
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Lisa Niemi Swayze
Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi.jpg
Niemi and her husband Patrick Swayze on the red carpet at the 1989 Academy Awards
BornLisa Anne Haapaniemi
(1956-05-26) May 26, 1956 (age 57)
Houston, Texas, USA
EthnicityFinnish American
Alma materHouston Ballet Dance Company - (High school diploma, 1974)
OccupationActress, dancer, director, writer, choreographer
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)Patrick Swayze (m. 1975–2009; his death)

Lisa Niemi Swayze (born May 26, 1956), also known by her stage name, Lisa Niemi, is an American writer, director, actress and dancer. She is the widow of actor, singer, and dancer Patrick Swayze. They were married for 34 years, from 1975 until his death in 2009.

Early life[edit]

Born Lisa Anne Haapaniemi on May 26, 1956, in Houston, Texas,[1] the only daughter and fifth of six children to Finnish immigrants Edmond Melvin Haapaniemi (October 11, 1914 – February 1984)[2] and Edna Karin Hyttinen (born March 17, 1928).[citation needed] Niemi's mother worked as a nurse; she would later cite this as her inspiration and encouragement.[3] She graduated from the Houston Ballet Dance Company in 1974.[4]

Career[edit]

Films[edit]

Niemi Swayze wrote, directed and starred in the 2003 film One Last Dance alongside Swayze.[5][6] One Last Dance was based on Without a Word, a successful play written 18 years before which had won six Drama Critics Awards. Niemi said, "It was basically based on our experiences as concert dancers in New York, and it affected people a lot."[7]

She co-starred in Steel Dawn (1987)[8] with Swayze and co-starred in Beat Angel (2004). Niemi also appeared in Letters from a Killer, Next of Kin, Younger and Younger, Live! From Death Row, She's Having a Baby and Slam Dance. Patsy Swayze choreographed the films Urban Cowboy and Grandview, U.S.A. Niemi directed Dance, a 1990 film. [9]

Television[edit]

Niemi co-starred as Carla Frost in 23 episodes of the TV series Super Force from 1990 to 1991.[10][11][12] She once again directed her husband, this time in an episode of his TV series The Beast. The episode, titled "My Brother's Keeper", aired on April 9, 2009. It was his last performance before his death.

Books[edit]

On September 29, 2009, Niemi Swayze released a memoir, The Time of My Life (ISBN 9781439158586), which became a New York Times Best Seller, and had been co-written by Swayze, and was finished just shortly before his death.[13][14] On January 2, 2012, Niemi Swayze released her New York Time Best Selling memoir, "Worth Fighting For."

Personal life[edit]

At the Houston Ballet Dance Company, Niemi met the owner and director's son, Patrick Swayze; the two eventually began dating when she was 15 years old. Niemi and Swayze were married from June 12, 1975[15][16] until Swayze's death from pancreatic cancer on September 14, 2009. Shortly after they wed, the couple moved to New York City to pursue their dance careers until the late 1970s, when they relocated to Los Angeles, California. In addition to dancing and filmmaking, they ran a construction business and raised horses together.[17][18] The Swayzes had no children.[19]

In 1985, Niemi Swayze began living on a 5-acre (20,000 m2) homestead near the Angeles National Forest, along with a "menagerie of dogs, prized Arabian horses and rodeo cattle."[15] She also had a 20,000-acre (81 km2) ranch in New Mexico.[20]

She is a licensed pilot and flew Swayze to the cancer treatments prior to his death.[15] While filming One Last Dance in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Niemi was made an honorary citizen of the Canadian city.[21] After her husband's death, she became the Chief Ambassador of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. In July 2011, she was honored with the title of dame and invested in the Royal Order of Francis I. On December 28, 2013, it was announced that she had gotten engaged to Albert DePrisco, a jeweler whom she had met about a year and a half before.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lisa Niemi". IMDb - The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  2. ^ Social Security Death Index
  3. ^ "Lisa Niemi: 'I Miss Patrick So Much'". People. September 20, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  4. ^ "Patrick Swayze dies of cancer at 57". CNN. September 14, 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  5. ^ Robertson, Campbell (August 25, 2005). "Residents of Florida...". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  6. ^ "One Last Dance". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  7. ^ Mitovich, Matt (August 26, 2005). "Patrick Swayze and His Wife Do a Dance". TV Guide. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  8. ^ Goodman, Walter. "Steel Dawn". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  9. ^ "Dance". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  10. ^ Stanley, Alessandra. "Super Force". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  11. ^ Sauter, Michael (December 3, 2003). "Super Force". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  12. ^ Schindehette, Susan (August 6, 1990). "Ghost with the Most". People Magazine. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  13. ^ "Lisa Niemi: Healing From the Loss of Patrick Swayze". WebMD. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  14. ^ "Patrick Swayze's Wife, Lisa Niemi: 'Lucky to Have Had Him'". ABC News. November 3, 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  15. ^ a b c Tauber, Michelle (March 24, 2008). "People". Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  16. ^ Blas, Lorena (March 6, 2008). "Patrick Swayze Battling a Deadly Form of Cancer". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  17. ^ "Fighting Together". People. March 24, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  18. ^ "Patrick Swayze's widow urges more research funds for pancreatic cancer". CNN. February 17, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  19. ^ "Patrick Swayze Battling Pancreatic Cancer". Baltimore Sun. March 5, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2009. 
  20. ^ Wong, Marisa (March 28, 2007). "Dirty Dancing...". People Magazine. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  21. ^ King, Randall (March 10, 2001). "Swayze crazy about 'Peg". Canoe.com. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  22. ^ Jordan, Julie (December 28, 2013). "Patrick Swayze's widow, Lisa Niemi, is engaged". People Magazine. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 

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