Patrick Swayze

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Patrick Swayze
Patrick Swayze 2006.jpg
Swayze greeting fans after Guys and Dolls, September 27, 2006
BornPatrick Wayne Swayze
(1952-08-18)August 18, 1952
Houston, Texas, U.S.
DiedSeptember 14, 2009(2009-09-14) (aged 57)[1]
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of deathPancreatic cancer
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActor, dancer, singer-songwriter
Years active1978–2009
Spouse(s)Lisa Niemi
(m. 1975–2009, his death)
RelativesDon Swayze (brother)
 
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Patrick Swayze
Patrick Swayze 2006.jpg
Swayze greeting fans after Guys and Dolls, September 27, 2006
BornPatrick Wayne Swayze
(1952-08-18)August 18, 1952
Houston, Texas, U.S.
DiedSeptember 14, 2009(2009-09-14) (aged 57)[1]
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of deathPancreatic cancer
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActor, dancer, singer-songwriter
Years active1978–2009
Spouse(s)Lisa Niemi
(m. 1975–2009, his death)
RelativesDon Swayze (brother)

Patrick Wayne Swayze (/ˈswz/; August 18, 1952 – September 14, 2009)[1] was an American actor, dancer and singer-songwriter. He was best known for his tough-guy roles, as romantic leading men in the hit films Dirty Dancing and Ghost, and as Orry Main in the North and South television miniseries. He was named by People magazine as its "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991. His film and TV career spanned 30 years.

Diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in January 2008, Swayze told Barbara Walters a year later that he was "kicking it".[2] However, he died from the disease on September 14, 2009.[3] His last role was the lead in an ill-fated A&E TV series, The Beast, which premiered on January 15, 2009. Due to a prolonged decline in health, Swayze was unable to promote the series, and it was canceled by June 2009.[4]

Early life

Patrick Swayze was born on August 18, 1952, in Houston, Texas, the second child of Patsy Yvonne Helen (née Karnes; born 1927), a choreographer, dance instructor, and dancer, and Jesse Wayne Swayze (1925–1982), an engineering draftsman.[5][6][7] He had two younger brothers, actor Don Swayze (born 1958) and Sean Kyle (born 1962), and two sisters, Vickie Lynn (1949–1994) and Bambi.[5][8] He was a sixth cousin, once removed, of news commentator John Cameron Swayze, and a relative of noted Texas Revolution soldier Henry Karnes.[9] Swayze was raised Roman Catholic.[10]

Until the age of twenty, Swayze lived in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston, where he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School,[11] Oak Forest Elementary School,[12] Black Middle School,[12][13] and Waltrip High School.[12] During this time, he also pursued multiple artistic and athletic skills, such as ice skating, classical ballet, and acting in school plays. He played football for his high school and was hoping to receive a football scholarship for college until a knee injury ended his career. He studied gymnastics at nearby San Jacinto College for two years.[citation needed]

In 1972, he moved to New York City to complete his formal dance training at the Harkness Ballet and Joffrey ballet schools.

Career

Swayze's first professional appearance was as a dancer for Disney on Parade. He then starred as a replacement playing the role of Danny Zuko in the long-running Broadway production of Grease[14] before his debut film role as "Ace" in Skatetown, U.S.A.. He appeared as Pvt. Sturgis in the M*A*S*H episode "Blood Brothers" (1981)[15] and had a brief stint in 1982 on a short lived TV series The Renegades[16] playing a gang leader named Bandit. Swayze became known to the film industry after appearing in The Outsiders as the older brother of C. Thomas Howell and Rob Lowe. Swayze, Howell, and Howell's friend Darren Dalton reunited in Red Dawn the next year, and Lowe and Swayze reunited in Youngblood (1986). He was considered a member of the Brat Pack.[17] His first major success was in the 1985 television miniseries North and South, which was set during the American Civil War.[18]

Swayze and Paula Abdul at the 1990 Grammy Awards

Swayze's breakthrough role came with his performance as dance instructor Johnny Castle in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, alongside his Red Dawn co-star, Jennifer Grey. Dirty Dancing, a coming of age story, was a low-budget film that was intended to be shown in theaters for one weekend only and then go straight to video, but it became a surprise hit and achieved massive international success. It was the first film to sell one million copies on video, and as of 2009, it earned over $214 million worldwide and spawned several alternative versions, ranging from a television series to stage productions to a computer game. Swayze received a Golden Globe Award nomination for the role and sang one of the songs on the soundtrack, "She's Like the Wind", which he had originally co-written with Stacy Widelitz for the film Grandview, U.S.A. The song became a top ten hit and has been covered by other artists.

After Dirty Dancing, Swayze found himself typecast and appeared in several flops, of which Road House (1989) was the most successful. His biggest hit came in 1990, when he starred in Ghost with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.[19] In 1991, he starred alongside Youngblood cast mate Keanu Reeves in another major action hit, Point Break, and he was chosen by People magazine as that year's "Sexiest Man Alive".

Swayze was seriously injured in 1998 while filming HBO's Letters from a Killer near Ione, California, when he fell from a horse and hit a tree. Both of his legs were broken and he suffered four detached tendons in his shoulder. Filming was suspended for two months, and the film aired in 1999. Swayze recovered from his injuries, but he had trouble resuming his career until 2000, when he co-starred in Waking Up in Reno, with Billy Bob Thornton and Charlize Theron, and in Forever Lulu, with Melanie Griffith.

In 2001, he appeared in the cult classic Donnie Darko, wherein he played a famous motivational speaker revealed to be a closet pedophile, and in 2004, he played Allan Quartermain in King Solomon's Mines. He also had a cameo appearance in the Dirty Dancing sequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, as an unnamed dance instructor.

Swayze made his West End theatre début in the musical Guys and Dolls as Nathan Detroit on July 27, 2006,[20][21][22] alongside Neil Jerzak, and remained in the role until November 25, 2006. His previous appearances on the Broadway stage had included productions of Goodtime Charley (1975)[23] and Chicago.

Swayze also provided the voice for Cash the country music band dog in The Fox and the Hound 2 and in 2007 starred in the film Christmas in Wonderland. Swayze played an aging rock star in Powder Blue, co-starring his younger brother Don in their first film together. Swayze starred in the A&E FBI drama The Beast,[24] filmed in Chicago, as FBI Agent Charles Barker.[25]

Personal life

Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi, arrive at the 1989 Academy Awards ceremony

Swayze was married to Lisa Niemi from June 12, 1975, until his death. The couple first met in 1970 when Swayze was 18 years old. Niemi, 15 years old at the time, was taking dance lessons from Swayze's mother. Swayze and Niemi had no children.[26] In a 2008 interview, Swayze stated that Niemi was the inspiration for his 1987 hit song, "She's Like the Wind".[27]

As a reaction to his father's death at age 57 from a heart attack in 1982, Swayze began to drink heavily.[28] In 1989, Swayze said, "I've always felt there was something different in there (my personality), but I was scared to look for fear I wouldn't find anything. That's the reason I got into Buddhism, took EST training, was into therapy, into Scientology, into Transcendental Meditation. I was trying to support that side of myself. But, you know, in Texas there isn't much support for that part of you."[29] His sister Vicky committed suicide by drug overdose in 1994,[28] leading him to seek treatment for alcoholism. After an initial recovery, he temporarily withdrew from show business, retreating to his ranches in California and Las Vegas, New Mexico, to breed Arabian horses. His best-known horse was Tammen, a chestnut Arabian stallion.[30]

Swayze, who was a certified pilot with an instrument rating, made the news on June 1, 2000, while flying with his dogs in his twin-engine Cessna from Van Nuys, California to Las Vegas. His plane developed a pressurization problem, causing Swayze to make a precautionary landing on a dirt road in a housing complex in Prescott Valley. The plane's right wing struck a light pole, but Swayze was unharmed. He locked the cockpit, left the aircraft in the subdivision, and obtained a ride—with his dogs—from a passing vehicle, allegedly in order to telephone the authorities. According to the police report, witnesses said that Swayze appeared to be extremely intoxicated and asked for help to remove evidence—an open bottle of wine and a 30-pack of beer—from the crash site.[31] He made himself unavailable to police for several hours. It was later determined that the alcohol in question was not in the cabin, but stored in external storage compartments inaccessible in flight and that the probable cause of the accident was Swayze's physical impairment due to the cumulative effects of carbon monoxide from engine exhaust by-products, carbon monoxide from heavy tobacco use, and the loss of an undetermined amount of cabin pressurization.[32]

Illness and death

In late January 2008, Swayze was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer (specifically, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm). He traveled to the Stanford University Medical Center for chemotherapy and treatment with the experimental drug Vatalanib, the latter of which doctors hoped would cut off the blood supply to the tumor.[33] On March 5, 2008, a Reuters article reported that Swayze "has a very limited amount of disease, and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far."[34] Swayze's doctor confirmed that the actor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but insisted he was not as close to death as reports suggested. Despite repeated tabloid claims that his death was imminent, Swayze continued to actively pursue his career.[35]

In early May 2008, it was widely reported in a number of tabloids that Swayze had undergone surgery to remove part of his stomach after the cancer's spread and that he had rewritten his will, transferring his property to his wife.[36][37] In a statement made on May 28, Swayze said that he continued to respond well to treatment at Stanford University Medical Center. In late May 2008, he was seen at a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game, his first public appearance since his diagnosis.[38] In 2008 Swayze was treated with Cyberknife radiotherapy cancer treatment.[39]

In late July 2008, six months after reportedly being given just weeks to live by medical experts, a healthy-appearing[40] Swayze was asked by reporter in Los Angeles airport about his health. He replied, "I'm cooking. I'm a miracle dude. I don't know why".[41]

Swayze appeared on the ABC, NBC, and CBS simulcast of Stand Up to Cancer in September 2008, to appeal to the general public for donations for the initiative. Swayze said to a standing ovation "I dream that the word 'cure' will no longer be followed by the words 'it's impossible'. Together, we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse".[42] After the show ended, Swayze remained on-stage and talked to other cancer patients; executive producer Laura Ziskin said, "He said a beautiful thing: 'I'm just an individual living with cancer'. That's how he wants to be thought of. He's in a fight, but he's a fighter".[42][43] In late 2008, Swayze denied claims made by tabloids that the cancer had spread to his liver.[44] Swayze told Barbara Walters in January 2009 that he wanted the media to report that he was "kicking it".[2]

When Barbara Walters asked him if he was using any holistic or alternative methods of treatment besides the chemotherapy, Swayze admitted to using some Chinese herbs, but not much. He then voiced his opposition to the unsupported claims made by proponents of alternative therapies, as noted by ABC News journalist Joseph Brownstein:

Because of the grim prognosis, many patients turn to alternative therapies without scientific evidence behind them. Swayze did not.
"That's one thing I'm not gonna do, is chase, is chase staying alive. I'm not, you know, you'll spend so much time chasing staying alive you won't live, you know? I wanna live. If anybody had that cure out there like so many people swear to me they do, you'd be two things: you'd be very rich, and you'd be very famous. Otherwise, shut up," he told Barbara Walters in an interview that aired in January [2009].[45]

His last role was the lead in an A&E TV series, The Beast, which premiered on January 15, 2009. Owing to a prolonged decline in health, Swayze was unable to promote the series, and on June 15, 2009 the show was canceled.[4] In an interview with Barbara Walters which aired in January 2009, Swayze admitted that he had a "tiny little mass" in his liver. On January 9, 2009, Swayze was hospitalized with pneumonia. The pneumonia was said to be a complication of chemotherapy treatments for Swayze's cancer.[46] On January 16, he was released from the hospital to rest at home with his wife.[47] On April 19, 2009, doctors informed Swayze that the cancer had again metastasized to his liver.[48] Swayze stated that his chain smoking probably "had something to do with" the development of his disease. Photos taken of a gaunt Swayze in the months before his death showed him continuing to smoke.[49][50]

Swayze died with family at his side on September 14, 2009, at age 57, 20 months after being diagnosed.[51][52] Swayze's publicist, Annett Wolf, confirmed to CNN that he had died of pancreatic cancer.[53] He was cremated and his ashes scattered over his New Mexico ranch. He is survived by his wife Lisa Niemi, along with his mother, both brothers and one sister.

Swayze in hip hop culture

Swayze's name has become a commonly used term in hip hop songs.[54] Lyrics will use the phrase "...and I'm Swayze," meaning that the speaker has become "like a ghost", meaning he disappeared or is otherwise gone. This is a reference to the title character of Swayze's 1990 film Ghost. It is known to have begun in the early 1990s, by prominent rappers such as EPMD, Black Sheep, CL Smooth, and more recently by such rappers as The Notorious B.I.G. in 2Pac's song Runnin' (Dying to Live), Method Man, Aesop Rock, and in Mistah F.A.B.'s Ghost Ride It. The expression has become such a hip hop staple that it was even used in the Saturday Night Live hip hop parody, Lazy Sunday.

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1979Skatetown, U.S.A.Ace Johnson
1980The Comeback KidChuckTV movie
1981M*A*S*HPvt. Gary SturgisTV Series Season 9 Episode 18 - "Blood Brothers"
1983Uncommon ValorKevin Scott
The OutsidersDarrel "Darry" Curtis
RenegadesBandit
1984Red DawnJed Eckert
Grandview, U.S.A.Ernie "Slam" Webster
1985North and SouthOrry MainTV miniseries
1986YoungbloodDerek Sutton
North and South, Book IIOrry MainTV miniseries
1987Dirty DancingJohnny CastleNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Steel DawnNomad
1988Tiger WarsawChuck "Tiger" Warsaw
1989Next of KinTruman GatesNominated - Razzie Award for Worst Actor
Road HouseJames Dalton
1990GhostSam WheatNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor
Saturday Night LiveGuest Host, Oct. 27, 1990Memorable for sketch with Chris Farley auditioning to be Chippendales dancers
1991Point BreakBodhiNominated – MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Male
1992City of JoyMax Lowe
1993Father HoodJack Charles
1994Heaven & Hell: North and South, Book IIIOrry MainTV miniseries
Uncredited; archive footage from previous episodes
1995Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of
Pecos Bill
Pecos Bill
Three WishesJack McCloud
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie NewmarVida BohemeNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1998Letters from a KillerRace Darnell
Black DogJack Crews
2000Forever LuluBen Clifton
2001Donnie DarkoJim Cunningham
Green DragonGunnery Sergeant Jim Lance
2002Waking Up in RenoRoy Kirkendall
2003One Last DanceTravis MacPhearsonDirected by his wife, Lisa
11:14Frank
2004Dirty Dancing: Havana NightsDance class instructorPrequel to Dirty Dancing
George and the DragonGarth
King Solomon's MinesAllan Quatermain
2005Keeping MumLance
IconJason Monk
2006The Fox and the Hound 2Cash (voice)Animated film
2007Jump!Richard Pressburger
Christmas in WonderlandWayne Saunders
2009Powder BlueVelvet Larry
The BeastCharles BarkerTV series

References

  1. ^ a b "Actor Patrick Swayze Dies at 57". CBS. September 14, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Patrick Swayze: The Truth — A Barbara Walters Special" (video). 20/20 (ABC). January 7, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ 'Dirty Dancing' star Patrick Swayze dies at 57
  4. ^ a b "A&E's 'Beast' gets canceled". Variety. June 3, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Biography at Don Swayze's Official Site.
  6. ^ "Patrick Swayze Biography". Film Reference. 
  7. ^ "Ancestry of Patrick Swayze". Genealogy.com. 
  8. ^ Bernstein, Adam (September 15, 2009). "Patrick Swayze, 57". Washington Post. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  9. ^ Barnes, Michael (March 18, 2008). "Patrick Swayze’s Austin aunt speaks out". Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Hollywood rallies around Patrick Swayze as he vows to continue work during his cancer battle". London: Daily Mail. March 7, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2010. :("Swayze was raised Roman Catholic.")
  11. ^ "Patrick Swayze". The Daily Telegraph. September 15, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c Distinguished Houston Independent School District Alumni. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  13. ^ "F.M. Black Middle School, Houston, Texas - General Information. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  14. ^ Grease, Replacement Cast at Internet Broadway Database
  15. ^ M*A*S*H (episode #9.18, April 6, 1981) at the Internet Movie Database.
  16. ^ The Renegades (TV series) at Internet Movie Database.
  17. ^ Tim Molloy (September 14, 2009). "Patrick Swayze Dies at 57". TVGuide.com. Retrieved September 14, 2009. 
  18. ^ (in German) Patrick Swayze - Biografie auf Gala.de
  19. ^ Dirty Dancing, The E! True Hollywood Story, first aired September 3, 2000
  20. ^ "Swayze Set To Make West End Début". BBC News. June 2, 2006. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Patrick Swayze Postpones Run in West End Guys and Dolls". BroadwayWorld.com. July 7, 2006. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  22. ^ Nathan, John (July 27, 2006). "Swayze Makes London Debut in Guys and Dolls July 27". Playbill. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  23. ^ Goodtime Charley Opening Night Cast at Internet Broadway Database.
  24. ^ Bryant, Adam (November 25, 2008). "Patrick Swayze Wraps Filming on New TV Show". TV Guide. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  25. ^ Lafayette, Jon (June 7, 2008). "A&E Puts Swayze's 'Beast' Into Production". http://www.tvweek.com. Retrieved May 29, 2009. 
  26. ^ "Patrick Swayze Battling Pancreatic Cancer". Baltimore Sun. March 5, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2009. 
  27. ^ "Patrick Swayze - RIP". LuckyBogey's Blog. March 11, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Middlehurst, Lester (November 29, 2005). "Drink, Suicide and Why I Turned Against Hollywood". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved May 24, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Patrick Swayze - Trying to make all the right moves - The former dancer is still fighting for some respect". St. Petersburg Times. May 19, 1989. p. 18. 
  30. ^ Actor, dancer, equestrian Patrick Swayze dies at age 57. Online Horsetrader. October 1, 2009.
  31. ^ "Prescott Valley Police Department Report". Prescott Valley, Arizona: AVWeb, Aviation Publishing Group. June 8, 2000. 
  32. ^ "NTSB Identification: LAX00FA213". 
  33. ^ Mann, Denise (2009-09). "Patrick Swayze Dies of Pancreatic Cancer -Star Had Advanced Pancreatic Cancer, Served as Cancer Research Advocate". 
  34. ^ Whitcomb, Dan (March 5, 2008). "Dirty Dancing Star Patrick Swayze Has Cancer". Reuters. 
  35. ^ Huso, Deborah (September 2009). "Patrick Swayze Dies from Pancreatic Cancer". AOL Health. Retrieved September 2009. 
  36. ^ Hall, Christi (May 9, 2008). "Patrick Swayze Continues His Brave Battle With Cancer". The National Ledger. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  37. ^ "Patrick Swayze Transfers Millions to Wife". One India. May 7, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2009. 
  38. ^ "Patrick Swayze 'Responding Well'". BBC News. May 28, 2008. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  39. ^ Thomas, Liz (July 21, 2008). "Patrick Swayze Has Cyberknife Radiotherapy". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved May 29, 2009. 
  40. ^ Anita Singh (July 21, 2008). "Patrick Swayze says he is a 'miracle' following treatment for pancreatic cancer". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Patrick Swayze: ‘I’m A Miracle’". Access Hollywood. July 22, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2009. 
  42. ^ a b "Dreaming of a Cure". People. September 22, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2009.  (Swayze on Stand Up to Cancer).
  43. ^ "Swayze 'May Live Only Two Years'". BBC News. January 7, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  44. ^ Patrick Swayze Calls Tabloid Reports on Condition "Lies"" TV Guide. December 2, 2008. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  45. ^ Joseph Brownstein, Did Swayze's Dancing Help in Cancer Battle? ABC News Medical Unit, Sept. 16, 2009
  46. ^ Santos, Kristin Dos; Godwin, Jennifer (Jan. 9, 2009) "Patrick Swayze Hospitalized With Pneumonia". |E! Entertainment.
  47. ^ "Actor Patrick Swayze Released From Hospital". Thomson Reuters. January 16, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  48. ^ King, Tim (April 19, 2009). Patrick Swayze Gravely Ill But Very Much Alive Salem (Oregon) News. April 19, 2009.
  49. ^ MacIntyre, April (January 8, 2009). "Patrick Swayze's Smoking Regrets". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved May 29, 2009. 
  50. ^ "Gaunt Patrick Swayze Defiantly Chain-Smokes As He Battles Cancer". London: Daily Mail. February 14, 2009. Retrieved May 29, 2009. 
  51. ^ Lemire, Christie. "'Dirty Dancing' star Patrick Swayze at 57". Seattle Times. September 14, 2009.
  52. ^ "US film star Patrick Swayze dies." BBC. September 15, 2009.
  53. ^ "Patrick Swayze dies of cancer at 57". CNN.com. September 14, 2009.
  54. ^ "Patrick Swayze: Hip Hop Icon". Ivan. hiphopisread.com. September 14, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Tom Cruise
People's Sexiest Man Alive
1991
Succeeded by
Nick Nolte