Patrick Wayne Swayze was born on August 18, 1952, in Houston, Texas, the second child of Patsy Swayze, a choreographer, dance instructor, and dancer, and Jesse Wayne Swayze, an engineering draftsman. He had two younger brothers, actor Don (born 1958) and Sean Kyle (born 1962), and two sisters, Vickie Lynn (1949–1994) and Bambi. Swayze and his siblings were raised in their mother's Roman Catholic faith.
Until the age of 20, Swayze lived in the Oak Forest neighbourhood of Houston, where he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, Oak Forest Elementary School, Black Middle School, and Waltrip High School. During this time, he 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 also concurrently practiced martial arts such as Wushu, Taekwondo and Aikido, which he used to channel his "self-deprecating rage". In 1972, he moved to New York City to complete his formal dance training at the Harkness Ballet and Joffrey Ballet schools.
|Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979)|
Swayze's breakthrough role came with his performance as dance instructor Johnny Castle in the film Dirty Dancing (1987), 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 theatres for one weekend only and then be released on video, but it became a surprise hit and achieved an enormous international success. It was the first film to sell one million copies on video, and as of 2009, it had 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. (1984). The song became a top-10 hit and has been covered by other artists.
During his career Swayze received three Golden Globe Award nominations, for Dirty Dancing (1987), Ghost (1990), and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995). His other films included The Outsiders (1983), Road House (1989), and Point Break (1991). He was posthumously awarded the Rolex Dance Award in 2009.
In January 2008, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He fought the illness for well over a year and was able to continue working, but died on September 14, 2009.
Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama dance film written by Eleanor Bergstein, directed by Emile Ardolino and starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, and featuring Cynthia Rhodes and Jerry Orbach.
Originally a low-budget film by a new studio, Vestron Pictures, Dirty Dancing became a box office hit. As of 2009, it has earned over $214 million worldwide. It was the first film to sell more than a million copies on home video, and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack created by Jimmy Ienner generated two multi-platinum albums and multiple singles, including "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", which won both the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song, and a Grammy Award for best duet. The film's popularity led to a 2004 prequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and a stage version which has had sell out performances in Australia, Europe, and North America.
Dirty Dancing tells the story of Baby, a young woman who's deciding what direction she wants to take her life as she enters adulthood. Luckily, she has an entire summer to figure it out at Kellerman's, a resort where her family goes every summer to relax, swim, do daytime activities and, yes, even dance.
It's dancing that gets Baby involved with Johnny Castle, one of the handsome dance instructors at Kellerman's. After a personal tragedy strikes Johnny's dance partner, Penny, Baby agrees to help Johnny out — but first, she has to learn how to dance. From there, romance blooms quickly between Baby and Johnny, and soon these two are trying to decide if they can make their romance last long after the summer ends.