September 14, 2019 is the tenth anniversary of the passing of Patrick Swayze.
Paramount Network’s recent documentary I am Patrick Swayze aired Sunday, August 18, 2019 on what would have been the icon’s 67th birthday.
The documentary gave a candid look at who Patrick was and the struggles he faced. Those who knew the actor/dancer/singer/songwriter shared their memories of him. Swayze was charismatic and talented, excelling in anything he set out to do. He pushed himself to the limit. But his inner demons often tortured him.
Although Swayze starred in films Skatetown USA, Grandview USA, The Outsiders, Uncommon Valor and Red Dawn, I first became introduced to Patrick’s work in 1985 when he played Orry Main in the ABC Novel for Television miniseries adaptation of John Jakes’ novel North and South, which told the story of two sons one from the north and the other from the south who meet twenty years before the Civil War and develop a life long friendship. Patrick brilliantly brought Jakes’ southern hero to life as though the character had been written with Swayze in mind. North and South quickly became my favorite movie where it has remained for thirty-four years.
I think it’s a pity Swayze’s television role in North and South is often overlooked in favor for his memorable films. It was Dirty Dancing which propelled Patrick Swayze to stardom. He co-wrote and sang “She’s Like the Wind” After the surprising success of Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze became in demand for more movie roles. His next successful film was Ghost with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.
Patrick Swayze was married Lisa Niemi, who he met at his mother Patsy’s dance studio, in 1975. Their storybook romance lasted until his death. The couple had no children.
In 2007 while filming his last television project The Beast, Swayze was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. He succumbed to the disease on September 14, 2009.
Patrick Swayze was one of those unforgettable performers with a long lasting legacy.
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