Table of Contents
The Real Dirty Dancing: Trailer released from E4
Dirty Dancing, the 1987 hit and everyone’s favorite classic, airs Saturday nights at 8pm on Channel 5. In the romantic drama, Swayze plays Johnny Castle, a resort dancer who teaches Jennifer Gray’s character, Frances “Baby” Houseman, how to dance before they inevitably fall in love. The film was one of Swayze’s most iconic roles and made him a big name in Hollywood.
But off screen he had his own real love story with his wife Lisa Niemi Swayze, who supported him during his battle with pancreatic cancer that eventually took his life.
The couple met in 1970 when Swayze was 18 and Lisa was 14. At that time she took dance lessons from the mother of her future husband.
They married on June 12, 1975 and remained together for 34 years until Swayze’s death in 2009 at the age of 57.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight after the death of her husband, whom she affectionately called “Buddy,” Lisa shared the story of how dance brought them together.
She said: “The first time Buddy and I danced together was at a school show. We went on stage. I looked into his eyes, it was like everything came alive.”
Patrick Swayze News: Swayze’s last words to his wife were ‘I love you’
Patrick Swayze News: Swayze and Niemi were married for 34 years
In her 2011 book, Worth Fighting For, Lisa spoke about the love and heartbreak the couple endured as he battled the disease that would eventually overwhelm him.
She said watching her husband die was the “worst thing you’ve had to go through in the world,” but also said it was “wonderful” that the actor lived 22 months after his cancer diagnosis.
She described tender moments, “holding his hand, listening to music, sleeping with my arm around him.”
She wrote: “You spend every day fighting for this person’s life. I know he fought for himself every day.”
And when it came time to say goodbye, she revealed her husband’s last words, saying: “My last words to Patrick? ‘I love you’ and those were his last words to me.”
She wrote of his intimate final moments: “In the stillness of Monday morning, September 14th, looking at his face and listening to the tiny drafts of air he was breathing, I didn’t want to leave the room.
READ MORE: Whoopi Goldberg’s admission that Patrick Swayze helped her win an Oscar
Patrick Swayze News: Dirty Dancing remains a popular film
Patrick Swayze news: He starred in Dirty Dancing with Jennifer Gray
“I was afraid that he would suddenly be afraid. I lay down at Buddy’s side, I held his hand and felt his pulse again…was it? … was it? And then he stopped breathing.”
In the wake of her grief, she said, “When you lose someone you never stop loving them and it’s … I feel like I have a different relationship with them now.
“It’s just that he’s not physically present, know what I mean?”
Not only Swayze’s wife has fond memories of him – his co-stars also knew him as a likeable character, even if one of his most famous on-screen romances got off to a rocky start.
Earlier this month, Swayze’s Dirty Dancing co-star Jennifer Gray revealed how she was talked into doing the film.
She said Swayze tearfully apologized to her to bring her on board as he didn’t enjoy working with him on the 1984 film Red Dawn.
DO NOT MISS
Braun Strowman shares a BEAUTIFUL photo with WWE Star Roman Reigns [INSIGHT]
Dirty Dancing 30 Years On: Where Are The Cast Now? [INSIGHT]
Kate Garraway STRADDLES Jeremy Kyle before he COLLAPSE at GMB Today [ANALYSIS]
Patrick Swayze News: Niemi gives a speech in California in 2014
Speaking to The View last month, she said: “Patrick was playing pranks on me and everyone.
“[He was] too late and the boss of everyone and it was just macho and I just couldn’t take it. I was just like, ‘Please, this guy, that’s enough with him.’”
When Gray refused to work with him on Dirty Dancing, Swayze tried to fix things.
Gray continued, “He pulled me down the hall and said to me, ‘I love you, I love you and I’m so sorry. And I know you don’t want me to do the film.
“He had tears in his eyes. And I got tears in my eyes, not for the same reason.
“I was like, ‘Oh, this guy is editing me.’ And he says, ‘We could kill it. We could kill it if we do, and I said, ‘OK, honey.’
“We go in there and he takes me in his arms and I was like, ‘Oh boy. I’m done.’ There was no competition.”