Patrick Swayze Biography

Patrick Swayze was a renowned American actor who portrayed different characters and is known for his film ‘Dirty Dancing’. This biography provides detailed information about his childhood, profile, career and timeline

Patrick Swayze
Quick Facts

Nick Name: Buddy

Birthday: August 18, 1952

Nationality: American

Famous: Alcoholics Actors

Died At Age: 57

Sun Sign: Leo

Also Known As: Patrick Wayne Swayze, Buddy

Born in: Houston

Famous as: Actor


Spouse/Ex-: Lisa Niemi

father: Jesse Wayne Swayze

mother: Patsy Yvonne Helen Swayze

siblings: Bambi Swayze, Don Swayze, Sean Kyle Swayze, Vickie Lynn Swayze

Died on: September 14, 2009

place of death: Los Angeles

Cause of Death: Cancer

City: Houston, Texas

U.S. State: Texas

More Facts

education: Joffrey Ballet, San Jacinto College, Harkness Ballet, Waltrip High School, Beverly Hills Playhouse Acting School

Humanitarian Work: Associated with charitable program ‘Stand Up to Cancer’.

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Patrick Swayze was one of the most versatile actors that Hollywood has produced and the characters which he portrayed firmed his position in the film industry. His father was an engineer and his mother was a choreographer who owned a dancing school. Patrick developed an interest for dance and learnt dancing from his mother. Later, he joined other dancing institutions at New York to enhance his talent. He was also good at other activities like swimming, football and gymnastics. At New York, his first dance performance as a professional was for the ‘Disney on Parade’ event. He then made a shift from dancing to acting and appeared in minor roles in television. Eventually, his potential for acting was recognized by people in the business and he got his break in the big screen. His first major role was in the film ‘The Outsiders’ and gradually, he became a known face of Hollywood. The film ‘Dirty Dancing’ can be regarded as a benchmark in his career as well as in Hollywood. He has always been passionate about dancing and in this film he played the character of a dancer. Patrick’s exceptional performance in the film earned him a ‘Golden Globe Award’ nomination. However, his career met with an abrupt stop when he was diagnosed with cancer, and it eventually resulted in his death

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Patrick Swayze
Childhood & Early Life
  • He was born to Jesse Wayne Swayze and Patsy Swayze on 18th August, 1952, in Houston, Texas. His father was a draftsman for chemical plant engineering and his mother ran a dancing school in Houston. He has four siblings named Don Swayze, Sean Kyle, Vickie Lynn and Bambi and he was the second Swayze child.
  • He spent his early life in Oak Forest, Houston, and received education from ‘St. Rose of Lima Catholic School’, ‘Oak Forest Elementary School’, ‘Black Middle School’ and ‘Waltrip High School’. He was engaged in many extra curriculum activities such as swimming, gymnastics, football and dancing.
  • He got trained in gymnastics at ‘San Jacinto College’ and in 1972, he travelled to New York and got dance training at institutes like ‘Harkness Ballet School’ and ‘Joffrey Ballet School’. His first dance performance as a professional was for the ‘Disney on Parade’ event.
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  • He made his debut in the Broadway with musical entitled ‘Grease’. In 1979, he got his first break in the big screen with the movie ‘Skatetown, U.S.A.’, which was a comedy film.
  • In 1981, he featured in a television show named ‘Blood Brothers’ in the episode entitled ‘MASH’. The same year, he also worked in the television drama film ‘Return of the Rebels’.
  • His role in the 1983 film ‘The Outsiders’ earned him recognition and the following year, he also appeared in the ‘Red Dawn’. The following year, he worked in the movie ‘Grandview U.S.A.’.
  • In 1985, he appeared in the TV miniseries ‘North and South’ and this became a milestone in his acting career. The following year, he starred in the drama film ‘Youngblood’.
  • The film which established him in the film industry was ‘Dirty Dancing’, released in 1987, where he portrayed a dance trainer named Johnny Castle. The movie met with unexpected success and became an immediate hit.
  • He also sang ‘She’s Like the Wind’ for the movie which is a power ballad, and till date this song has been sung by many other singers. This song was written by Swayze along with Stacy Widelitz which was supposed to be used in the film ‘Grandview, U.S.A.’.
  • He then got many film projects and during 1987-90, he worked in movies such as ‘Steel Dawn’, ‘Tiger Warsaw’, ‘Next of Kin’,’ Road House’, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’. His performance in the film ‘Ghost’ was highly appreciated and can be regarded as his first major role as a lead.
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  • The following year, he worked in action crime movie ‘Point Break’, this movie earned him a nomination at ‘MTV Movie Award’ for ‘Most Desirable Man’, and was named the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ by the ‘People’ magazine.
  • During 1992-95, he worked in movies such as ‘City of Joy; ‘Father Hood’, ‘Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill’, ‘Three Wishes’ and ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar’.
  • In 1998, he worked in movies like ‘Letters from the Killer’ and ‘Black Dog’. While shooting for the film ‘Letters from the Killer’ he met with an accident and was bed ridden for a long time.
  • Both his legs were fractured and he even hurt his shoulder when he fell from a horse and smashed into a tree. The production of the movie was delayed and it was released the following year.
  • He gradually recovered from the injury and in the year 2000, resumed his acting career with the film ‘Forever Lulu’. The following year, he worked in the movies ‘Donnie Darko’ and ‘Green Dragon’.
  • From 2002 to 2009, this gifted actor worked in various films and television series such as ‘Waking Up in Reno’, ‘One Last Dance’, ‘11:14’, ‘Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights’, ‘George and the Dragon’, ‘King Solomon's Mines’, ‘Keeping Mum’, ‘Icon’, ‘The Fox and the Hound 2’, ‘Jump!’, ‘Christmas in Wonderland’, ‘Powder Blue’ and ‘The Beast’.
  • During this era, he also worked in mainstream theatre the ‘West End theatre’ when he acted in the musical ‘Guys and Dolls’. He even lent his voice in the animated movie ‘The Fox and the Hound 2’ for the character called Cash.
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Major Works
  • This versatile actor’s role in the movie ‘The Outsiders’ made him known to Hollywood. However, the film which marked his place in the film industry is ‘Dirty Dancing’ where he played the role of a dance trainer. As he was always passionate about dancing, he did justice to the role. The film garnered huge profits and it sold one million video copies till 2009, which is a record in itself.
Awards & Achievements
  • This actor received many award nominations including the ‘Golden Globe Award’ however, did not win any.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • On 12th June, 1975, he married actor-director Lisa Niemi, after a courtship of about five years. Lisa learnt dancing from Patrick’s mother Patsy Swayze, and this is how the two encountered each other.
  • His father’s death impacted him so much that he sought refuge in alcohol and his sister’s death furthered this addiction. Later, he undertook rehabilitation to overcome his addiction. He got acquainted to Buddhism and even took ‘EST Training’, underwent ‘Scientology’ and also practised ‘Transcendental Meditation’.
  • In 2008, he was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer and in spite of the disease; this talented actor continued his acting career.
  • On 14th September, 2009, after a long battle with this dreadful disease, he breathed his last, and his ashes were scattered over his estate situated in New Mexico.
  • In 1989, he received a ‘Razzie Award for Worst Actor’ nomination for his films ‘Next of Kin’ and ‘Road House’.

1. Dirty Dancing (1987)

  (Drama, Romance, Music)

2. Ghost (1990)

  (Romance, Drama, Thriller, Fantasy)

3. Road House (1989)

  (Action, Thriller)

4. The Outsiders (1983)

  (Drama, Crime)

5. Point Break (1991)

  (Action, Thriller, Crime, Drama)

6. Donnie Darko (2001)

  (Thriller, Sci-Fi, Drama)

7. Red Dawn (1984)

  (Action, Drama)

8. To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995)

  (Drama, Comedy)

See the events in life of Patrick Swayze in Chronological Order

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Article Title
- Patrick Swayze Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- July 25, 2017

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