On August 18, 1952, a baby boy was born in Houston, Texas. The parents were Patsy Swayze and Jesse Wayne Swayze. The boy was named Patrick Wayne Swayze and grew up with four siblings: Vickie, Don, Sean and Bambi. His father was an engineer and his mother was a choreographer, dance instructor and dancer. His mother owned a dance studio in Houston where Patrick learned to dance ballet.
While learning ballet, he met another student, Lisa Niemi, who was taking dance lessons from Patrick Swayze’s mother, Patsy. Five years later, on 12 June 1975, they were married. By then they had known each other since he was 19 and she was 15. Shortly after the wedding, Lisa received a scholarship to dance in New York, so the couple went there to pursue their careers. They remained there until the late 1970s, when they moved to Los Angeles, California.
Parents of Patrick Swayze
As previously mentioned, Patrick Swayze is the son of Patsy Swayze and Jesse Wayne Swayze. Patsy, whose name was Yvonne Helen Karnes, was born on February 7, 1927, in Houston, Texas. On 8 September 2013, Patsy suffered a stroke at the age of 86. Eight days later, on 16 September, she died from the effects of that stroke.
The father of Patrick Swayze was Jesse Wayne Swayze, also known as Buddy. Buddy was born in 1925 in Wichita Falls, Texas. He worked as an engineer and was married to Patsy until his death on November 2, 1982. He died of a heart attack at the age of 57.
Patrick Swayze and his career
Patrick appeared in many films and comics, but was also in a Broadway production of Grease. Below is a selection of productions where Patrick Swayze can be seen in the cast list:
- Skatetown, U.S.A. ~ 1979
- M*A*S*H (TV series) ~ 1981
- Outsiders ~ 1983
- Uncommon Valor ~ 1984
- Red Dawn ~ 1984
- North and South (TV series) ~ 1985
- Youngblood ~ 1986
- Dirty Dancing ~ 1987
- Steel Dawn ~ 1987
- Tiger Warsaw ~ 1987
- Road House ~ 1989
- Next of Kin ~ 1989
- Ghost ~ 1990
The first film Patrick Swayze appeared in was Outsiders in 1983. But it wasn’t really until 1985 that he made his breakthrough. At the time, he played the character Orry Main, a Southerner in the series North and South.
Patrick Swayze breaks through in Dirty Dancing
Patrick Swayze’s real breakthrough came a few years later, in 1987, when he appeared in the film Dirty Dancing. Patrick plays dance instructor Johnny Castle who meets a 17-year-old guest, Baby, at a boarding school where she is with her parents and sister. Patrick Swayze isn’t just an actor in this film, though. He also sings one of the songs, “She´s like the wind”, which is featured on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
Does Patrick Swayze have children?
In the documentary “I am Patrick Swayze”, people close to him recount unknown events in Patrick’s life up to the end. One great sadness described was that Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi never had any children together. In the documentary, however, Lisa explains that they both loved children and that they both thought they would have children. Unfortunately, a long-awaited pregnancy led to miscarriage, which made the time afterwards very painful for both of them.
In the same documentary, Patrick Swayze’s brother Don Swayze talks about how he thinks his brother would have been a great father. Lisa, who says that “biology was working against them”, took the plunge and asked Patrick how he would feel about adopting. A teary-eyed Patrick Swayze then responds:
“I want to have children with you.”
Patrick Swayze dead – the whole world in mourning
The much-loved Patrick Swayze, who appeared on Broadway, in films and as a singer, died on 14 September 2009. In January of the previous year, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is cancer of the pancreas. The cancer had also spread to the liver and lungs.
Instead of retiring and resting, he continued to work until the end. He filmed the series “The Beast” in Chicago. According to Patrick Swayze’s brother Don, who is also an actor, Patrick explained how he came to still be working. This statement came just three months before he fell asleep: ‘I don’t know how to die. I will live until I die, brother.”
Patrick Swayze was only 57 years old.