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Patrick Swayze Essay

Patrick Swayze was born August 18, 1952, in Houston, Texas. He was an actor, singer, and song writer. He was voted the most sexist man alive and is best known for playing the roles of the tough guys and the romantic leading man. Some of the famous films that he has played a role in are, Dirty Dancing, Ghost, and the T. V. mini-series North and South. The Swayze family was a Roman Catholic family, his father Jesse Wayne Swayze worked as an engineering draftsman and his mother Pasty Yvonne Helen, was a choreographer, dance instructor, and dancer.

Patrick Swayze also had two younger brothers, Sean Kyle and Don Swayze who was also an actor, and an older sister Vickie Lynn. On June 12, 1975 Patrick Swayze married his home town sweetheart Lisa Niemi, they met in 1970 when Swayze was 18 and Niemi was 15, she was taking dance lessons from his mother. After they had been married for a while they tried to have children, but never succeeded. Instead of having children they invested there time and love on their ranch full of dogs, horses, and cattle. At age 20 Patrick lived in Oak Forest in Houston, where he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School.

The years he was in school he pursed multiple artistic and athletic skills- ice skating, classical ballet, acting in school plays, and played some football in high school. When he was to go to college he received a football scholarship but had an injury to his knee, which allowed him not to be able to play. While in college he studied gymnastics at San Jacinto College for two years. After graduating from college, in 1972 he moved to New York City to complete his formal dance training at Harkness ballet and Joffery Ballet School. His first professional appearance was a dancer for Disney on Parade.

His rugged looks, winning smile, and studied movements helped him land roles on Broadway’s “Goodtime Charley”, “West Side Story”, and “Grease”. Then starred as a replacement playing the role of Danny Zuko in the longest running Broadway production of Grease before his debut film role as “Ace” in Skatetown U. S. A. He appeared as PVT Strugis in the M*A*S*H episode “Blood Brother” and had a brief stint in 1982 on a short lived television serious The Renegades playing a gang leader named Bandit. He became known to film industry after appearing in The Outsiders as the older brother of C. Thomas Howell and Rob Lowe were the younger two brothers.

One year later they reunited in “Young Brother”, and considered him a member of the Brat Pack. His first major success was in the 1985 television miniseries North and South which was set during the American Civil War. The saga tells the story of the enduring friendship between Orry Main of South Carolina (Patrick Swayze) and George Hazard of Pennsylvania (James Read), who become best friends while attending the United States Military Academy at West Point but later found themselves and their families on opposite sides of the war.

The slave-owning Mains are rural planters, while the Hazards, who resided in a small Northern mill town, live by manufacturing and industry, their differences reflecting the divisions between North and South that eventually led to the Civil War. Everything changed in 1987 when he became an overnight sensation with his starring role in “Dirty Dancing” opposite Jennifer Grey. It may have been the part he had been preparing for his whole life – rakish dance teacher Johnny Castle, who enjoyed tight pants, Cuban heels, and had an eye for the young ladies.

Also immortalized: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner,” uttered by Swayze to Jennifer Grey’s father, Jerry Orbach, during the film’s dance-off finale, which in subsequent years, became one of the most beloved and often repeated lines in film history. Dirty Dancing, a coming of age story, was a low budget film that was intended to be shown in theaters for one weekend only and then go straight to video, but then became a massive hit and international success, and sold over 214 million hits worldwide and spawned several alternative versions.

Originally, a low-budget film by a new studio, Great American Films Limited Partnership, and with no major stars (except Broadway legend Jerry Orbach in a supporting role), Dirty Dancing became a massive box office hit. Swayze received a Golden Globe award nomination for the role and also sang one of the songs on the sound track “She’s like the wind” which he had originally co-written with Stacey Widelitz for the film Grandview U. S. A. The song became a top ten hit and has been covered by other artist, became one of the top-selling soundtracks in history.

On August 8, 2011, a Dirty Dancing remake was announced with Kenny Ortega, who choreographed the original film, as the director. However, on June 8, 2012, Lionsgate announced they are postponing the reboot. Citing casting reasons, the remake is off the studio’s schedule until 2014 at the earliest, it was scheduled to be released in July 2013. After Dirty Dancing Swayze found himself type cast and appeared in several flops of which Road House was the most successful. His biggest hit came in 990, when he starred in Ghost with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. In 1991 he starred alongside Young Blood cast mate Keanu Reeves in another major action hit, Point Break, and was also chosen by people magazine as sexist man alive. In 1998 while filming HBOs Letters from a Killer, near Lone, California he became injured, he fell from a horse and hit a tree. Both of his legs were broken and he suffered four detached tendons in his shoulder. Filming was suspended for two months, but the film aired in 1999.

In 2001 he appeared in the cult classic Donnie Darko, where he played a famous motivational speaker revealed to be a closet pedophile, and in 2004, he played Allan Quartermain in King’s Solomans Mines. Dean Youngblood (Rob Lowe), a 17-year-old farmhand from rural New York State, has dreams of playing in the National Hockey League. Dean voices these dreams to his father, but receives negative feedback, and it is not until his brother, Kelly Youngblood, convinces their father to let him try that he is granted the chance to travel to Canada to try out for the Hamilton Mustangs.

At the try-outs, Youngblood demonstrates the abilities which garnered him 92 goals in the New York League but also displays a lack of physical toughness that is so prized in Canadian junior hockey. This perceived weakness is pounced upon by a brutish player, Carl Racki (George J. Finn), who is also trying out for the team and engages him in a fight. Youngblood quickly learns that flashiness and pure athletic ability will not be enough to be successful in this league. Despite being one-punched by Racki, the coach opts to select Youngblood for a spot on the team.

He ingratiates himself to the other players through a hazing ritual in which members of the Mustangs pin Youngblood down, and Captain Derek Sutton (Patrick Swayze) shaves his testicles. Youngblood has his first run in with the coach’s daughter Jessie (Cynthia Gibb), after this incident, and an early attraction is felt. Following this incident Youngblood further bonds with the team through underage drinking at the local bar and having two of his teammates, including the Quebecois goalie played by Keanu Reeves, watch as he is seduced by his new landlady Miss McGill (Fionnula Flanagan).

After his mentor and friend on the team, Derek Sutton (Patrick Swayze), is brutally injured by Racki (now with the rival Thunder Bay Bombers), Youngblood returns home to the farm out of fear, sadness, and disgust. After a pep-talk by his older brother Kelly (Jim Youngs) about the nature of never quitting and always standing up for yourself, Youngblood is inspired to learn how to fight and survive on the ice and adapt the killer instinct that has been stopping him from being successful. Youngblood returns to the team a new man, ready to confront Racki in the final game of the Memorial Cup playoffs between his team and the Thunder Bay Bombers.

Swayze made his West End theatre debut in the musical Guys and Dolls as Nathan Detroit on July 27, 2006 alongside Neil Jerzak, and remained in the role until November 25, 2006. Guys and Dolls is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. It is based on “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure” – two short stories by Damon Runyon, – and also borrows characters and plot elements from other Runyon stories – most notably “Pick the Winner”. The premiere on Broadway was in 1950. It ran for 1200 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

The musical has had several Broadway and London revivals, as well as a 1955 film adaptation starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. Guys and Dolls was selected as the winner of the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. However, because of writer Abe Burrows’ troubles with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the Trustees of Columbia University vetoed the selection, and no Pulitzer for Drama was awarded that year His previous appearance on the broad way stage had included productions of good time Charley and Chicago.

Swayze also provided the voice for Cash the country music band Dog in the Fox and the Bound two, and in 2007 he starred in the film Christmas in Wonderland, Christmas in Wonderland is a 2007 comedy film about three children who move with their father from Los Angeles to Edmonton, Alberta, where they catch a group of counterfeiters while Christmas shopping. The film was directed by James Orr, and stars Patrick Swayze, Matthew Knight, Preston Lacy, Chris Kattan, Tim Curry and Carmen Electra.

Christmas in Wonderland was exhibited theatrically in Canada in 2007, but in the United States it premiered on television in 2008 as part of ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas programming block. The film is largely set in, and was mostly filmed at, West Edmonton Mall. Secrecy before the film was announced led many Edmontonians to wonder why Christmas decorations in the mall were still in place long after the Christmas season had passed. Swayze played an aging rock star in Powder Blue, Co-staring his younger brother Don in their first film together.

Patrick Swayze plays the sleazy owner of the strip club where Jessica Biel’s character dances. Biel’s character, Rose-Johnny, is a dancer and single mother whose young son is in a coma. Eddie Redmayne portrays a young mortician who falls in love with her. Kris Kristofferson plays the head of a corporate crime organization who tries to convince his former employee (Ray Liotta) not to seek vengeance on his co-workers. Liotta’s character later reveals to Rose-Johnny that he is her father. Forest Whitaker, who also serves as a producer on the film, is a suicidal ex-priest.

Alejandro Romero plays a transvestite prostitute who shares an unexpected emotional bond with the priestSwayze starred in the A&E FBI drama The Beast, filmed in Chicago, as FBI agent Charles Barker. Swayze was also a certified pilot with an instrument rating, made the news on June 1, 2000, while flying with his dogs in his twin-engine cassia from Van Ivoys, California to Los Vegas. His plane developed a pressurization problem causing Swayze to make a precautionary landing on a dirt road in a housing complex in Prescott valley.

In 1982, at the age of 57, Patrick Swayze’s father had died of a heart attack, after he died Swayze began drinking heavily. In 1989, Swayze said “I always felt there was something different in there (my personality), but I was scared to look for fear I wouldn’t find anything, that’s the reason I got into Buddhism, it was his therapy, he also liked scientology, transcendental meditation. “I was trying to support that side of myself”. After his sister had committed suicide by a drug over dose in 1994 leading him to seek treatment for alcoholism.

After initial recover, he temporally withdrew from show business, retreating to his ranches in California, Las Vegas, and New Mexico, to breed Arabian horses. His best known horse was Tammen, a Chestnut Arabian Stallion. In late January 2008, Swayze was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He traveled to the Stanford University Medical center for chemotherapy and treatment with the experimental drug vatalanib, the latter of which doctors hoped would cut off the blood supply to the tumor.

On March 5, 2008, a Reuters article reported that Swayze “has a very limited amount of disease, and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far. ” Early May 2008 it was reported in a number of tabloids that Swayze had undergone surgery to remove part of his stomach after the spread of cancer and that he had rewritten his will, transferring his property to his wife. He was doing fine after his treatment and later seen at a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game. It was his first public appearance since his diagnosis. In 2008 Swayze was treated with cyberknife radio therapy cancer treatment.

Swayze appeared on the ABC, NBC and CBS simulcast of stand up to cancer in September 2008, to appeal to the general public for donations for the initiative. In late 2008, Swayze denied claims made by tabloids that the cancer had spread to his liver. His last role was the lead in an A&E series, The Beast, which premiered on January 15, 2009 owing to a prolonged decline in health, Swayze was unable to promote the series, and on June 15, 2009, the show was canceled. After the show was canceled he finally admitted that he had a little bit in his liver.

On January 9, 2009, Swayze was hospitalized with pneumonia. The pneumonia was said to be a complication of chemotherapy treatments for Swayze’s cancer. On January 16, he was released from the hospital to rest at home with his wife. On April 19, 2009, doctors informed Swayze that the cancer had again metastasized to his liver. Swayze stated that his chain smoking had something to do with it. Swayze died with his family by his side on September 14, 2009, at 57, 20 months after being diagnosed. He was cremated and his ashes scattered over his New Mexico ranch.


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