Best Known For
Patrick Swayze was a Golden-Globe winning, beloved actor, as well as a singer, songwriter, and dancer, who died of pancreatic cancer in September of 2009.
Patrick Swayze - Ghost (7:49)
Patrick Swayze - Full Biography (45:30)
After years fearing his dance training would hold back his acting career, Patrick Swayze landed the role of Johnny Castle in "Dirty Dancing." Performing his own dancing and stunts, the movie made him an instant sensation.
Patrick Swayze moved to New York in 1975 to dance with the Eliot Feld ballet. In 1976, his dance career was almost ended by a staph infection. Once he recovered, he landed the lead role in "Grease" on Broadway.
Patrick Swayze campaigned heavily for the lead in "Ghost" and delivered the performance of a lifetime. His love scene with Demi Moore and his comedic scenes with Whoopi Goldberg are now a part of cinematic history.
Patrick Swayze soared to stardom in "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost," but his personal life was filled with heartaches, including a knee injury that nearly cost him a leg, his sister's suicide, and his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born Patrick Wayne Swayze on August 18th, 1952, in Houston, Texas. Swayze and his four siblings were raised by their parents Patsy and Jesse Swayze. Swayze's mother, director of the Houston Jazz Ballet Company, introduced her son to dance at an early age.
While still in grade school, Swayze developed a love for ballet and was often teased by fellow classmates. Throughout high school, he set aside his dance career to concentrate on athletics — juggling gymnastics, swimming, and football. After graduation, he was offered both athletic and dance scholarships. He opted for athletics and enrolled at San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas, where he focused on gymnastics. Two years later, Swayze left school to tour with the Disney on Parade ice show, as Snow White's Prince Charming.
After touring, Swayze returned home, where he fell in love with Lisa Niemi, his mother's 16-year-old dance student. In 1972, he traveled to New York City to pursue a dance career. After Lisa's high school graduation, she joined Swayze in New York, where the couple trained with the Harkness and Joffrey Ballet companies. Swayze and Niemi were married in 1975.
Having renewed his dedication to ballet, Swayze was soon hired as a principal dancer with the Eliot Feld Ballet Company. His success was cut short when an old football injury required that he undergo knee surgery. The operation, coupled with the infection that followed, caused Swayze to leave the prestigious Feld Company.
In 1976, he redirected his efforts toward stage acting, and made his Broadway debut in Goodtime Charley. He later appeared in West Side Story, and in 1978, he won the leading role in the musical Grease. Swayze's high-profile performance as Danny Zuko led to many television and movie offers.
Eventually, his stage success brought him to Hollywood, where he made his film debut as a vigilante roller skater in Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979). Swayze experienced a milestone in 1983, when director Francis Ford Coppola cast him in The Outsiders, alongside future stars Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, and Emilio Estevez.
In 1981, Swayze added television to his repertoire with a notable portrayal of a leukemia patient on the series M*A*S*H. He is also credited for his work in the 1985 miniseries North and South along with the 1986 sequel. During the mid-80s, Swayze appeared in a few forgettable films, including Red Dawn and Grandview, U.S.A. (1984). However, the release of the surprise hit Dirty Dancing (1987) brought Swayze instant celebrity and established him as Hollywood's newest heartthrob. The film featured him as the misunderstood dance instructor Johnny Castle, a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
profile name: Patrick Swayze profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Celebrity Aviators 21 people in this group
Dance pioneers like Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly—remembered for his groundbreaking performance in 1952's Singin' in the Rain—truly set the stage for Hollywood's dance-film genre. John Travolta, Jennifer Beals, Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and Natalie Portman are some of the performers who took up where Astaire, Rogers and Kelly left off, repopularizing dance on film for later generations. Biography.com's Famous Movie Dancers group examines the lives and careers of these high-stepping performers who will always be remembered for their unforgettable moves.
Famous Movie Dancers 16 people in this group
Action movie stars are the heroes and heroines who get our adrenaline pumping. Early action stars include Douglas Fairbanks, the swashbuckling adventurer of the 1920s and '30s; John Wayne, the famous gunslinger of the 1940s and '50s; and Sean Connery, who played the debonair spy Bond—James Bond—in the 1960s. By the 1970s, however, a new maverick action star had hit the silver screen, with rogue cops played by Steve McQueen in Bullitt and Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, as well as the military mercenary Rambo (Sylvester Stallone). By the 1980s, action movies were literally exploding on screen, with big budgets and big stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) and Bruce Willis (Die Hard), leading to today's action-packed blockbusters. Here's a look at some of Hollywood's most famous action movie stars, who have kicked some major butt on the big screen.
Famous Action Movie Stars 45 people in this group