There are those scenes from the movie Ghost where the characters played by Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze eventually deal with letting go after death takes one of them ( Swayze) too soon. That is the way I feel now about the actor’s death as I am sure are the myriad of his other fans.
It was not only his Hollywood leading man good looks and killer dancer body that made him so popular but he was one of the most genuine and likable celebrities around. He was “good people.”
He was a devoted husband to his sweetheart of 34 years , Niemi. They were both professional dancers who fell in love and then lived a great life together.
Besides Ghost, Swayze also starred in films like the Outsiders, Dirty Dancing, Red Dawn, Grandview USA, Youngblood, Point Break and, of course, Too Wong Foo – Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar.
In that film, where he plays the quintessential drag queen, Vida Boheme, he said:
“It was an opportunity to create a character who was truly an angel. But I thought playing a drag queen was a big ol’ lark, and I’d play a big old queen. But in rehearsal when I play-acted it, it didn’t work. I realized her job was to be the heart of this movie. (Miss Vilda) stands for every drag queen on the planet or for anyone who has been misunderstood. It turned out to be the most emotional thing in my entire career and I’m pretty proud of it.” ( After Elton.com 9-15-2009)
He also appeared on the stage productions of Chicago and Guys and Dolls.
Patrick Swayze will remain one of Hollywood’s brightest stars of his generation. I believe that has time moves on his influence on his generation of films will even become more apparent through the lens of hindsight.
As Vida Boheme , in Too Wong Foo, which I believe to be his greatest performance, he showed that he could give the best male performance while wearing a dress. Now that was a real man!
Patrick Swayze was 57 years old when he passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.