Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Monday, September 14, 2009

R.I.P Patrick Swayze

Another Hollywood great has died, another star has fallen.

Sadly, I have just heard the report that Patrick Swayze has succumbed to his battle with pancreatic cancer, he was only 57. I have loved, loved, loved Patrick since I first saw him in the role of Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing to Jeniffer Grey's character Baby. The love intensified after the movie Ghost and reached its zenith with Point Break, Road House and To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. What I like about Patrick was that he could do sensitive romantic roles, strong dramas, elegant skilled dance moves but he could flip it and portray very physical and intense characters.

Action-lovers like myself loved Patrick's take on the character Bodhi in the action-filled Point Break, where he mixed it up with Johnny Utah, an FBI character played by Keanu Reeves whom Patrick had been paired with previously along with Rob Lowe in the ice hockey movie Youngblood. In Road House, Patrick was the tough guy and he kicked butt and took names. Point Break showcased Patrick's surfing, sky-diving, gymnastic and piloting skills. Road House showcase Patrick's martial arts and fighting skills. Youngblood showcased Patrick's knowledge of skating, ice hockey and fighting. Patrick also knew gymnastics and rode and raised horses at his ranch outside of Los Angeles. All this proves that he was fierce and fearless on screen and in life.

Those wonderful dance moves in Dirty Dancing were not coincidences either as Patrick was a classically trained dancer and both his wife and mother were dancers and choreographers also. In fact, he played the role of Danny Zucko in Grease on Broadway. He also could sing and write music and he co-wrote and sang the song "She's Like The Wind" from the Dirty Dancing movie and soundtrack. Sadly, Patrick had some tragic losses in life and battled the disease of alcoholism including a stint in rehab.

My family and I had been praying intensely for Patrick since we heard the news of his cancer diagnosis last Fall. My mother, my sisters and I had marvelled at his resilience and faith that he could beat the cancer and we joined him in agreement that he would do so. I pushed away my medical knowledge about the mortality associated with his disease and I believed God for his healing.

He looked great at the Stand Up 2 Cancer event last September and starred in TV's The Beast on A&E and he looked great on each. I really was hopeful for his recovery then those pictures surfaced showing him looking very gaunt. I was so angry that the paparazzi and trash magazines were not giving him his privacy and the decency to be ill or even die with dignity. Patrick was fearless and rallied back against their intrusions as he gave a defiant and moving interview to Babara Walters earlier this year. Now, as sad as it is to know that he has lost his courageous battle, I know that he is not suffering and that he is with God. I till can't control my tears though and I think how much his family will miss him.

To movie fans like myself, Patrick was one of a kind and he will be missed. I will try to make it down this week to his star on Hollywood Blvd. and lay some flowers on it. Hopefully, they may have some type of tribute event for him here as so many people loved his work and were touched by his story. I'm thinking that Patrick Swayze movie marathons or even 'Dirty Dancing" dance-athons held across the country with all proceeds benefiting cancer research would be a fitting tribute. Or do what I plan to do, donate to any of the organizations that aid in cancer research and do it in memory of Patrick.

Again, I will miss Patrick Swayze and my prayers go out to Lisa Niemi, his wife of 34years. Theirs was a true love affair... a pairing of soul mates the like of which Hollywood has never seen.|main|dl1|link3|

May he rest in peace and may God give Lisa the strength to go on.

Patrick Swayze's book "The Time Of My Life" is out now and it chronicles more of his battle with alcoholism and depression and how it nearly wrecked his marriage. It also gives us insight into his last year of life after the devastating diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in 2008. It helps bring home the point clearly that excessive alcohol use/abuse is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

The book is available at

Other links:

Patrick Swayze at Stand Up 2 Cancer event

A fans Patrick Swayze tribute video

Don't forget to take the poll and tell me which is your favorite Patrick Swayze movie.

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