Patrick Swayze

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Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze Signed Photo from “Ghost” - 1990

A handsome, shirtless Patrick Swayze smiles for the camera on set during a break in shooting his acclaimed film Ghost. This 8″ x 10″ glossy lab print was boldly signed in black Sharpie.

Patrick Swayze (1952-2009) was an American actor, dancer and singer-songwriter, born and raised in Houston, Texas. He was best known for his roles as romantic leading men in the films Dirty Dancing and Ghost and as Orry Main in the North and South television miniseries. He was named by People magazine as its “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1991.


Until the age of twenty, Swayze pursued multiple artistic and athletic skills, such as ice-skating, classical ballet, and acting in school plays. He played football for his high school and was hoping to receive a football scholarship to college until a knee injury ended his career. He studied gymnastics at San Jacinto College for two years. In 1972, he moved to New York City to complete his formal dance training at the Harkness Ballet and Joffrey ballet schools.

Swayze’s first professional appearance was as a dancer for Disney on Parade. He starred as a replacement for Danny Zuko in the long-running Broadway production of Grease before his debut film role as “Ace” in Skatetown, U.S.A..

Swayze’s breakthrough role came with his performance as dance instructor Johnny Castle in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, alongside Jennifer Grey, his co-star from an earlier film, Red Dawn. Dirty Dancing, a coming of age story set to film was a low-budget project that was intended to be shown in theaters for one weekend only and then go straight to video, but it became a surprise hit and achieved massive international success. It was the first film to sell one million copies on video, and as of 2009, had earned over $200 million worldwide and spawned several alternate versions, ranging from a television series to stage productions to a computer game. Swayze received a Golden Globe Award nomination for the role and also sang one of the songs on the soundtrack, “She’s Like the Wind,” which he had originally co-written with Stacy Widelitz for the film Grandview, U.S.A. The song became a top ten hit and has been covered by other artists.

His next big hit came in 1990, when he starred in Ghost, with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, during which this photo was taken. According to the Associated Press:

“I had to fight for the role,” Swayze, says. “The director, Jerry Zucker, wanted Kevin Kline. When he heard about me wanting it, he said, ‘Over my dead body will Patrick Swayze play this role.’

They said, ‘We’re not going to offer you the film; you’ll have to come in and read.’ I said, ‘OK, fine.’ I went in and did six scenes. By the time I was finished, I had the role.”

Swayze, who at 37 has the build of a college athlete, explained that he fought for the role because of Bruce Joel Robin’s script. “It made me cry four or five times.”

The next year, 1991, Swayze starred with Keanu Reeves in the major action hit Point Break. In 1995 he boldly teamed up with Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo playing three New York drag queens in To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

Tragically, Swayze was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in late January 2008. Less than two years later he died, while working on the A&E TV series The Beast, which premiered in January 2009 and was cancelled just six months later when Swayze was unable to promote the series due to deteriorating health.

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