Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze, 1952-2009

Who could ever forget the movie Dirty Dancing? Certainly not the men who were forced by their fiancees to learn the famous dance sequence and perform it at their wedding receptions. Yet even if you never had to take your two left feet and perform a graceful pirouette, you probably still remember the movie, or at least the line, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Patrick Swayze was not the actor originally picked to play Johnny Castle. Billy Zane was slated for the role, until it became apparent that Zane could not dance. Swayze had trained at Harkness Ballet and Joffrey Ballet schools. Dirty Dancing, a movie which was supposed to go to theaters for one weekend before heading to video, catapulted Swayze into the spotlight.

However, maybe dancing wasn’t your thing. There was Point Break, which had Swayze play a surfer/felon who robbed banks while wearing a Richard Nixon mask. There were other movies, shows, and animated features, but it was likely Ghost which the public will best remember Swayze. Ghost had it all---action, comedy, and an early scene which made throwing a ceramic pot downright romantic. It was a sad story, but one about second chances, and why you should tell people you love them instead of just “Ditto.” And it makes you ask yourself, what would you do if you had another chance to do something good?

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