2009 has been one heck of a year for celebrities. And to think we've still got a few months left yet. Although we did all see this one coming. Not that that lessens the finality any that he is no longer with us.
It's so ironic when you think about it that he is now synonymous with the phrase that he helped make famous. All because of his legendary role in "Ghost". Folks would often try to be hip with the saying "I'm Swayze" meaning they were out, just like he was in that role. Now that he is physically gone, it takes that phrase to an entirely different level.
I'm going to man up and admit that "Dirty Dancing" remains one of my all-time favorite movies. I know that for all intents and purposes it was a chick flick, but I can't help it. I really enjoyed the music and the dancing. Swayze's charisma made it seem like the ballroom style dance was both cool and seductive. And let's face it, both Jennifer Grey and Cynthia Rhodes (Penny) were pretty easy on the eyes.
It's not like that film was even Pat's first rodeo so he was entitled to come with a bit of a softer role. He had earned it after already establishing himself with a couple of bonafide action flicks that have already graced my Vault list: "Red Dawn" and "The Outsiders". Don't forget the inimitable "Point Break" that would eventually come along later. Swaye easily knew how to make movies that guys could geek out over yet still cater to his crushing female fan base when he felt the need.
When the news came last year that Swayze had pancreatic cancer, a lot of folks were writing him off quickly. Word is pancreatic cancer is one of the worst kinds of cancer to get so many of us were thinking he only had weeks to live. Pat managed to stretch his time here out for another year. Even kept working while he did it. Just like many of the characters he always played, he wasn't going down without a fight.
Rest in peace, Patrick.