FACTBOX: Facts about actor Patrick Swayze

Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:48pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Here are some facts about actor Patrick Swayze, who died on Monday at the age of 57.

* Dance always played a big role in Swayze's life. His mother owned a Houston dance studio, where he met his future wife, Lisa Niemi, when they were teenagers. He studied ballet in New York before appearing as Danny Zuko in "Grease" on Broadway. He achieved stardom playing dance instructor Johnny Castle in "Dirty Dancing" in 1987.

* "Dirty Dancing" was a low-budget film that was expected to have a short run. Instead, it became a surprise hit that generated some $64 million at the U.S. box office and $214 million worldwide and became a cult favorite. Swayze turned down an offer to star in a sequel.

* "Ghost," the 1990 beyond-the-grave love story starring Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, was an even bigger hit with a domestic box office take of more than $217 million and $505 million around the world.

* Swayze's first movie was "Skatetown, USA" in 1979. Other notable films included "The Outsiders," "Red Dawn," the TV miniseries "North and South," "Road House" and "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar."

* Swayze announced in March 2008 that he had pancreatic cancer but still went ahead with filming of a new cable television series, playing an FBI agent on "The Beast." He also shot a small role in the movie "Powder Blue" while undergoing cancer treatment.

* Swayze told an interviewer for the Daily Mail that he started drinking heavily after his father's 1982 death. He went through a rehabilitation program more than 10 years later.

* Swayze's movie characters had some lines that became cultural catch phrases, such as, "Pain don't hurt" from his role in "Road House." Author Marcus Eder compiled Swayze's movie lines and compared them to the words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu in "Nobody Puts Swayze in a Corner: The Tao of Swayze." The title refers to his often-cited line "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" from "Dirty Dancing." Proceeds from the book went to the American Cancer Society.

(Writing by Bill Trott, editing by Dan Whitcomb)