Tuesday, September 14, 2010
WE REMEMBER PATRICK SWAYZE
One year ago today we lost an amazing performer. Another Hollywood star victim to pancreatic cancer. The same cancer that killed actor Michael Landon of "Bonanza" fame so quickly. I always loved this actor and of course so did his female public voting him the sexiest man alive in 1991 Patrick'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.. He appeared as Pvt. Sturgis in the M*A*S*H episode "Blood Brothers" and had a brief stint in 1982 on a short lived TV series called "The Renagades" playing a gang leader named Bandit. Patrick Swayze became known to the film industry after appearing in The Outsiders as the older brother of C. Thomas Howell and Rob Lowe. Swayze, Howell, and Howell's friend Darren Dalton reunited in Red Dawn the next year, and Lowe and Swayze reunited in Youngblood. He was considered a member of the Brat Pack His first major success was in the 1985 television miniseries North and South, which was set during the American Civil War. Patrick Swayze's big big breakthrough role came with his performance as dance instructor Johnny Castle in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, alongside his Red Dawn co-star, Jennifer Grey. 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 2007, has earned over $300 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. After Dirty Dancing, Patrick found himself heavily typecast and appeared in several flops, of which Road House was the most successful. His biggest hit came in 1990, when he starred in Ghost, with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. In 1991, he starred alongside Youngblood cast mate Keanu Reeves in another major action hit, Point Break. Patrick was seriously injured in 1998 while filming HBO's Letters from a Killer near Ione, California when he fell from a horse and hit a tree. Both of his legs were broken and he suffered four detached tendons in his shoulder. Filming was suspended for two months, but the film aired in 1999. He recovered from his injuries, but he had trouble resuming his career until 2000, when he co-starred in Waking Up in Reno, with Billy Bob Thornton and Charlize Theron, and in Forever Lulu, with Melanie Griffith. In 2001, he appeared in Donnie Darko, where he played a motivational speaker and closet pedophile, and in 2004, he played Allan Quatermain in King Solomon's Mines. He also had a cameo appearance in the Dirty Dancing sequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights as an unnamed dance instructor. Patrick Swayze made his West End theatre début in the musical Guys and Dolls as Nathan Detroit on July 27, 2006, alongside Neil Jerzak, and remained in the role until November 25, 2006. His previous appearances on the Broadway stage had included productions of Goodtime Charley (1975) and Chicago (2003). In 2007, he starred in the film Christmas in Wonderland. Patrick played an aging rock star in Powder Blue, co-starring his younger brother Don in their first film together. He also starred in the A&E FBI drama The Beast,] filmed in Chicago, as FBI Agent Charles Barker. I was reading that in 180, Charles Strouse the composer had his very worse year ever. It wasn't a good year for me either, but that's another story. Charles had two big flops that year one was a musical called Flowers For Algernon based on the 1968 movie "Charly" starring Cliff Robertson and the other was a sequel to "Bye Bye Birdie" called "Bring Back Birdie". Imagine if you will Donald O' Connor in a jump suit. It also starred Chita Rivera and had a book by Michael Stewart. So much talent on so big a flop and "Flowers" was an equal bomb-- but it did last thirteeen more performances than Birdie which lasted only four! Poor Charles Strouse. He also flopped big time with "Rags' with Stephen Schwartz and the sequel to "Annie" rehearsal went very well last night. This is a great cast and they really love the script-- and that's such a good thing to know! Close call last night while driving and I thank God John and I were safe after an almost collission. The setting sun can be such a damn hazzard these days. Praise God-- how well he protects me!