Paramount Net­work re­mem­bers Pa­trick Swayze on his birth­date

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Ontv - BY JAY BOB­BIN

Whether he was play­ing a dirty dancer, a com­pact-sized bouncer or a pot­tery maker’s ghostly helper, Pa­trick Swayze was a unique tal­ent.

Con­tin­u­ing the “I Am ... ” celebrity bi­ogra­phies that be­gan on Spike TV and now carry forth on its suc­ces­sor, Paramount Net­work, “I Am Pa­trick Swayze” – pre­mier­ing Sun­day, Aug. 18, on what would have been his 67th birth­day – pro­files the late ac­tor whose ex­pe­ri­ence in danc­ing came in very use­ful for some of his most pop­u­lar roles. His mother Patsy was a dance in­struc­tor, and his wife Lisa Niemi was one of her stu­dents.

Here’s a look at some of Swayze’s stand­out cred­its.

“North and South” (1985): Be­fore movie fame kicked in for him, Swayze es­tab­lished a tele­vi­sion pres­ence through the first two of three minis­eries based on John Jakes’ his­tor­i­cal nov­els about two con­nected fam­i­lies on op­po­site sides of the Civil War. Iron­i­cally for some­one who would be­come so fa­mous for his phys­i­cal­ity, Swayze’s char­ac­ter walked with a limp through much of this drama.

“Dirty Danc­ing” (1987): Know­ing how to dance meant every­thing for Swayze in land­ing the su­per­star-mak­ing part of Johnny Cas­tle, the smooth-mov­ing Catskills-re­sort teacher who re­fused to let Frances “Baby” House­man (Jen­nifer Grey) be put in a cor­ner. Re­port­edly, Swayze’s agent was against his tak­ing the job. You’ve heard the line, “Get a new agent”? Swayze even scored a hit sin­gle off the film, “She’s Like the Wind.”

“Road House” (1989): “I thought you’d be big­ger.” Renowned South­ern bar bouncer Dal­ton (Swayze) heard that a lot, but good things came in small pack­ages ... par­tic­u­larly for the nightspot owner (Kevin Tighe, of “Emer­gency!” fame) who hired him to clean up his trou­bled busi­ness. Swayze also held his own against both Sam El­liott and Ben Gaz­zara, no easy feat.

“Ghost” (1990): It’s bit­ter­sweet to watch Swayze’s per­for­mance as Molly’s (Demi Moore) de­ceased, beloved Sam in the af­ter­math of his own pass­ing, but the ac­tor’s in­no­cent qual­ity did much to make this Os­car win­ner (for its screen­play and co-star Whoopi Gold­berg) a box­of­fice dy­namo. Fans re­turned to the­aters time and again to ex­pe­ri­ence this love story – and screen his­tory’s most ro­man­tic mak­ing of a clay pot, with a mighty sound­track as­sist from the Right­eous Brothers’ “Un­chained Melody.”

“Point Break” (1991): In the cat­e­gory “Movies That Re­ally Didn’t Need a Re­make,” insert this ad­ven­ture that has a big, en­dur­ing fan base, thanks in no small part to its truly breath­tak­ing aerial ac­ro­bat­ics. As the ethe­real rob­bery-gang leader Bodhi, Swayze had one of the best parts of his ca­reer, and it says a lot about his con­fi­dence that he didn’t mind play­ing a bad guy when his fame was at its peak.

The new doc­u­men­tary “I Am Pa­trick Swayze” pre­mieres Sun­day on Paramount Net­work.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.