06:32 AM EDT 01/06/2014

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Patrick Swayze

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Lisa Niemi and Robin Roberts's Love Stories Touch Readers' Hearts

Lisa Niemi and Robin Roberts's Love Stories Touch Readers' Hearts

Originally posted 01/04/2014 08:30AM

Several heartwarming – and surprising – stories of love kept the chill of winter at bay for PEOPLE.com readers this week.

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Credit: Splash News Online; Denise Truscello; John Lamparski/WireImage
Jennifer Aniston Takes on Winter in a Bikini & More from the Weekend

What You Missed Over The Weekend

Jennifer Aniston Shows Off Her Bikini Bod, Britney Spears Kicks Off Vegas Takeover & More Weekend News

Originally posted 12/30/2013 07:30AM

Santa has come and gone, but we know you're still in a gingerbread coma. So when you're done with that cookie, here's what you missed this weekend:

5. Guess Who Officiated Vanessa Carlton's Wedding!

As Carlton tied the knot with fellow musician John McCauley Friday evening, there was a very special (and famous!) guest in attendance: Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, who married the newlyweds. Their nuptials come just two months after Carlton was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy and forced to undergo emergency surgery. See her wedding dress.

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Credit: John Lamparski/WireImage
Patrick Swayze's Widow, Lisa Niemi, Is Engaged

Patrick Swayze's Widow, Lisa Niemi, Is Engaged

Originally posted 12/28/2013 02:35PM

Lisa Niemi has found love again.

The actress and dancer, who lost her husband of 34 years, Patrick Swayze, to pancreatic cancer in September 2009, is engaged to jeweler Albert DePrisco, 58, her rep confirms exclusively to PEOPLE.

"Albert proposed to Lisa on Christmas Eve," the rep says.

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Credit: John Lamparski/Wireimage
Patrick Swayze's Widow Is Dating Again

Patrick Swayze's Widow, Lisa Niemi, Is Dating Again

Originally posted 10/04/2012 04:30PM

Lisa Niemi is smiling once again about her love life.

Patrick Swayze's wife of 34 years has started dating again, her rep confirms to PEOPLE (Swayze passed away in September 2009). The actor's widow is seeing jeweler Albert DePrisco after meeting via a mutual friend during a celebration for Lisa's birthday.

"It's new, and they're taking it slow," the rep says.

Niemi, 56, who was by her husband's side throughout his battle with cancer, unveiled a wax sculpture of Swayze last fall in Hollywood – two years after his death.

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Credit: David Livingston/Getty
Patrick Swayze's Widow Strikes Dirty Dancing Pose with His Wax Statue | Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze's Widow Strikes Dirty Dancing Pose with His Wax Statue

Originally posted 10/20/2011 10:30AM

Patrick Swayze's wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi, was by his side throughout his battle with cancer. And she was with him again Wednesday, striking a very familiar pose at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Hollywood.

Niemi, 55, unveiled a new wax statue of her late husband, and joined him in balancing on a log over an imaginary lake – recreating the famous scene from Dirty Dancing when Swayze teaches Jennifer Grey's character the importance of balance in dance.

Two years after his death, Niemi said she was honored to unveil the statue. "It became clear to me that someone had put a lot of love into this, for a man I loved so very much," she said.

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Aretha Franklin Says Health Problem Is 'Resolved' | Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin Says Health Problem Is 'Resolved'

Originally posted 01/06/2011 04:35PM

Aretha Franklin is opening up a bit about her health after her mystery surgery last month, though she still refuses to answer the million-dollar question.

"I am not going to even deal with that," Franklin, 68, tells JET of the reports that she has pancreatic cancer. "I don't have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors." But, she adds, "The problem has been resolved."

Whether that means she does or does not have the disease that took Patrick Swayze's life in 2009 remains to be seen – and the Queen of Soul seems unlikely to speak out on the matter.

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Credit: Globe Photos
Patrick Swayze Inspired Jennifer Grey to Try Dancing With the Stars | Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze

Dancing With the Stars

Patrick Swayze Inspired Jennifer Grey to Try Dancing With the Stars

Originally posted 09/14/2010 01:00PM

A year after her Dirty Dancing costar's death from pancreatic cancer, Jennifer Grey says she wouldn't be competing on Dancing With the Stars if it weren't for Patrick Swayze – and the example he set of living life to the fullest in the face of any daunting challenge.

"Patrick was one of the most fearless people I've ever met," the actress, 50, tells Access Hollywood. "[He] really embraced life and was all about going for it."

Grey, herself a thyroid-cancer survivor, says she took Swayze's way of living to heart – that it's important to embrace opportunities in the limited time you have to enjoy them.

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Credit: Courtesy Patrick and Lisa Swayze
One Year After Patrick Swayze's Death, His Wife Celebrates His Legacy | Patrick Swayze

One Year After Patrick Swayze's Death, His Wife Celebrates His Legacy

Originally posted 09/14/2010 11:45AM

Tuesday marks one year since Patrick Swayze's death following a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. For his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi, it's an anniversary that brings both sorrow and hope.

"In some ways I look at the anniversary and I think, 'It's either going to knock me down or it's going to make me stronger," Niemi says. "And I know I'm stronger now. The fact that I've had some good days definitely gives me hope that I can have more."

As a new spokeswoman for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Niemi is launching an awareness campaign on this anniversary of Swayze's death. "Be a Hero in the Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer: Know it. Fight it. End it" will feature videos and personal messages from Niemi.

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Credit: Getty; Landov; Globe
POLL: Which Late Star Should Be on the Next U.S. Stamp?

POLL: Which Late Star Should Be on the Next U.S. Stamp?

Originally posted 05/13/2010 12:20PM

It's an honor bestowed on America's best-loved entertainers who've passed away – a commemorative U.S. postage stamp.

Elvis has one – the most popular U.S. stamp of all time, in fact. So do Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. As of Wednesday, Katharine Hepburn, who died in 2003, has one too.

The full 2010 lineup is already set. But what happens when the U.S. Postal Service has to ready more celeb-studded stamps? Here are a few ideas to consider for the future:

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Credit: Courtesy Patrick and Lisa Swayze
Patrick Swayze's Wife: I Feel Like He Hasn't Left | Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze's Wife: I Feel Like He Hasn't Left

Originally posted 10/30/2009 12:30PM

Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi, whose marriage began in their 20s and lasted for 34 years, led one of Hollywood's storied love affairs – but the Dirty Dancing actor's widow reveals that there were times when their union teetered to the brink of breakup.

Six years ago, Niemi tells Oprah Winfrey in her first interview since Swayze's death, her husband descended into a period of heavy drinking and "very dark thoughts. "He was imploding pretty badly," she said during Friday's show, so much so that in 2003, Niemi left Swayze for a year. "I didn't think he was going to live through it and I didn't want to watch that."

But the couple reconciled and regained their happiness – only to be tested again when Swayze was diagnosed 22 months ago with pancreatic cancer and was told he had three months to live.


"It was mind numbing," Niemi says. When faced with the devastating information, "You think you're going to get these terrific illuminations," she says, but that didn't happen. "I looked around and I said, 'This is awful.' "

Niemi says she cried in front of her husband only once, and saved the rest of her tears for her close girlfriends. "I wanted him to know he was going to be okay," she tells Winfrey.

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