02:02 PM EDT 07/09/2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Originally posted 10/27/2009 09:15PM
Patrick Swayze's widow Lisa Niemi spoke from the heart Tuesday about losing her husband just six weeks ago, telling a women’s conference that the loss “is like an animal all of its own” and the sadness could be felt “on a cellular level.”
"When the grief takes you, it's like your body is not your own,” Niemi, who was married to the actor for 34 years, said during a roundtable discussion on Grief, Healing and Resilience at the Women's Conference 2009 in Long Beach, Calif. “I'm just going with the flow. I know I have to go through it."
Originally posted 10/27/2009 02:00PM
Less than two months after the death of her husband Patrick Swayze, Lisa Niemi, will open up to Oprah Winfrey about her life with and love for the actor – and what it was like losing him – in her first one-on-one interview since his death.
Swayze, 57, died Sept. 14 after a protracted battle with pancreatic cancer. He and Niemi, 53, were married for 34 years, meeting as teenage students at his mother's dance studio.
Niemi will appear on Friday's episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, on which she will also talk about the book she co-authored with her late husband, The Time of My Life.
Niemi was also a participant Tuesday in a roundtable discussion on "Grief, Healing and Resilience" at the Women's Conference 2009 in Long Beach, Calif.
– Michael Y. Park
Originally posted 10/05/2009 02:50PM
Guests arriving for Patrick Swayze's private memorial on Sunday were greeted by a lone white horse, which was owned and beloved by the late actor whose boots were facing backwards in the stirrups.
"It's an old horseman tradition," a source tells PEOPLE of the gesture.
Held on the Sony Studios lot in Culver City, Calif., the service – attended by several hundred friends and family, including Whoopi Goldberg – incorporated many photos of Swayze riding his horses, along with a video tribute to the star, who died from pancreatic cancer on Sept. 14.
Originally posted 09/29/2009 04:55PM
A private memorial for Patrick Swayze will be held Sunday at Sony Studios in Culver City, Calif.
"In lieu of flowers," says a statement released by the late actor's rep, "please make donations to either of the following two organizations: The Patrick Swayze Pancreas Cancer Research Fund ... or Stand Up to Cancer".
Swayze, who died Sept. 14 after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer, helped Stand Up to Cancer raise funds at the organization's TV charity event in September 2008.
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