Patrick Swayze 1952-2009

Patrick Swayze: A Talented Heartthrob Remembered

From Dirty Dancing to his valiant battle with pancreatic cancer, see what made the actor a beloved star


Born prematurely in Houston on Aug. 18, 1952, the outgoing Swayze (circa 1960) showed an early talent for performing. As the oldest of five children, he grew up a student of choreographer mom Patsy's ballet school and the son of former champion rodeo cowboy Jesse. "I can't recall a time in my life when I wasn't dancing," he once said. Even when bullies taunted him with names like "Twinkle Toes" and "Sissy," wrote author Wendy Leigh in the 2009 biography Patrick Swayze: One Last Dance, he refused to be intimidated – and picked up martial arts and high school football.