London stage show honours Swayze

Published September 15, 2009

One minute’s silence will be held at the Aldwych theatre before this evening’s performance of Dirty Dancing The Classic Story On Stage in honour of Patrick Swayze, who died last night after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Swayze starred alongside Jennifer Grey in the hit 1987 film Dirty Dancing, which propelled him to international fame and earned him a legion of young fans.

Eleanor Bergstein, creator and scriptwriter of the film and the stage musical, said in a statement: “The cast and crew of Dirty Dancing join the loving fans of Patrick Swayze all over the world in shock and sorrow at the loss of a great artist and a courageous man. We are grateful for the inspiration his great spirit has given to us. We send our deepest condolences to his family.”

After Dirty Dancing, Swayze, 57, went on to cement his position as one of Hollywood’s biggest box office draws by starring in romantic comedy Ghost (1990). Subsequent films included thriller Point Break (1991) and Donnie Darko (2001). However Swayze was also a trained dancer who caught the eye of Hollywood producers after he appeared as Danny in Grease on Broadway. He returned to the Great White Way in 2003 to appear in Chicago and made his West End stage debut in 2006 as Nathan Detroit in Guys And Dolls at the Piccadilly theatre.

Despite being diagnosed with advanced stage cancer nearly two years ago, Swayze continued to work and appeared in US series The Beast earlier this year.

He leaves behind his wife of 30 years, Lisa Niemi.

CB