Sep 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze (1952 - 2009)

I can't say that I've seen many Patrick Swayze movies, and sadly I missed his TV series "The Beast", which was shot during his well-publicized battle with pancreatic cancer that took his life yesterday. but I'd always enjoyed seeing him in interviews. He appeared to be a luminous, intelligent, soulful human being, and news of his passing is truly sad.

Swayze will be best remembered for his role in Dirty Dancing, which any guy who had a girlfriend in 1987 would have seen. Although he had other hits like Ghost and Roadhouse, this will likely be the piece of pop culture with which his name will most be attached. In 1988, when City TV showed that movie (this was back in the day when you had to wait at least two years to see a theatrical film on television), I made myself a VHS off-air copy to put on the shelf as "date bait". I used to have the soundtrack album in my Brut days, and his own vocal track "She's Like The Wind" is quite good. Perhaps Swayze was a more interesting person offscreen than on, as admittedly many of his roles weren't that demanding, but his charm and good looks made him a natural for the cinema. I really enjoyed his offbeat casting in Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break as the Zen-freak surfer dude who also masterminds heists where the robbers wear presidential masks.

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