Patrick Swayze: The Dirty Dancer and the Ghost.
He was People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ in 1991 and depicted the face of the Civil War in ‘North and South.’ He was a singer and a licensed pilot. When you think of Patrick Swayze, images of grace and the human physique fill your brain. You may get the song ‘Hungry Eyes’ stuck in your head as you see a charismatic dancer smiling. Or maybe, you have an image of a man hanging off a jagged mountain cliff in an action scene. For many people, he is gently smoothing out clay on a potter’s wheel.
All these images are iconic of Patrick Swayze – but not the image of cancer.
Patrick Swayze died on September 14th, 2009 from complications due to pancreatic cancer. For many Americans and global fans alike, Patrick Swayze was a not just a good actor but a great guy. He was married to his only wife, Lisa Niemi, for 37 years (a feat practically unheard of in Hollywood). He was the son of a cowboy and a fun older brother to two adopted siblings.
But perhaps most of all, he had a soft spot for animals, particularly horses.
Do pet owners sometimes take on the characteristics of their pets?
A: Yes. Horse owners often get a longing for outdoors and nature when riding alongside their horse. Cat owners can take on the quite and observant demeanor of their pets. Even prisonmates have been known to become more friendly and outgoing after being assigned as pet owners to Golden retrievers (in specialized animal programs).
When asked what attracted him to Egyptian Arabian horses, Swayze answered, “Their beauty. I like the form of the head, the proud trot, the harmonious physique. Everything fits together and is in accord. There is a natural balance.”
Patrick Swayze’s ‘trotting’ has forever left a mark in the dance hall of fame. And, as for nature and balance, Mr. Swayze competed with one of his favorite horses, Wasel, in the 1995 Qatar desert marathon (a 26-mile race). “I got to do my dream, “ he said, “ I got to ride an Arabian horse in the deserts from whence they come. I am a romantic fool to a fault.”
Midway through the race , the horse experienced saddle problems. Patrick Swayze threw off the saddle and rode the animal bareback. This resulted in him being among the last to cross the finish line. As they say, ‘It’s not always when you get to the finish line, but how you get there that counts.’
True to this phrase, Patrick Swayze was an optimist to his dying day. Just as the peaceful horse chews grass and frolics in the pasture, Patrick Swayze took on this same line of thought. Horses are not hunters. “That’s one thing I’m not gonna do, is chase, is chase staying alive… You’ll spend so much time chasing staying alive you won’t live, you know? I wanna live.”
Asks a WA user:
What is Patrick Swayze most remembered for?
A: The way he moved his body on the dance floor and the way he moved our hearts on the screen.