On September 14, 2009 left us with Patrick Swayze - a remarkable actor, and more importantly, a remarkable person. I remember this month of September with the warm sunshine and the lightness of the passing summer. And then came the news, but not loudly, but somehow. One of the Bulgarian televisions, as a sign of respect, has released a series of films in which Swayze has starred over the years. It was like a small bow to the memory of a person who was forever leaving.


Yes, only when someone dies do we remember that before he was an actor, a dancer, a superstar, he was human. This often deserves more attention than the number of films, the awards, the fans… And we ask ourselves: Why didn't we find out more about him, but were only interested in his stage image or the media image? But he is no longer there to ask: - "How did you feel when…?" - or - "Were you afraid when you first entered the ballet hall?" Because these are the things that shape the personality - small and big fears. , the fascination or disappointment of meeting something new, of the challenge of BEING in this world, not of being indifferent.


Patrick Swayze has become a favorite of millions of people around the world with his films and the incredible sense of freedom he emanates from his Dirty Dancing and One Last Dance. This is also his greatest passion and the first love he "inherits" from his mother, Patsy Swayze. She is a choreographer and director of the Houston Jazz Ballet and gives lessons to her son when he is little, which does not always delight the typical Texan cowboy, his father Jesse. But he also "infects" with love, Patrick, this time for horses and animals in general. Patrick has always been very lifelong and has done many other things over the years besides dancing - music, theater, gymnastics, sports (football, karate, sailing, skating, swimming). The dance, however, is in his heart, perhaps to some extent because of his teenage love, which quickly evolves into something much more.

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When Patrick is 18 years old, his mother's dance class is visited by an 15-year-old girl named Lisa Nimi. Even then, they fall in love and only a few years later become partners not only in dance but also in life. This meeting is partly to blame for Patrick's mother. Seeing Lisa's captivated gaze when she first enters the ballet hall, she invites her to join. And to the words: "I have no money for lessons!" - she replies - "And what of that ?!". Lisa quickly became one of the best dancers in the class. He and Patrick build a common future and dream of great scenes and success that can only be sweet if shared. To this end, they moved to New York, which remains the Mecca of Dance to this day.

photo: Alan Light

But being noticed among thousands of incredibly good dancers is extremely difficult. In addition to being technically perfect, you have to be different, you have to make an impression. The lack of funds is an additional obstacle for the couple. They both do what they can to make a living - they teach jazz, acrobatics, even carpentry and furniture making. Then a serious knee injury takes Patrick out of the room. This is followed by surgery complicated by an infection that ends his dance career. "The moment I realized I really wanted to be a dancer was when my doctors told me I couldn't dance any more!", Says Patrick in an interview with 1988.

Then the movie comes. Patrick contacts the talent agent Bob le Mond, who owes his success to Patsy. Swayze gets the part and with Lisa they move to Los Angeles. But success does not come immediately. The two continue to have financial problems until the filming of The Outsiders. Then the roles come one after the other. The movie that makes it an icon not only in cinema but also in dance, however, is Dirty Dancing. With it, Patrick seems to prove himself both as an actor, a dancer and as a man. And that's not because of the good script, or the directing decisions in the filming. The movie is at first glance easy, one-liner, naive. What makes it really big and time-consuming is the wonder that Swayze does with the role of Johnny Castle and the man who brings her with her throughout the film. Patrick accepts the role because he senses that he has something to do with this character, with this street boy torn by life, society, the bans that wrongfully place him.


Lisa also helps in this role. Of course behind the scenes, helping him improve the mambo. For him, this movie is especially valuable because it communicates with the audience, touches the souls of people and makes them dream.


In addition to the charming positive character, Patrick Swayze proves that he can play the role of a criminal - robbing banks, kidnapping his own children - and yet the audience imperceptibly sympathizes with him. Such is the case with "Breaking Point" and "Abductor Father". In the first, he partners with Keanu Reeves, one of the favorite characters in action movies. Swayze is a surfer, and FBI agent Reeves is sure he's the man with the bank robberies he's looking for. For this purpose he tries to merge with the surfers, but he begins to like this life in anticipation of the big waves. Patrick's character makes us feel respect and esteem, and forgive his crimes. That's what Keanu Reeves did in the end, leaving him on his favorite waves at this breaking point.


If we look at the filmography of the actor, we will notice that no film is accidental. Each role is specially selected by Patrick - he is not looking for box office success, flat plots, but psychological, in which he can unleash his full potential and make the image not just someone from the script, but a man of flesh and blood with all its advantages and disadvantages. And this is noticeable - Patrick does not stand artificially on the screen, but shows all the psychological and emotional states that pass through his character.


One of the big blows to Patrick Swayze's life is the death of his father. To him, he is more than a father, a friend, a man of example. The deep connection with him remains after he has left this world. Patrick hopes he has made his father proud of him. It is a detail that is not talked about, but it is decisive for the growth of his personality and his life in general. Although he did not choose to stay with his father's horses and business, he shares that he had always dreamed of buying a ranch and raising horses, as it was in his childhood. Later this actually happens. Patrick buys a huge area in New Mexico and builds a ranch he always runs when he's out of pictures. "This is my place of healing," he says.


On September 14 2009, after unsuccessfully fighting pancreatic cancer, left us Patrick Swayze. A remarkable person. All the while, Lisa was close to him, praying that he would recover. Her pleas were not heard, but Patrick's hopes came true - with his films, with his presence, he made the lives of millions of people brighter, more inspiring, more human. And to keep his memory bright, on 18's August 2019 year, the day that would turn 67 years old, came out a documentary made by his wife, Lisa Nimi, "I'm Patrick Swayze." In it, colleagues and friends share what Patrick is to them and who really knows him so that we too can get to know him and touch not the star, but Patrick Swayze's man.

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