There are people who will tell you that Patrick Swayze is famous for movies that are far from great and that much of today’s love for this Texan actor comes from the fact that he died relatively recently from a long and harsh disease, pancreatic cancer. However, this could not be further from the truth. Quite simply, Patrick was much more than just an actor with a few successful movies and a number of cultural references that he brought to life. We would like to what it is exactly that makes Patrick Swayze so beloved and what it is that made him a household name.
First of all, there are his biggest hits, movies like Red Dawn, Ghost, Road House and Dirty dancing in particular, all of them before the year 1990 and still very, very popular. The most interesting thing about these movies, or at least about most of them is that they could not exactly be considered great cinema. This is especially true for Red Dawn and Road House which are arguably movies that are not even that good. Road House was a particularly “bad” movie which got a number of Razzie nominations back in the day. However, these were all movies that people loved, movies that people watched and movies that Patrick Swayze made work. If it was any other actor playing his roles in those movies, they would not have been that successful or popular, that is a given.
In addition to this, there was always the all-American image of the Hollywood actor that Swayze personified in a much more complex way than you would believe. For instance, it is a well-known fact that for a number of years, Patrick was one of the most lusted for actors by the female population. This was particularly true around the year Dirty dancing came out. There was this blond hunk with blue eyes and great moves. And yet, he remained faithful to his wife for decades, from 1975 to the day he died.
His private life has also been quite tumultuous, which always contributes to the aura of the Hollywood star. His battles with alcohol are well-known as well as some other issues such as the injury he suffered while horse riding which left him with both legs broken and recovering for a long period of time. Also, we must not forget that his career has not been that great for the biggest part of it, which also made people love him.
Finally, there is his battle with pancreatic cancer during which he always remained resilient and upbeat, not giving in to the disease and not letting it prevent him from living out his life the way he wanted to. He did not want to race and waste his life looking for that miraculous cure that, of course, did not and does not exist. He wanted to live his life to the last day and we loved him for that.
There will always be a place for Patrick Swayze in the hearts of the American public and his movies will forever be rewatched and reloved.