Patrick Swayze: A Timeline of Career Highs (and Lows)
A dancer turned actor whose burly, yet non-threatening, good looks landed him in everything from mini-series TV to indie films, Patrick Swayze -- who died Monday at 57 after battling pancreatic cancer since January 2008 -- defied categorization. It's true: His name is synonymous with box office cheese and we love to tease, yet somehow Swayze's earnestness and obvious dedication to his craft made him one of the most bankable stars of the 1980s and '90s. And, yes, he totally got it.
Below, a look at the touchstones of Patrick Swayze's diverse career.
1983/"The Outsiders" -- Although Swayze had been knocking around in small parts for a few years, it was his casting by Francis Ford Coppola in this sweeping adaptation of S.E. Hinton's classic coming of age tale that first brought him to our attention.
1984/"Red Dawn" -- A year later, Swayze led the cast of this cold war era tale of teen resistance to a hypothetical Soviet invasion. "Wolverines!" became a slogan of defiance and the movie remains a crucial part of many young Republicans' DVD collection.
1985/"North and South" -- Swayze made the leap from teen movies to leading man status in an unlikely place -- a TV miniseries set during the Civil War.
1987/"Dirty Dancing" -- The movie that may well be Swayze's signature work and made one line, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner," a catchphrase for the ages. Swayze finally got a chance to showcase his dancing moves (he trained in classical ballet) and, surprisingly, scored a hit for singing one of the movie's songs, "She's Like the Wind."
1989/"Road House" -- Swayze followed up "Dirty Dancing" with this B-movie tale of a career bar bouncer with the tagline, "The dancing's over. Now it gets dirty." Much fun was had at this movie's expense earlier last fall here.
1990/"Ghost" -- Swayze totally reinvented his image when he co-starred with Demi Moore in this romantic tale of love's ability to transcend death. Despite the creepy Whoopi-Goldberg-possessed-by-Swayze-caressing-Demi scene, the movie was a smash hit -- earning Swayze his first Golden Globe nomination.
1990/"Saturday Night Live" -- Swazye makes a memorable appearance along with Chris Farley:
Watch more My Video videos on AOL Video
1991/"Point Break" -- How do you follow up a tearjerker? With "100 percent pure adrenaline." This time, Swayze morphs into mystical surfer Bodhi, who finances his love of chasing waves around the world with a series of bank robberies. Until he's taken down by FBI agents Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey. Although Swayze was nominated for "Most Desirable Male" at the MTV Movie Awards, he lost to co-star Reeves.
1995/"To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" -- Swayze and co-star Wesley Snipes played (very muscular) drag queens in this road-trip comedy.
2001/"Donnie Darko" -- A quiet and controlled Swayze was a surprising, yet utterly fitting, pick as a motivational speaker with a taste for child porn in director Richard Kelly's beloved cult film.
2008/"The Beast" -- Swazye signs on to anchor this A&E series about an undercover FBI agent. The show is cancelled after one season.
Posted by: epjd | September 14, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Vienna8425 | September 14, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 14, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: BABY_BLUES_6923 | September 15, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: byoolin1 | September 15, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mat00 | September 15, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: VaLGaL | September 15, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: eet7e | September 15, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: LTL1 | September 15, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: spret07 | September 15, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Judy-in-TX | September 15, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: PhilliesPhan | September 15, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: hodie | September 15, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: January11 | September 15, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Merlin5 | September 15, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.