Patrick Swayze

18 August 1952 - 14 September 2009


Haunting Memories

Movie Title: GHOST
Director: Jerry Zucker
Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin, Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for: Ghost (1990)
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg who won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

"It’s the heaviest role I’ve ever had," says Patrick Swayze, referring to Ghost, a searing metaphysical thriller with a passionate love story at its core. "And it’s great to have a movie I don’t need to defend because of violence or whatever."

Ghost, which became one of 1990’s biggest hits, concerns a murdered investment banker named Sam Wheat [Swayze], who remains behind because he has unfinished business: to tell his girl friend [Demi Moore] that he loves her. His only venue of communication is a psychic [Whoopi Goldberg] who gradually becomes converted to his cause. As directed by Jerry Zucker, a filmmaker known primarily for comedies, like Airplane! , from a screenplay by Jacob’s Ladder’s Bruce Joel Robin [STARLOG #161], the movie follows the twists and turns of the murder investigation, aided by a liberal amount of otherworldly humor, but what makes it ultimately so moving is its focus on love, on its fragile nature, the pain of its loss and its irreplaceability.

Unlike other recent ghost comedies such as Heart Condition and Ghost Dad, the spectral element in this film is no gimmick. It actually explores the anguish of the deceased and creates a well-articulated spirit world, where similarly lost souls roam the New York subways.

"Dealing with the horror of seeing your own death and being present at your own funeral does something to you," Swayze offers. "In a way, Sam personifies your greatest fears—of being invisible, nobody knowing you’re there or caring. I never felt so ineffectual in my whole life." Although this "incurable romantic" has no problem expressing affection, to play the part he had to tap his own emotional turmoil and then cope with it. "I had to have all this emotion going out but not let it out," he explains, "so I had to keep myself an emotional wreck through the whole film to keep this emotion alive."


Patrick Swayze [Sam] and Demi Moore [Molly] take Manhattan - recruit Whoopi Goldberg
[Oda Mae Brown] helps rescue Molly
Time: 128 mins. Rating: PG-13

Moving Spirit

The star of such movies as Dirty Dancing, Red Dawn, Steel Dawn, and Road House says that working of the part evoked the pain over his father’s death. "I realized I never had time to deal with the grief," he reflects, his eyes welling with moisture, "and that’s why all this emotion comes up whenever I mention him. He died when I was doing a TV series, Renegades, right before I did The Outsiders. I had to keep working and I turned into a lunatic. Nobody – and that includes my wife [Super Force actress] Lisa Niemi – could talk to me. I would go up on Mulholland Drive, where the guys race suicidal, and I ran blind curves; it was a death-wish kind of push-it-to-the-limit mentality. I was scared of myself then, scared that I was not going to come back, scared that I was going to ruin my relationship with Lisa. She would try to say something to me, and I would put my fist through the wall."

He remembers the shock of seeing his father in a coffin at a Houston funceral home "painted like a harlot with bright red cheeks, with rouge, and with his hair all wrong. I had to run over there after my little brother returned home crying. He went there by mistake, and I knew I had to do something before my mother saw him. I had to try and fix him,, make him look like my father.. What I experienced never happened to me before or since: My legs kept collapsing. I kept wanting to pass out. I was freaking out. When I finally touched his face, it was hard as a rock."

While shooting Ghost, these pent-up emotions finally came to the fore. "It was the most honest truth," Swayze recalls, "the truth I dream about achieving some day in my life, but it didn’t work in the context of the movie. It looked like an actor’s self-indulgence. I’ve always believed in the emotional power of film. What rips an audience’s heart out is not seeing somebody bawl their eyes out, but seeing a character go to the end of the Earth to keep it under control, to not let out his last breath. I understood then that an emotion is right only if it’s used correctly."

The actor stresses his belief in metaphysics: "I have a great deal of faith in faith; if you believe something strongly enough, it becomes true for you. I would like to believe that my father is right here with me in this room and that he’s my guardian angel, that there’s life after death; -- because if there isn’t, why are we here? I don’t believe that just flesh and bones can contain, from the point of view of physics, this very real recorded energy inside us. Whether it’s true or not, we need to believe it. Ghost expresses all that."


GHOST story: Patrick Swayze’s Memories
Dan Yakir

Part One
Vol. 9



Ghost is set on two stages, one physical and the other non-corporeal. Sweethearts Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) were in love and decided to move into new digs and on to the next level of their relationship. Sam's friend and co-worker, Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn) had also turned a corner but not one he shared with his pal Sam. Carl invested his skills in a get-rich-quick scheme that required he betray Sam and hire underworld thug Willie Lopez (Rick Aviles) as a partner in crime.

Choices that were made in the material world, based on the two character development blueprints, became the foundation for a fierce spiritual battle of wills in the disincarnate arena. Sam was unable to mobilize his skill as an etheric being so he latched onto Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), who would prove an unlikely agent of mediation. Oda Mae was the only hope Sam had if he was going to link with Molly and correct the chaos unleashed by Carl.

When an incarnation closes there is a battle for the soul that takes place between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. The part of the human soul that leaves the incarnation behind moves on to the next level and the rest, all that is part of the finite vessel, returns to the earth. Most belief systems teach about this transitional doorway though the symbolism varies depending on culture, time zone, and geography.

Metaphysical considerations are often recognized by the actions of kind people blessed with a polite temperament. The battle of wills is often an arena where we can observe the two extremes that fight for the soul.

Anciently the battle fought for the soul was between two serpents, the Protector and Devourer [probably Seraphs]. In modern times, the battle takes place between the Forces of Light and Darkness who appear as Angels or Emanations. Obviously, after leaving the physical shell, the soul is “consciously” aware of this ongoing battle for the first time. Ghost gives a glimpse of the conflict at the etheric level and the angels are portrayed as strength or weakness of character.

Along with Ghost, celluloid examples of pure heart and inspiration under fire include the great chariot race in the story of Ben-Hur, the fight between Maximus and Commodus in Gladiator, the final match in Bloodsport, and the two face-off battles between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. By extension, we know the chafing struggle between Superman and Lex Luthor, Sherlock Holmes and his arch enemy Professor Moriarty, and Lt. Parker Barnes in pursuit of shapeshifter SID 6.7 in Virtuosity.



Making GHOST Materialize

"It was unlike anything I had read before –a thriller and a love story set in two worlds, the physical and the spiritual."

Director Jerry Zucker became fascinated with Ghost when he first read Bruce Joel Rubin’s screenplay. "It was a fantasy, but you couldn’t help think ‘Gee, that’s maybe the way it really is.’"

Ghost begins with Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore) renovating their loft with the help of Sam’s friend and business associate, Carl (Tony Goldwyn). After Sam is murdered, he discovers himself beginning an uncanny new existence.

“This is the most intense role I’ve ever played,” says Swayze. "My character is a corporate New York banker. After he is killed, Sam is still on earth and doesn’t know why. He wishes he could tell Molly how much he loves her, which is something he hadn’t done while he was alive. Upon learning her life is threatened, he wants to protect her. Yet how can San do that when he can’t affect the physical world?"

Swayze was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe for Dirty Dancing. His other movies include Next of Kin, Road House, The Outsider, Uncommon Valor, Youngblood, Red Dawn, Tiger Warsaw, and Steel Dawn.

Molly is unaware that Sam’s spirit is still earthbound as she tries to come to terms with his death.

"I think that when we’ve lost someone we all feel the desire for them to be back," says Moore. "Molly is given the opportunity to experience a last goodbye from Sam and be reassured that where he’s going is a place of love."

Moore’s movies include We’re No Angels, The Seventh Sign, About Last Night, Wisdom, One Crazy Summer, St. Elmo’s Fire, Blame It On Rio, and No Small Affair.

A chance encounter between Sam’s ghost and medium Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) provides him with a way to warn Molly that her life is being threatened.

"Oda Mae has been making a bizarre living as a psychic—she’s a scam artist who has been arrested many times," says Goldberg. "When Sam as a ghost comes to her it freaks her out. He needs her help. There is a part of me that has always wanted to be a hero and Oda Mae permits me to play someone who becomes truly heroic."

Whoopi Goldberg was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in her debut motion picture, The Color Purple. Her othere movies include Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Burglar, Fatal Beauty, Clara’s Heart, Homer and Eddie, and The Long Walk Home.

Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin says that he was captivated by the unusual ideas in Ghost. "I was intrigued by the idea of capturing the sensations and emotions of a person who suddenly realizes they have passed from life into a immaterial new world—a new universe."

Producer Lisa Weinstein was also engrossed by the ideas presented in the script. "Whether or not you believe in ghosts, this story impressed me as being not only unusual, but provocative and very touching."

BACK Etheric Double





Q: Who exactly is Charles Barker?

A: Charles Barker's a rogue, unorthodox, wild man of an FBI agent, and he's been doing it a very long time. He goes all the way back to Afghanistan and Russia, and 'Nam. He's very experienced and dealt with many, many different situations.

It's interesting for me how Charles Barker deals with his "wild man" side. It's that Bodhi side from Point Break. It's that wildness, yet a methodical and intelligent wildness. This man has learned how to harness it, and learns how difficult it is. He lives a life of yin and yang, of understanding that at the same moment, opposites can exist. He's come to terms with it for himself and learned how to turn it into an asset. But it's where his wildness comes from. And you never know what this guy's gonna do.

Barker's philosophy .... The concept is to win the war without fighting the battle. That you lose when weapons come out, you lose when it turns to a battle situation.

Q: Who is this new partner Barker takes on?

A: In the show, Barker's bringing on this young, new partner Travis Fimmel aka Ellis Dove. He doesn't want a new partner. And this guy is young and he's really cocky. Barker is very clear that cocky will get you killed, but you have to have it to stay alive, in the same way that caution will get you killed, but you have to have it to stay alive. So it's that yin and yang place that one has to find to exist in order to stay alive in this world. You never know what's gonna happen.

Rolling Stone Remembering Patrick Swayze

It's heartening to read the clearly sincere tributes to Patrick Swayze, dead at 57 after a balls-out 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. There aren't many actors who could suffer aggressive chemotherapy and still film 13 episodes of The Beast, which debuted on A&E in January.... it was hard to watch Swayze's ravaged face in the role of an undercover F.B.I. agent. But he fought his battles on his terms, not at the dictates of a medical diagnosis. I met Swayze only once. He was doing Chicago the Musical on Broadway, singing and dancing as shyster lawyer Billy Flynn. As ever, he was muscular poetry in motion. Backstage, he shook my hand, stared hard, and called me out on my review of Road House, a 1989 B movie in which he played Dalton, the bouncer at a raucous club in rural Missouri called the Double Deuce....



The Outsiders

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise

Summary by Peter Travers
Showing at select theaters on September 9th in advance of its release on DVD, Francis Coppola's revision of his 1983 film of S.E. Hinton's best seller The Outsiders is funny, touching and revelatory, with twenty-two minutes of added footage and a new soundtrack featuring Elvis Presley. Coppola subtitles the film The Complete Novel, in deference to readers who felt he cheated the book by cutting off the beginning and end. The godfather of directors restores those scenes, featuring many young actors (Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane) who went on to dom. The film is now a complete picture of these 1960s Oklahoma teens who divide themselves into greasers and preppy Socs (pronounced so-shes). The focus is on Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell), 14, an orphan who lives with his older brothers (Lowe and Swayze) and gets involved in a murder committed by Johnny (Ralph Macchio), his best friend. With the help of greaser leader Dallas (a powerful Dillon), the boys hide out in an abandoned building until an act of unexpected heroism brings them to justice. Coppola has given the film a fullness that makes it feel freshly minted. Ponyboy, quoting Robert Frost's poem about how nothing gold (meaning youth) ever lasts, is set against an impossibly golden sunset that always threw me, as did much of the florid dialogue. This new version makes it clear that the film is being seen through Ponyboy, a wanna-be writer with an intense love for reading Gone With the Wind. Coppola has directed the film as Ponyboy would have done it. That clarity results in a movie that will stay gold.

Patrick Swayze Cult Classic

Best of all are the sky-diving sequences — Swayze did over fifty of his own jumps — which take your breath away.

Movie Title: Point Break (Widescreen)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley

An unbelievable movie, and deliriously better for it. Keanu Reeves is a hotshot law enforcement dude--Johnny Utah by name--investigating a series of bank robberies in L.A. Four gunmen, disguised in rubber masks of ex-U.S. presidents, have never come close to being caught, but veteran agent Gary Busey has a theory: The bandits are surfers. This prompts the superb line, "The ex-presidents rip off banks to finance the endless summer!" This movie's full of dialogue like that, but instead of sounding ridiculous it creates its own infectious comic-book energy--ride the crest of it and you'll find the film's giddy zone. Patrick Swayze plays Bodhi, zen-master leader of the surfing clan, humming serenely with the wisdom of the waves. (Alarmingly, Swayze also did his own skydiving stunts.) Director Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker, Strange Days) stages the action sequences with a visceral snap, and clearly has a gift for orchestrating pulp fiction. Though not a huge hit when was first released, Point Break has a well-deserved cult reputation thanks to its video afterlife. The film's executive producer is James Cameron, Bigelow's husband at the time.

--Robert Horton

Point Break 1991
The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow directed this cult favorite with Swayze doing many of his own stunts as Bodhi, a surfer and skydiver who moonlights as a bank robber. I can't be the only one who watches this campfest with genuine affection whenever it's on the tube. The image of Swayze on a surfboard is a keeper.

BACK Keanu Reeves


Movie Title: Dirty Dancing
Director: Emile Ardolino 1987
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach
Time: 100 min
Summary: A three-time Golden Globe nominee, Swayze became a star with his performance as the misunderstood bad boy Johnny Castle in "Dirty Dancing." As the son of a choreographer who began his career in musical theatre, he seemed a natural to play the role.
A coming-of-age romance starring Jennifer Grey as an idealistic young woman on vacation with her family and Swayze as the Catskills resort's sexy (and much older) dance instructor, the film made use of both his grace on his feet and his muscular physique... Swayze performed and co-wrote a song on the soundtrack, the ballad "She's Like the Wind," inspired by his wife, Lisa Niemi. The film also gave him the chance to utter the now-classic line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."
source: The Associated Press


Patrick Swayze's massive T-square occupied three fixed signs, Mars 24 Scorpio 40 opposite
Jupiter 20 Tau 11 square Leo stellium:
Mercury 15 Leo 44 rx, Pluto 21 Leo 20, and Sun 25 Leo 33 is discussed in Allan Quatermain analysis of unique actors who portray the legendary explorer-hunter on TV and in film here. Mars and Pluto are planets linked with Scorpio, the second water sign of extremes in the spiritual condition of the human race – either selfless and self-sacrificing or coercing and corrupting, either purifying or polluting, either gangland or reformer. The middle ground is achieved in the realm of the intellect, law, and to a degree, the stage and screen.
Swayze was named by People magazine as its "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991.

Waking Up In Reno Jordan Brady (2002) stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Natasha Richardson, Patrick Swayze, and Charlize Theron
City of Joy Roland Joffé (1992) .... Max Lowe ... aka La cité de la joie (France)
Point Break Kathryn Bigelow (1991) .... Bodhi and the zen of surfing

Ghost Jerry Zucker (1990) .... Sam Wheat
- BACK Bruce Joel Rubin & Robert E. Howard

Next of Kin (1989) .... Truman Gates
Dirty Dancing Emile Ardolino (1987) .... Johnny Castle
Source: IMDb Patrick Swayze


Lisa Niemi, the widow of Patrick Swayze, spoke about dealing with the loss of her husband at California First Lady Maria Shriver's Women's Conference


She explained that having girlfriends who she can call at any time of the day or night has helped her deal with losing her husband of 34 years: "Sometimes just the act of reaching out helps to ground and connect you back to life and love and other people." Niemi said of Swayze, "Cancer may have taken him but it never beat him." She said that part of the grieving process has been dealing with regrets and beating herself up over the little things.

She told the panel, "I've spent two thirds of my life with him. ... My regret is that I didn't tell him that I loved him enough over that entire 34 years. ... I am so grateful for what I had and my connection to him, and part of me believes that I will see him again and I'm just going to have to go on until then." She said that appearing on the conference has a way for her to try to help others in her position: "For me to learn to reach out and connect with other people was a huge thing, and it enriches the whole tapestry of life when you connect with other people."

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