An athlete practically from birth, Patrick Swayze was a football player in high school and then earned a gymnastics scholarship to pay for college. His father had been a dancer/choreographer, and Swayze began to study dance early on, eventually working with the prestigious Harkness and Joffrey Ballet companies. He made his professional debut as a dancer with the lead role of Prince Charming in a traveling company of Disney on Parade, but an old knee injury from his football days threatened to cut his dancing career short at any moment. Hedging his bets, Swayze opened his repertoire up to acting as well. He made the transition to Broadway, landing the role of Danny in the hit Broadway musical Grease before heading to Los Angeles to make yet another transition — this time to the screen.
Swayze cut his teeth on TV guest appearances, scoring a memorable role as dying soldier in an episode of M*A*S*H. Finally, he got a role in Francis Ford Coppola’s youth ensemble film The Outsiders… read more