Patrick Swayze’s Widow Remembers Him Ahead of ‘Dirty Dancing’s 35th Anniversary

by Tia Bailey

The 35th anniversary of the 1987 romance/dance movie “Dirty Dancing” is coming up. Star Patrick Swayze‘s wife, Lisa Niemi, spoke about her late husband ahead of the anniversary.

Swayze passed away due to pancreatic cancer in 2009. He was 57 at the time of his death. His 70th birthday would have been earlier this week.

Niemi spoke to Entertainment Tonight about Swayze. “I don’t think there’s anything I don’t miss about him,” she said.

She also said that she still feels close to him, and shared that it is strange to “have someone so far away and yet have them still so incredibly close.”

“I feel like he’s with me every day, but of course, it’d be nice to have him physically in the room, but, I tell you what, we had a great ride and there’s so much to be grateful for,” Niemi said.

She also added that “Dirty Dancing” was always getting more fans, and Swayze loved it.

“When Patrick was still alive, he would always say, ‘I’m on my second generation of fans’… He’d get approached by young ladies who weren’t even born when the movie came out,” she said. “Any artist for their work to live on like that and make such an impact in such a positive way, what more could you ask for?”

Although he loved his time in the film, when there were talks of a sequel, Niemi said he would never do that.

“[The way they] left it was absolutely perfect. There were several iterations of a script for that movie, but Patrick had a high standard and he wasn’t gonna do it just for the money,” Niemi told Entertainment Tonight.

Lisa Niemi Thinks of Late Husband Patrick Swayze Near “Dirty Dancing” Anniversary

“Dirty Dancing” is a cult classic, and many people still rewatch it. The film followed Baby (Jennifer Grey) as she falls in love with her dance instructor Johnny (Swazye), much to the disapproval of her father.

Fans took to social media to remember Swayze on his birthday.

One fan tweeted out: “The late Patrick Swayze was born on this date in 1952. The “Dirty Dancing” star was a Hollywood icon until his passing in 2009 at the age of 57. #RIPPatrickSwayze #1980s #80s.”

One of the most famous scenes in the film is towards the end, when Baby jumped into Johnny’s arms and he left her horizontally above his body, right up in the air. Many have tried to attempt the move, but Niemi says Swayze was always the expert at it.

“Patrick loves going off and he was strong enough to do all that stuff, so when they want to pull off a great lift, he says, ‘I got one for you,’” she told Entertainment Tonight.