He was born to Jesse Wayne Swayze and Patsy Swayze on 18th August, 1952, in Houston, Texas. His father was a draftsman for chemical plant engineering and his mother ran a dancing school in Houston. He has four siblings named Don Swayze, Sean Kyle, Vickie Lynn and Bambi and he was the second Swayze child.
He spent his early life in Oak Forest, Houston, and received education from ‘St. Rose of Lima Catholic School’, ‘Oak Forest Elementary School’, ‘Black Middle School’ and ‘Waltrip High School’. He was engaged in many extra curriculum activities such as swimming, gymnastics, football and dancing.
He got trained in gymnastics at ‘San Jacinto College’ and in 1972, he travelled to New York and got dance training at institutes like ‘Harkness Ballet School’ and ‘Joffrey Ballet School’. His first dance performance as a professional was for the ‘Disney on Parade’ event.
He made his debut in the Broadway with musical entitled ‘Grease’. In 1979, he got his first break in the big screen with the movie ‘Skatetown, U.S.A.’, which was a comedy film.
In 1981, he featured in a television show named ‘Blood Brothers’ in the episode entitled ‘MASH’. The same year, he also worked in the television drama film ‘Return of the Rebels’.
His role in the 1983 film ‘The Outsiders’ earned him recognition and the following year, he also appeared in the ‘Red Dawn’. The following year, he worked in the movie ‘Grandview U.S.A.’.
In 1985, he appeared in the TV miniseries ‘North and South’ and this became a milestone in his acting career. The following year, he starred in the drama film ‘Youngblood’.
The film which established him in the film industry was ‘Dirty Dancing’, released in 1987, where he portrayed a dance trainer named Johnny Castle. The movie met with unexpected success and became an immediate hit.
He also sang ‘She’s Like the Wind’ for the movie which is a power ballad, and till date this song has been sung by many other singers. This song was written by Swayze along with Stacy Widelitz which was supposed to be used in the film ‘Grandview, U.S.A.’.
He then got many film projects and during 1987-90, he worked in movies such as ‘Steel Dawn’, ‘Tiger Warsaw’, ‘Next of Kin’,’ Road House’, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’. His performance in the film ‘Ghost’ was highly appreciated and can be regarded as his first major role as a lead.
The following year, he worked in action crime movie ‘Point Break’, this movie earned him a nomination at ‘MTV Movie Award’ for ‘Most Desirable Man’, and was named the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ by the ‘People’ magazine.
During 1992-95, he worked in movies such as ‘City of Joy; ‘Father Hood’, ‘Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill’, ‘Three Wishes’ and ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar’.
In 1998, he worked in movies like ‘Letters from the Killer’ and ‘Black Dog’. While shooting for the film ‘Letters from the Killer’ he met with an accident and was bed ridden for a long time.
Both his legs were fractured and he even hurt his shoulder when he fell from a horse and smashed into a tree. The production of the movie was delayed and it was released the following year.
He gradually recovered from the injury and in the year 2000, resumed his acting career with the film ‘Forever Lulu’. The following year, he worked in the movies ‘Donnie Darko’ and ‘Green Dragon’.
From 2002 to 2009, this gifted actor worked in various films and television series such as ‘Waking Up in Reno’, ‘One Last Dance’, ‘11:14’, ‘Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights’, ‘George and the Dragon’, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’, ‘Keeping Mum’, ‘Icon’, ‘The Fox and the Hound 2’, ‘Jump!’, ‘Christmas in Wonderland’, ‘Powder Blue’ and ‘The Beast’.
During this era, he also worked in mainstream theatre the ‘West End theatre’ when he acted in the musical ‘Guys and Dolls’. He even lent his voice in the animated movie ‘The Fox and the Hound 2’ for the character called Cash.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS
This versatile actor’s role in the movie ‘The Outsiders’ made him known to Hollywood. However, the film which marked his place in the film industry is ‘Dirty Dancing’ where he played the role of a dance trainer. As he was always passionate about dancing, he did justice to the role. The film garnered huge profits and it sold one million video copies till 2009, which is a record in itself.
This actor received many award nominations including the ‘Golden Globe Award’ however, did not win any.