Tough guys do dance. And are remarkably tender. That's what Patrick Swayze, dancer/actor in the tradition of Jimmy Cagney, Gene Kelly and John Travolta and inspiration for Taye Diggs and Hugh Jackman, proved with incomparable grace both offscreen and on.
As I wrote in his obituary:
It's hard not to think that the one-time gymnast who vaulted to stardom in 1987's Dirty Dancing had rehearsed his premature exit in the 1990 blockbuster Ghost. As the banker who solves his own murder mystery, he speaks from the dead to his living sweetheart, Demi Moore. Mr. Swayze, impossibly sexy and throbbingly sensitive, tells her: "It's amazing, the love inside. You take it with you."
It's hard to think of another actor who could carry off roles like these. The surprise of Swayze is that he presented himself as a galoot before revealing a character of rare gallantry. "Patrick possessed a depth of nobility," said his Point Break director Kathryn Bigelow."
What qualities did you like about him? Favorite movie? Snatch of dialogue?
For those who would like to leave expressions for his family, here's the link.