“The Real Dirty Dancing” premieres on Tuesday, February 1 and as such, viewers may be wondering how “Dirty Dancing” star Patrick Swayze died because clips from the movie feature prominently in the new reality show. Here is what you need to know about Swayze’s cause of death, the new show “Real Dirty Dancing” and also how he is connected to “Dancing With the Stars.”
Patrick Swayze Died From Pancreatic Cancer
Movie star and dancer Patrick Swayze died in 2009 at the age of 57 after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer, according to the New York Times. He was diagnosed in January 2008 and died in September 2009. At the time, his publicist told the Associated Press that he died surrounded by his family members.
Swayze was survived by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi, and his mother, Patsy, and brother, Don. Patsy passed away in 2013. Swayze and Niemi did not have any children.
In December 2008, he told ABC News in a statement that he had vowed to fight his cancer, even though pancreatic cancer is known to be a particularly aggressive form of the disease.
“Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease, and from the moment I was diagnosed, I knew I was in for the fight of my life. It’s a battle, and so far, I’ve been winning. I’m one of the lucky few that responds well to treatment. It’s upsetting that the shoddy and reckless reporting from these publications cast a negative shadow on the positive and good fight I’m fighting. For me, my family, and those close to me, it amounts to downright emotional cruelty. That makes me angry when hope is so precious,” said the “Dirty Dancing” star, adding, “As always, I appreciate all the love and support people have sent and continue to send my way. I thank you.”
Melora Hardin Thinks Patrick Swayze Would Have Been Amazing On ‘Dancing With the Stars
In an interview with Heavy, actress Melora Hardin talked about competing on season 30 of “Dancing With the Stars” and recalled working with Swayze — he was one of her first dance instructors when she was a young girl and she thinks he would have made a “perfect” contestant for “Dancing With the Stars.”
“Patrick was my first jazz teacher and he would have been a perfect competitor for ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” said Hardin, adding that all the young dancers at the studio were head over heels for him.
“When I was 13 he would drive to my ballet studio on his motorcycle in his tight jeans and black leather jacket and all the girls would swoon and he would teach us how to do a pas de bourrée on bent knees. And all the little ballerinas would watch his butt wiggling around in his tight jeans!”
Interestingly enough, that isn’t Hardin’s only connection to Swayze. In 1988, following on the success of “Dirty Dancing,” the romantic drama was adapted for TV. Alas, the show was short-lived, but Hardin played Frances “Baby” Kellerman on the TV series. She told Heavy it was such a blast to film and she is still friends with several of the people she met on the show.
“It’s a bunch of young kids who can’t dance (but really want to) meeting a bunch of slightly older kids who really can dance at a summer camp in the Catskills. All this while the parents are off doing other things. There’s lots of opportunity for plot lines there!” said Hardin, adding, “That show was so much fun to make. Lots of dancing. Sadly we only made seven episodes.”
She added, “Patrick Cassidy played the Patrick Swayze part, we had a ball and I seem to remember that he met his wife Melissa, a beautiful dancer, on the show. We are still close. They now live in Nashville where he runs the amazing theater Studio Tenn and I just was on his podcast. … Mandy Ingber was on that show and we remain close to this day.”
‘The Real Dirty Dancing’ Premise & Cast
The idea behind “The Real Dirty Dancing” is that eight celebrities descend upon Virginia’s Mountain Lake Lodge, which was the real-life stand-in for the fictional Kellerman’s Lodge in “Dirty Dancing,” to learn iconic dance routines and re-create classic scenes from the movie.
They will be judged by various guest judges — the first one announced was Jane Brucker, according to “Entertainment Weekly.” Brucker played Baby’s sister Lisa Houseman in the original film. Each week after the premiere, one couple will be eliminated until the best “Baby” and “Johnny” are crowned.
The eight celebrities competing are Brie Bella, Corbin Bleu, Tyler Cameron, Cat Cora, Howie Dorough, Antonio Gates, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, and Loni Love. It is hosted by dancer and TV personality Stephen “tWitch” Boss.
“The Real Dirty Dancing” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on FOX. “Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.