Actress and dancer Lisa Niemi, 57, is engaged to jewelry designer Albert DePrisco, 58, according to People. Niemi had been married to Patrick Swayze for 34 years when he died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.
Tag: Patrick Swayze (1-10 of 14)
ABC, CBS, and NBC news anchors Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams are uniting to host the Stand Up to Cancer fundraiser on Sept. 10. Like 2008′s telethon, which helped raise more than $100 million for research and awareness and featured a moving appearance by Patrick Swayze, it will include celebrities, sports figures, and musical performances. The program will be simulcast commercial-free on ABC, CBS, and NBC as well as on HBO, Discovery Health, E!, MLB Network, and the Style Network at 8/7c.
Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze’s widow, was on Oprah today for her first TV interview, after an appearance earlier this week at the Women’s Conference 2009 roundtable on grief. Niemi told Oprah that she struggled with the shift from medical treatment to palliative care, and that she “feel[s] like he hasn’t left.” She also discussed the couple’s temporary separation in 2003 due to Swayze’s alcohol abuse at the time. “He was imploding pretty badly,” Niemi, his wife of 34 years, said. She described Swayze’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer as “mind-numbing,” but said the two didn’t discuss death because they were “too positive.” “We were what we called optimist realists,” she said. More on the interview can be found on Oprah’s website.
Reps for Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze’s widow, confirm to EW that Friday’s Oprah Winfrey show will feature a lengthy interview with Niemi. This will be Niemi’s first in-depth interview since Swayze’s death at 57, on September 14, due to complications of pancreatic cancer. Though the rep didn’t give away any details of the topics covered in the interview, People reports that Niemi will discuss her marriage, her grief, and The Time of My Life, the book she co-authored with her husband of 34 years.
Variety reports that a private memorial for Patrick Swayze will be held Sunday at Sony Studios in Culver City, Calif. Donations can be made to Stanford University’s Patrick Swayze Pancreas Cancer Research Fund or Stand Up to Cancer. A previous memorial was held Sept. 19 in Lake Lure, N.C., where Dirty Dancing was shot. Swayze passed away on Sept. 14 at the age of 57.
Lesley Anne Down, who co-starred with Patrick Swayze in the 1985 mini-series North and South, spoke to EW following his death. She shared some personal memories of their time spent together down in Charleston, S.C. for the almost year-long period the two were on the set of the project Swayze once said “blew the lid off” his career.
“Patrick was new to the business when I met him,” says Down. “It was before Dirty Dancing and all the fame stuff, so North and South was a huge break and was really exciting for him. We had a really great time working together. We were young. He was 31 and I was 30 and it was 1985 so we behaved accordingly. We had enormous fun. It was a huge time of discovery, both of our talent as much as through our party selves. We were a very close-knit group of people and we spent all of our time together for almost a year. We used to go to a club, I think it was called BBT in Charleston, South Carolina. We lived there. He was an amazing dancer, of course. And we all went out dancing, all the time. We’d finish work, get ready, and off we went. It’s kinda weird how the years just drop away and disappear and then something like this happens and you can just go back 25 years and it’s like nothing else existed.”
She continues, “From the moment I met him I knew he was going to be a star, and I told him so. He was such a humble guy. But it was what he wanted and he got it.”
“Honestly and truly, he had a fuller and more rewarding life than most people ever get to live,” she adds. “I don’t know that life is always about the longevity of it. What good is longevity if you’re miserable, you don’t make anything of yourself and you’re in a bad marriage and you have no passion? For Patrick, he had passion, for his life, for his animals. He certainly had love with his wife. I just remember when we were doing North and South, he was just so in love with her then. And that never changed. He certainly accomplished more than most people I can think of in his work and his art. And he was a happy human being. If life is about the quality, and not the quantity, then he lived a perfect life.”
Next Wednesday’s live results show of Dancing With the Stars will feature a tribute to Patrick Swayze, according to People.com. Swayze, a classically trained ballet and jazz dancer who flaunted some Latin ballroom flair during a cameo in 2003′s Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, guested on season 1 of Dancing when he dropped in on his buddy John O’Hurley’s rehearsal to teach him some moves in 2005. Swayze “was one of the few people to integrate dance with being an A-list actor,” said executive producer Conrad Green. Season 9 of Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday, Sept. 21.
In the film, Patrick Swayze played Jed, the leader of a group of Midwestern teenagers who fought against invading Soviet tropps. “He was the kind of ringleader of all of us kids: Charlie Sheen, me, Jennifer Grey, and a bunch of other kids,” Thompson told EW. “In the script he was the older one, the one who was the commander of us, so he kind of took that job seriously. We would have, like, midnight raids. [laughs] In the middle of the night they’d knock on our doors and go ‘Wolverines!’ We’d all kind of practice these maneuvers, because we were guerilla fighters. It would all happen in the middle of the night, like a fire drill. We’d grab our coats and run around the town in the middle of Las Vegas, New Mexico in the middle of the night, pretending we were guerilla fighters. It was like camp. It was so much fun.”
Thompson said that one reason she and Swayze bonded on the set was because they both had a ballet background. “We had this strange bond of me knowing him as a ballet dancer, but him also having to be this macho leader of a gang of guerilla soldiers. [laughs] It was a funny juxtaposition, because I think we were both maybe trying to hide the fact that we were ballet dancers a little bit.”
Thompson continued: “I always felt badly that I never got to dance with him. And I was extremely jealous that Jennifer Grey, who was in Red Dawn with us, got to be a dancer with him [in Dirty Dancing]. Sometimes we would dance a little bit together, and I always thought it would be so much fun to do a movie where I could dance with Patrick Swayze. He had an amazing zest for life. He really did. He’s one of those people that just really knows how to wring the most out of every day. I found that inspirational then and I’ve held that inspiration for all these years.”
She added: “I think of how much passion he had and discipline he had for his work, and that’s what I remember, along with his incredible sense of humor and how much fun he liked to have. And I regret that I didn’t get to spend more time with him.”
Keanu Reeves shared some memories with People.com about his Point Break co-star, Patrick Swayze, who died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. “There was some sky diving sequences in this film we did together and as filming was going on it came to be that Patrick was jumping out of airplanes all the time,” Reeves told People, referring to the 1991 movie they did together. “I think he had over 30 jumps during the course of filming and so the production served him with a cease and desist, which he listened to until they got to Hawaii.”
“He was a beautiful person, an artist,” Reeves added. ” Patrick, he just wanted to experience life and for his work he wanted to take the opportunity of the film and it gave him that sense….He lived life to the fullest.”
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