Five years ago today, we lost a bright light in the entertainment world: Patrick Swayze. A winning smile, brimming with passion, and ready to face the world, Patrick brought to life a wide range of characters, from Point Break‘s lawless surfer Bodhi to creepy self-help guru Jim Cunningham in Donnie Darko. Probably his most famous role, though, is that of Johnny Castle, the sexy dance instructor, in Dirty Dancing.
That’s the role I’m most familiar with, as my mother watched that movie just about once a week, every week from the moment she bought in on VHS and then DVD–decades. I’ve still got blocks of dialogue trapped in the cobwebby parts of my brain, and I could probably lift Jennifer Grey right up over my head in that iconic last moment lift at the Kellerman’s floor show.
Two of my favorite Swayze movies are To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and Point Break. His loving, warm, and generous Vida Boheme still makes me laugh and smile, remembering the casual smiling, “I think that’s healthy!” when Carol Ann calls her an angel. And after five years, I’m certain he’s lighting up the dance floor in heaven!
Point Break, though, has always been Patrick at his coolest, in my opinion. Full of spit and vinegar, he doesn’t let what’s supposed to be or what’s expected stop him from pursuing his one and only dream, surfing into the alleged hundred year storm. This is a major spoiler alert; so, if you haven’t seen Point Break in its entirety, you may not want to watch the video below. I included the ending sequence here because as soon as I heard about Patrick’s passing this was the scene I thought of. And I hoped that wherever he went, he bounded up on shore–drenched and thankful for air.
Missing you, Patrick.