Patrick Swayze’s beautiful final words to wife after tragic cancer battle

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Dirty Dancing, the 1987 hit and ever-popular classic, will air on Channel 5 at 8pm On Saturday night. The romantic drama sees Swayze play Johnny Castle, a dancer at a vacation resort, teaching Jennifer Grey’s character, Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, how to dance, before they inevitably fall in love. The film was one of Swayze’s most iconic roles, making him a huge name in Hollywood.

But away from the screen, he had his own real-life love story with his wife, Lisa Niemi Swayze, who supported him throughout his battle with pancreatic cancer, which eventually took his life.

The couple met in 1970 when Swayze was 18 years old and Lisa 14. At the time, she was taking dance lessons from her future husband’s mother.

They married on June 12, 1975, and would remain together for 34 years until Swayze died aged 57 in 2009.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight after her husband, who she affectionately called ‘Buddy’, died, Lisa told the story of how dance brought them together.

She said: “The first time Buddy and I danced together was at a school exhibition. We walked out on stage. I looked in his eyes, it was like everything came alive.”

In her 2011 book ‘Worth Fighting For’, Lisa spoke of the love and heartbreak the couple endured as he battled the disease which would eventually overcome him.

She said watching her husband die was the “worst thing in the world to go through”, but also said it was “miraculous” that the actor lived as long as 22 months following his cancer diagnosis.

She described tender moments, “holding his hand, listening to music, sleeping with my arm around him”.

She wrote: “You spend every day fighting for that person’s life. I know that he spent every day fighting for his own.”

And when it came time to say goodbye, she revealed what her husband’s last words were, saying: “My last words to Patrick? ‘I love you,’ and those were his last words to me.”

Writing on his intimate last moments, she said: “In the quiet of Monday morning, September 14, I looked at his face and listened to the tiny sips of air he was taking, I didn’t want to leave the room.

“I was afraid that suddenly he’d be afraid. I lay back at Buddy’s side, I held his hand and felt his pulse again … was it? … was it? And then he didn’t breathe anymore.”

In the wake of her grief, she said: “When you lose someone, you never stop loving them and it’s…I feel like I have a different relationship with him now.

“It’s just, he’s not physically present, you know what I mean?”

It’s not just Swayze’s wife who has fond memories of him – he was well-known as a likeable character by his co-stars too, even if one of his most famous on-screen romances had a rocky start.

Earlier this month, Swayze’s co-star in Dirty Dancing, Jennifer Grey, revealed how she was persuaded to do the film.

She said Swayze apologised to her in tears to get her onboard having not enjoyed working with him on the 1984 film Red Dawn.

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Appearing on The View last month, she said: “Patrick was playing pranks on me and everybody.

“[He was] late and the boss of everybody and it was just, like, macho and I just couldn’t take it. I was just like, ‘Please, this guy, that’s enough with him.’”

When Grey refused to work with him on Dirty Dancing, Swayze tried to fix things.

Grey continued: “He pulled me down the hall and said to me, ‘I love you, I love you and I’m so sorry. And I know you don’t want me to do the movie.

“He got the tears in his eyes. And I got the tears in my eyes, not for the same reason.

“I was like, ‘Oh, this guy’s working me.’ And he goes, ‘We could kill it. We could kill it if we did this’ and I was like, ‘OK, honey.’

“We go in there and he takes me in his arms and I was like, ‘Oh, boy. I’m done.’ There was no competition.”

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