Beloved actor Patrick Swayze uttered these words to the love of his life, actress wife Lisa Niemi, prior to the end of his two-year battle against cancer in 2009.
In the new documentary I Am Patrick Swayze, which aired on what would have been the Dirty Dancing actor’s 67th birthday, Lisa spoke about her life with the movie superstar, further elaborating on the details of their love affair, which she spoke of in her 2011 memoir, Worth Fighting For.
The actor succumbed to pancreatic cancer, but not before telling his beloved wife “I love you.” He then slipped into a coma, reported Good Housekeeping. Patrick died days later on September 14, 2009.
The documentary honored Patrick through the use of home video clips and interviews with those closest to the actor, who was one of the biggest stars of the 1980s and 1990s thanks to his roles in the films The Outsiders, Dirty Dancing, Ghost, North & South and Road House. Some of his most famous co-stars also shared their recollections of the actor in the documentary, including C. Thomas Howell, Sam Elliott, Rob Lowe and Jennifer Grey.
Jennifer Grey recalled that although the chemistry between herself and Patrick heated up when they were dancing, they had a “complex dynamic” throughout the filming of their iconic movie Dirty Dancing. The two previously worked together on the 1984 film Red Dawn, also starring the actor’s The Outsiders co-star C. Thomas Howell.
“There was a feeling like an easy chair, a hot easy chair,” she said in the documentary, as reported by USA Today. As the two danced, she recalled Patrick trying to set her mind at ease as she was working out of her comfort zone. He reportedly told her, “I’ll never drop you, I’ll never let you get hurt. I might throw myself around. I might be careless with my own body, but I will stand in front of a train for you.”
For as much as he lived life in the public eye, those closest to him, who called Patrick by his childhood nickname of Buddy, remarked that not many people knew the real man behind the celebrity. They said he was a person who was in stark contrast to the sexy, brooding characters Patrick played effortlessly in his many films.
Lisa spoke of her love for the actor, whom she met when the two were just teens after she took a dance class from the actor’s mother, Patsy. They would eventually marry in 1975. “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,” she said, as reported by The Evening Standard.
Throughout their decades-long marriage, Patrick shot to the top of the acting world and was known as one of the sexiest men in the industry. But behind his success lay a man, according to the documentary, still working to overcome some difficult personal issues. Lisa alleged that Patrick suffered abuse by his mother, Patsy, that continued throughout his childhood until the actor’s father, Jesse, threatened to divorce her if she continued to harm their son, reported USA Today. Patrick also struggled with alcohol addiction during his marriage to Lisa, and the two separated because of it. They later reconciled and remained dedicated to one another throughout the remainder of the actor’s life.
I Am Patrick Swayze aired on The Paramount Network.