Impossible To Move On?
It has been nearly a decade since Patrick Swayze lost his battle to pancreatic cancer. However, he ended up leaving behind the ever-present shining light of his life, Lisa Niemi. Having been his wife for 34 years, it proved to be extremely difficult for Niemi to move on from her tremendous heartache. However, was she able to find a light at the end of the tunnel? Now she is able to open up about the last decade.
It All Began At Ballet School
It’s only fitting that Lisa Niemi’s story with Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze should begin at a dancing school. Having grown up in Houston, Texas to Finnish parents Edmond and Karin Haapaniemi, Lisa was a keen ballet dancer from day one. From a young age, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in ballet and other performance arts. Soon enough, Niemi’s time spent at ballet school would lead her to her beloved Patrick…
She Met Him Through His Mom
It turns out that Patrick Swayze’s mother, Patsy, was actually Lisa Niemi’s ballet teacher. Despite being friends early on, it took a while before they truly hit it off. “I knew she was the smartest chick I’d ever met in my life. [Before Lisa], I had been meeting girls with names like Mimi and Angel,” Swayze said in an interview with People magazine. “And for a long time, I didn’t feel like I deserved her.”
She Played Hard To Get
Although they knew each other from an early age, Swayze admitted that he found it difficult trying to speak to Niemi. Despite having a way with women from an early age, Swayze’s tricks didn’t work on Niemi. “If I started putting on a pose or doing my Casanova routine, Lisa would turn away and not say anything,” he said. “We had a lot of dates in silence.” However, after opening up to each other, Swayze finally won Niemi’s heart…
Til’ Death Do Us Part
Swayze admitted that it took some serious conversations to get on the same page with Niemi. “As soon as I opened up about what I wanted from life, she would answer me,” he said. Soon enough, the couple knew that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together and on June 12, 1975, the young couple tied the knot. In fitting fashion, the wedding reception took place at the Swayze family’s dance studio.
Obviously, the main thing that Niemi and her husband had in common was their passion for performing. While Niemi still maintained her desire to become a professional dancer, Swayze was slowly making a name for himself in the world of acting. In fact, it was Dirty Dancing that earned Swayze his big break. The low-budget flick ended up making a staggering $214 million at the box office. Despite the movie putting him on the map, Swayze knew who to thank for a large part of his success…
Thank You Lisa
In many ways, it was wife Lisa who had a large part to play in Patrick Swayze’s early success. He has gone on the record, explaining how much of an impact his wife had on his early years in entertainment. “I just felt at the time that I’m very, very lucky to have a woman who thinks I hung the moon,” he said. Moreover, Niemi was the main inspiration behind the song that Swayze co-wrote for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, “She’s Like the Wind.”
Kirstie Alley Fantasized About Patrick
There is no doubt that co-stars can experience tension while working together. However, it would take a while before Kirstie Alley revealed fantasies she had about Patrick Swayze while working with him on the show North and South. During her time on Celebrity Big Brother, Alley revealed that she considered having an affair with Swayze. “When you get on the road and you’re doing a movie, it’s very easy to fall in love with your leading man,” she said.
Let’s face it, no relationship is perfect, and every couple faces obstacles along the way. In that respect, Swayze and Niemi were no different. One of the biggest challenges that the married couple faced was around the time that Ghost was released. It was during this time that Niemi suffered a miscarriage. For many, this sort of family tragedy can make or break a relationship. Soon enough, a number of people went on the recorded regarding the couple’s untimely episode.
Swayze’s Deepest Regret
Patrick Swayze has been quoted in the past as saying the following: “I was born to be a dad.” However, some things just aren’t meant to be, and when everything was said and done, Swayze and Niemi never ended up having kids. Bodyguard Frank Whiteley spoke about the actor’s deepest regret. “It broke his heart,” he said. “He wanted to be a dad more than anything. He had skills, knowledge, kindness and love – everything a child would want.”
Some people experience more tragedy than others. However, it seems that Patrick Swayze was cursed with much misfortune during the latter stages of his life. Around the same time that Lisa Niemi suffered a miscarriage, Swayze experienced more tremendous loss, losing both his father and sister. In 1982, his dad died of a heart attack. Then, 12 years later, his sister passed away from complications related to prescription medicine. Also, the grief he suffered ended up opening a can of worms…
Drinking Away The Pain
It turns out that Patrick Swayze struggled to cope with the loss of both his father and sister. As a result, the actor turned to heavy drinking, which for a while, sidelined him from the limelight. Swayze had no choice but to get his life back on track and eventually got himself into rehab. He spent a lot of his time at his California and New Mexico homes with wife Lisa. It was clear that Swayze and Niemi were lost without each other.
Fighting For The Right Reasons?
According to a number of sources, this troubling chapter in Swayze’s life was only exacerbated by fights that he would have with wife Lisa. However, an unidentified source told RadarOnline that the actor may have been a victim of abuse, to which Lisa has vehemently denied. “She (Niemi) would beat on him and he would beat on the walls and furniture. They fought and I covered up a lot of that — they destroyed hotel rooms, cars, their house … It was abusive,” the source claimed.
Faithful To Each Other?
It wasn’t just the reported fights that may have suggested that all wasn’t well in the Swayze-Niemi household. According to Charlotte Stevens, one of Swayze’s childhood friends, she had told the actor to leave Niemi because she had supposedly cheated on him. “I would tell him, ‘You mean to tell me she’s having these affairs and you haven’t stepped out on her?’ And he would say, ‘No I don’t want it used against me.'” However, Niemi reportedly didn’t even know who Stevens was.
Their Secret To Success
Through thick and thin, Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi managed to maintain a healthy, exciting marriage. In 2007, the actor revealed the “secret” behind their successful marriage and why they were virtually unbreakable. “We’re big believers in, arguments are okay…but it’s about a mutual goal – trying to create something special,” he said. As time went on, people started to take notice of their incredible marriage and other avenues began to open that added new and exciting layers to it…
One person who thoroughly admired Swayze and Niemi’s undying bond was Barbara Walters. In 2008, the TV host filmed a summer special called Patrick Swayze: The Truth. The host referred to their marriage as “extraordinary.” “The way he looked at her, the way he held on to her, the way she smiled, I can’t really imagine one without the other,” she said. In fact, Swayze and Niemi also collaborated on a professional level, with the latter directing the 2003 movie One Last Dance.
Something Wasn’t Right
Around New Year’s Eve 2007, Patrick Swayze started to suffer from painful symptoms. When he opened a bottle of bubbly that evening, Swayze compared it to “pouring acid, you know, on an open wound.” Also, Swayze started to lose a considerable amount of weight. “When you see it in the mirror, when all of a sudden, you pull your eyes down and the bottom of your eyes go yellow and jaundice sets in – then you know something’s wrong,” Swayze added.
The doctors soon revealed that the cause of Swayze’s decline in health was stage four pancreatic cancer. Sadly, Swayze learned that his chances of survival were slim. In an interview with ABC News, Lisa Niemi described her initial reaction to hearing Swayze’s diagnosis as “a nightmare you couldn’t wake up from.” What made matters even worse was that Swayze couldn’t have his tumor removed as his cancer had spread so much. Despite his slim chances, Swayze remained positive and underwent chemotherapy.
Sure enough, more success came Swayze’s way, with unforgettable roles in movies such as Point Break, Road House, and Ghost. While this high level of fame and fortune may have ruined other relationships, it seemed to have little impact on Swayze’s marriage. Kelly Lynch, who Swayze starred alongside inRoad House, said the following: “They’re like a single organism…They love each other, and it’s apparent. The partnership is for life.” However, this isn’t to say that everything was perfect between the two…
Despite his poor chances of survival, Swayze remained hopeful. “I keep dreaming of a future, a future with a long and healthy life, a life not lived in the shadow of cancer but in the light,” he said. However, the actor certainly wasn’t naive to the situation he was going through. “You can bet that I’m going through hell,” he said. “And I’ve only seen the beginning of it.” Sure enough, Swayze battled long and hard until the very end…
His battle with pancreatic cancer was an inspiration to millions of people, having lived for nearly two years after his diagnosis. However, at 57 years of age, Patrick Swayze succumbed to his illness and passed away on September 14, 2009. Many fans of the Dirty Dancing star flocked to his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and laid flowers and cards in his honor. However, there was no doubt that the person who was hit the hardest by his passing was his wife, Lisa Niemi.
She Lost The Love Of Her Life
It would take time for Lisa Niemi to heal. However, she never foresaw how difficult it would be. “I thought during the 22 months of my husband’s illness that it gave me time to get used to the idea of losing him,” she said. “And I found for myself when I actually got to that point I said, no, no, no. That wasn’t the same at all, the actual loss is – it’s like an animal all on its own.”
Lisa also had a few regrets of her own and wishes she could’ve told Swayze she loved him more often. “I would be with Patrick a million times over if I could — warts and all…My regret is that I didn’t tell him that I loved him enough over that entire 34 years,” she said. “We told each other we loved each other over and over again. I never left the room without telling him. It still didn’t feel like enough.”
One Year Later
A year had passed since Niemi had lost her husband. While some people in her situation would have reacted differently, Niemi admitted that she felt a lot stronger now that time had passed. “The fact that I’ve had some good days definitely gives me hope that I can have more,” she said in an interview with People Magazine. Not only was she finding the strength to move on, but something happened that took Lisa’s life in a whole new direction…
In Memory Of Patrick
Shortly after Swayze’s passing, Lisa Niemi became the Chief Ambassador of Hope for PanCAN, also known as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. According to the organization’s website, it “is dedicated to fighting the world’s toughest cancer. In our urgent mission to save lives, we attack pancreatic cancer on all fronts: research, clinical initiatives, patient services and advocacy.” It turns out that Niemi did something in honor of Swayze and the charity that many people have differing opinions about…
Letting Things Go
Lisa Niemi ended up selling a number of items of memorabilia from Swayze’s illustrious career. These included the leather jacket the actor wore in the classic film Dirty Dancing. Amazingly, it sold for a staggering $62,270. However, Niemi admitted that it was difficult to let go of these things. “No matter what, it’s still a letting go. There’s always a little bit of loss associated with that,” she said. “While it’s a very positive thing to do, it’s a difficult thing to do.”
Despite Niemi’s determination to let go of these items of memorabilia in an effort to raise money for charity, her in-laws did not see it this way. Danielle Swayze, who is the niece of the actor, hated the idea of putting these things up for auction. “These were family heirlooms,” she said. “It’s a slap in the face that she’s selling these precious memories.” Regardless of Danielle’s thoughts, the items of memorabilia are now in other people’s hands.
In October 2012, a couple of years after losing Swayze, Niemi started a new chapter in her life, dating a jeweler by the name of Albert DePrisco. A mutual friend had introduced them to one another and soon enough, they developed a serious relationship. In fact, Niemi admitted that she didn’t really struggle to date somebody else after losing Swayze. “I have to say, that the love I have for Patrick was never in conflict or competition with my feelings for Albert,” she said.
Will You Marry Me?
Although Lisa Niemi was confident in moving on with Albert DePrisco, a huge curveball came her way when the jeweler got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage. “I found myself grappling with my feelings of having been married to Patrick for 34 years!” she explained. “Privately, I flipped, I flopped. Yes, get married, no, don’t get married.” One thing was for sure; Lisa Niemi still had a lot of thinking to do.
Growing In Confidence
Despite the uncertainty, the couple managed to come to an understanding. “Albert knew I still loved Patrick and would always love him and told me, ‘And I know you love me, and I love you.’ How could I not marry this man?'” she said. “As I had time to process the change my life was going to take, my doubts became less and less, and I became [surer.]” However, something extraordinary happened that made up Niemi’s mind, once and for all…
Her Dream Came True
Ultimately, despite her inner conflict, Niemi said yes to DePrisco’s proposal. However, just a few weeks before the wedding, Niemi’s insecurities were completely dispelled when Patrick Swayze appeared in her dream. “It was like he was giving me his blessing and letting me know it was okay,” she said. “Again, it can be hard sometimes to take those steps forward, but it doesn’t change the way we feel about someone. He was letting me know that.”
She Got Her Happy Ending
Nearly a decade after Swayze’s tragic passing, Niemi was ready to walk down the aisle again and move on with her life. When she said the words “I do,” she knew that Swayze was looking down on her, pleased with her decision. “I could say that it’s Albert’s heart, his generosity, his personal strength and his sense of fun, as some of the reasons why I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, and they would be true,” she said.
What was Patrick Swayze's last words to his wife? ›
'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.How is Patrick Swayze's wife doing now? ›
Over 13 years after his death, his widow continues to spread awareness and knowledge of pancreatic cancer, hoping to help others who are fighting the disease and their loved ones.How long did Patrick Swayze live after he was diagnosed? ›
Swayze passed away on September 14, 2009 at the age of 57, 20 months after his cancer diagnosis. It is estimated that pancreatic cancer will surpass breast and colon cancer to become the second-leading cause of all cancer-related deaths in the United States by 2020.What did Patrick Swayze wife do? ›
She is a licensed pilot and flew Swayze to his cancer treatments prior to his death. While filming One Last Dance in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Niemi was made an honorary citizen of the city. After her husband's death, she became the Chief Ambassador of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.Who did Patrick Swayze leave his inheritance to? ›
Swayze's multimillion fortune was left entirely to his wife of 34 years, Lisa Nieme, whom he had met in 1970 when they were teenagers. The pair had no children, but the rest of his family including his mother Patsy and brothers Sean and Don relentlessly fought for years to get some of the inheritance.What was the age difference between Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa? ›
They commenced dating soon after when Lisa was just 15 years old and Patrick was 19, according to People magazine.Can you live without a pancreas? ›
You can live without your pancreas, but you'll have to take medicines to replace what it does in your body. Thanks to new medicines, life expectancy after pancreas removal surgery is rising. Your pancreas makes substances that control your blood sugar and help your body digest foods.Why didn't Patrick Swayze have his pancreas removed? ›
Fifty percent of people, when they're diagnosed, the cancer has already spread to other organs, and there's almost no chance of cure with current treatments." For Swayze, surgery to remove the cancer was not an option because it had spread to his liver.How long did Steve Jobs live after diagnosis? ›
After a delay of nine months after diagnosis, in 2004, Jobs opted for surgery. He died 7 years later. There has been widespread speculation about whether Jobs' decision to use CAM approaches hastened his death by postponing initiation of potentially life-prolonging conventional treatments (Grady, 2011).Does Patrick Swayze's son look like him? ›
But few can deny a resemblance exists between Jason and Patrick. After viewing side-by-side photos of the two, plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn tells Globe they both have similar eye shape and color, the same noses and the same lips. “Both of them have a forehead shape that matches each other as well,” Dr.
Does Patrick Swayze have any children? ›
Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi were childhood lovers. However, they did not have any children in their 30 years of marriage. In the 2019 Paramount Network documentary titled I Am Patrick Swayze, the now-66-year-old actress opened up about the couple wanting children but tragically could not.Was Patrick Swayze married at the time of his death? ›
Swayze first met his wife, a fellow Houston native, in one of his mother's dance classes. They married in 1975 and remained together until his death.How many wives did Patrick Swayze have? ›
Patrick Swayze was married to his wife, Lisa Niemi, for 34 years before he died on September 14, 2009 after living with pancreatic cancer.Did Patrick Swayze's wife ever play in a movie with him? ›
Lisa NiemiDid Patrick Swayze's widow remarry? ›
Patrick Swayze's widow has remarried. Lisa Niemi wed jeweler Albert DePrisco in Palm Beach, Florida on Sunday reports People. Two days before the nuptials the 57-year-old actress and dancer divulged to the magazine that she was excited for the big day.Who owns Patrick Swayze's ranch? ›
Swayze died in 2009 after a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 57. His widow, Lisa Niemi, still owns their 7,000-acre ranch in San Miguel.Why did Patrick Swayze and his wife not have kids? ›
Patrick Swayze had no children. They did plan to have children during their marriage, but tragically his wife Lisa Niemi suffered a miscarriage.How much was Patrick Swayze worth at his death? ›
Patrick Swayze was an American actor who had a net worth of $40 million at the time of his death in 2009. During his lifetime, Patrick Swayze was one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood.How much older is Patrick Swayze than Jennifer Grey? ›
How Old Were Patrick Swayze And Jennifer Grey During Dirty Dancing? The late Swayze was approximately seven years older than Grey in real life.Did Patrick Swayze and his wife have children? ›
They had no children, but Lisa had suffered one miscarriage. They met in 1970 when Swayze was 18 years old. Niemi, 14 at the time, was taking dance lessons from Swayze's mother. In a 2008 interview, Swayze stated that Niemi was the inspiration for his song "She's Like the Wind" (1987).
Who was older Don Swayze and Patrick Swayze? ›
Donald had an older sister, Vickie Lynn (1949–1994), an older brother, Patrick (1952–2009), one younger brother, Sean Kyle (born 1962), and one younger adopted sister Bora Song "Bambi".Can pancreas grow back? ›
The exocrine pancreas can regenerate spontaneously and robustly in both animals and humans.How long does a pancreas transplant last? ›
The outlook for people with a pancreas transplant is usually good. Most people live for many years, or even decades, after a pancreas transplant. More than 9 out of 10 people are alive 1 year after having a pancreas transplant, or a pancreas and kidney transplant at the same time.What is the survival rate of having your pancreas removed? ›
The five year survival rate for stage 1 and 2 pancreatic cancer is 12%, which means 12 out of 100 people are still alive after 5 years. For people who have surgery to remove the cancer, the one year survival rate is about 73% and the five year survival rate is about 20%.Can you live without the tail of your pancreas? ›
It's possible to live without a pancreas. But when the entire pancreas is removed, people are left without the cells that make insulin and other hormones that help maintain safe blood sugar levels. These people develop diabetes, which can be hard to manage because they are totally dependent on insulin shots.Can you live with pancreatic? ›
Compared with many other cancers, the combined five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer—the percentage of all patients who are living five years after diagnosis—is very low at just 5 to 10 percent. This is because far more people are diagnosed as stage IV when the disease has metastasized.How many people survive pancreatic? ›
Survival for all stages of pancreatic cancer
around 25 in every 100 (around 25%) survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed. more than 5 out of every 100 (more than 5%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more.
|SEER Stage||5-Year Relative Survival Rate|
|All SEER stages combined||94%|
He had what is called a neuroendocrine tumor, more specifically an insulinoma. And based on the biology and presentation—those that are metastatic only to the liver—only those are suitable for transplantation. He developed metastasis in his liver—and only in his liver—and that was able to justify transplantation.What organ Did Steve Jobs receive? ›
Jobs received the 2009 liver transplant at the Tennessee facility even though he lived in California. He later died of complications related to a pancreatic tumor in 2011.
Did Patrick Swayze's have a son? ›
Swayze was married to Lisa Niemi for 34 years from June 12, 1975, until his death. They had no children, but Lisa had suffered one miscarriage. They met in 1970 when Swayze was 18 years old.Who is the mother of Patrick Swayze's son? ›
Patrick SwayzeWho did Patrick Swayze's widow marry? ›
In 2014, Lisa married jeweler Albert DePrisco, whom she had met two years prior.Why did Patrick Swayze and his wife not have children? ›
Patrick Swayze had no children. They did plan to have children during their marriage, but tragically his wife Lisa Niemi suffered a miscarriage.Why didn't Patrick Swayze have any children? ›
In the 2019 Paramount Network documentary titled I Am Patrick Swayze, the now-66-year-old actress opened up about the couple wanting children but tragically could not. "Both of us loved kids and always intended to have kids. I did become pregnant but I had a miscarriage.Is Jason Whittle Patrick Swayze biological son? ›
So who is Patrick Swayze's son? You now know everything you need to know about Jason Whittle, the only child of the famous actor. Even though he never knew he had a son, nothing stays in the darkness forever. The whole world now recognizes Jason as the only son of the famous actor.Where is Patrick Swayze buried at? ›
Cremated, Ashes scattered. Specifically: Ashes scattered over his New Mexico ranch.What was the last movie Patrick Swayze did before he died? ›
Patrick Swayze's final movie appearance didn't get much of a reception when it was officially released, unfortunately. The 2008 drama "Powder Blue," written and directed by Timothy Linh Bui only saw a limited theatrical release (via The Numbers) before hitting DVD stores soon after.Was Patrick Swayze's wife a ballet dancer? ›
Swayze's wife Lisa Niemi was also a trained ballet dancer, and if you want to see what I mean about attentiveness in partnering, watch the two of them dancing together in 1994. They performed together again in Swayze's last dance film, made in 2003.