As the late Dirty Dancing and Ghost star was remembered by friends and family — including his widow Lisa Niemi and brother Don Swayze — people shared reactions to the doc on Twitter — and there were emotional ones, for sure. The timing played a part — it aired on what would have been Swayze’s 67th birthday, and next month marks 10 years since his death from pancreatic cancer.
“Buddy,” Swayze’s nickname, was discussed onscreen by Demi Moore, Jennifer Grey and Rob Lowe, while Twitter was flooded with comments like this — from someone who said she was a “blubbering mess.”
This one was a “teary mess” during the “beautiful tribute.”
This commenter wrote that it made her “heart hurt.”
More of the emotional reactions:
“My mother didnt believe that you could call yourself an artist unless you were well-rounded in every level of the arts” -Patrick Swayze #IAmPatrickSwayze— Melanie Rivera Waldman♿️🎬 (@WheresWaldman) August 19, 2019
Brb, live tweeting/sobbing for the next hour(+) of my life. pic.twitter.com/p9I0F8OyEC
This is bringing me to tears watching it. Damn what a Classy guy he was. You hit the nail on the head. They Don't Make Guys Like Him Anymore. Your Spot On! #IAmPatrickSwayze— Bruce in Wis (@Wis_Bucky) August 19, 2019
It broke to my heart when Don talked about embracing his brother and how the miracle was failing. #IAmPatrickSwayze— Briana Resendez (@resendez_briana) August 19, 2019
Here were some more general reactions to the star, who had many talents beyond acting as a dancer, cowboy and gymnast:
To Wong Foo was one of my first exposures to the LGBT community, and I think it was really bold for Patrick to play Vida during a time when homosexual men were still being stigmatized due to prejudice and the AIDS crisis. I thank him for being a part of that. #IAmPatrickSwayze pic.twitter.com/K9uaPUs8Gm— 🌈🌙 Rae 🌸🌱 (@choochoochimmy) August 19, 2019
I’m watching #IAmPatrickSwayze and I’m not ashamed. Love this.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 19, 2019
#IAmPatrickSwayze is a tough, but fabulous watch for a Sunday night. What a legend— Karen Middleton (@KarenMiddleton1) August 19, 2019
Paramount Network’s #IAmPatrickSwayze doc (tonight, 9pm) is a must-see for fans. I cried twice: Sam Elliott talking about their relationship, and Lisa Niemi describing the bedside tribute from one of their horses after Patrick passed. pic.twitter.com/IGvriO0Z1L— Mandi Bierly (@MandiBierly) August 18, 2019
This documentary on Swayze on @paramountnet is great. All these co-stars and stories... Amazing to hear how real the final fight between Marshall Teague (Jimmy) and Swayze in #Roadhouse. They were seriously cracking each other. Gone too soon. #IAmPatrickSwayze— TeddyGBR (@TeddyKGBR) August 19, 2019
Engrossed in this Patrick Swayze biography. Living for Rob Lowe’s commentary!!— Tracey (@superstarTD23) August 19, 2019
Those who appeared in it also posted about it:
So excited for #IAmPatrickSwayze to premiere 2nite Aug 18th Patrick's B'day at 9/8c on #ParamountNet. It's a wonderful doc, 4 a wonderful man. Sending much love to up above. I'm sure he's smiling down tonight. Awesome. https://t.co/QBTfUWlHH4 pic.twitter.com/Wfdm1lLRSl— Lisa Niemi Swayze (@LisaNiemiSwayze) August 18, 2019
I was so lucky & incredibly blessed to have worked with Patrick Swayze! Roadhouse made movie history this year when it became the most watched TV movie of all time! Don’t miss “I Am Patrick Swayze” the moving documentary about Patrick’s life & career tonight on @paramountnet pic.twitter.com/gEmqvVlwHj— Kelly Lynch (@kellylynch) August 19, 2019
In addition to his famous roles, the film focused Swayze’s real-life romance with Niemi. She talked about how they fell in love — after meeting at his mother’s dance school in Texas. “He could charm a bird out a tree,” she said wistfully. They moved in together in New York as roommates with some other people, who quickly moved out. Swayze proposed and they were married a month later in 1975.
There were definitely ups and downs in the marriage. Don says he and his brother discussed their similar mental health woes, saying they agreed they exhibited symptoms similar to bipolar II disorder. Niemi also talked about Swayze's struggle drinking, revealing that it led to them living apart for a year — though she said, "I was still there every day. I still loved him."
“We had some bumps along the way, but we were definitely stronger together. That became clear very quickly,” said Niemi, who also spoke about Swayze’s mother being abusive toward him as a child.
While the couple wanted to have children, Niemi suffered a miscarriage — and at that point her age also became a factor. She suggested adopting, but said Swayze wasn’t interested, saying he had only really wanted to have children with her. She said he was dad to all the animals on their ranch.
The turning point in Patrick and Lisa's marriage came just before Patrick's diagnosis, and they were very determined to tackle it as a united front. #IAmPatrickSwayze— Paramount Network (@paramountnet) August 19, 2019
After his cancer diagnosis, Niemi said he was “a hero” as he fought. And he worked while being treated — shooting 14 hour days making The Beast in Chicago while getting chemo treatments on the weekend. He dropped 50 pounds as a his body deteriorated.
Niemi also opened up about his death, sharing that she put a beautiful perfect white rose on his chest after he took in his last breath and hung a crystal necklace over his bed. Then their ranch foreman brought over stunning white stallion and bowed to the actor, which Don described as a “beautiful” tribute.
I Am Patrick Swayze documentary is now streaming.
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