On September 14 Patrick Swayze, 57, lost his 20 month long battle with cancer, passing away peacefully with his family by his side.
The Texas native began his career as a dancer and made dozens of stage, film and TV appearances over four decades but the actor is perhaps best known for his roles in Dirty Dancing and Ghost.
Voted People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1991, Patrick Swayze headed many humanitarian efforts and frequently donated to The Red Cross, American Oceans Campaign, Tuesday’s Child, and any animal rescue charity you can think of. A great animal lover, Swayze used to breed Arabian horses on his ranch, his best-known horse being a chestnut Arabian named Tammen, who died in 1999.
When asked about his passion for horses Swayze sais,”I grew up with horses. My father was a cowboy in Texas. We lived in Houston. At the age of eight, I visited [Douglas Marshall’s] Gleannloch Farm and from then on I was lost! I dreamed of nothing but Arabians, and when I imagined Arabians, they were Egyptians!”
Ignoring the old Hollywood myth that an actor should never work with children or animals, some of Swayze’s most personally rewarding acting experiences have included four-legged co-stars. When asked, Swayze once named Mikey, the horse in the 1995 adventure/western Tall Tale, as his favorite acting partner. That same year the talented thespian also shared the screen with a Podengo who played Betty Jane, the canine companion of Swayze’s character in the film Three Wishes.
Swayze is survived by his many pets, including poodle- Lucas, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy- Kumasai, and his beloved wife Lisa Niemi. Some people know that a life is never truly full unless you fill it with four-legged friends. Patrick Swayze may have died before his time but he was well aware of the joys that can only be experienced by being surrounded by animals. Support Patrick’s love for animals by supporting your local shelter or donating to the Animal Cancer Foundation