Patrick Swayze ♥ - The Truth - A Barbara Walters Special ♥ - [Part 4/5]
Patrick Wayne Swayze (August 18, 1952) is a three-time Golden Globe-nominated American actor, dancer and singer-songwriter. Son of Patricia "Patsy" Yvonne Helen (née Karnes) — a choreographer, dance instructor, and dancer — and Jesse Wayne Swayze, an engineering drafter. Although the surname "Swayze" is of Norman French origin, he is of mainly Irish descent, as well as some Apache ancestry. His brother, Don Swayze, is also an actor.
Until age 20, Swayze lived in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston, where he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, Oak Forest Elementary School, Black Middle School, and Waltrip High School. During this time, he also pursued multiple artistic and athletic skills, such as ice skating, classical ballet and acting in school plays. He studied gymnastics at nearby San Jacinto College for two years. In 1972, he moved to New York City to complete his formal dance training at the Harkness Ballet and Joffrey ballet schools.
Swayze has been married to Lisa Niemi since 1975. The couple first met in 1970, when Lisa, then age 16, was taking dance lessons from Swayze's mother. Niemi was born in Houston, Texas to her Finnish-American parents, Edmond Melvin Haapaniemi and Edna Karin Hyttinen. As a reaction to his father's death by heart attack, in 1982, Swayze began to drink heavily. His sister Vicky passed away in 1994, leading him to seek treatment for alcoholism. After initial recovery, he temporarily withdrew from show business, retreating to his ranches in California and Las Vegas, New Mexico, to breed Arabian horses. His best-known horse was the late Tammen, a chestnut Arabian stallion.
Swayze, a licensed pilot with an instrument rating, made the news again on June 1, 2000 while flying with his dogs in his twin-engine Cessna from Van Nuys, California to Las Vegas, New Mexico. His plane developed a pressurization problem over northern Arizona, causing Swayze to make a precautionary landing on a dirt road in a housing complex in Prescott Valley. The plane's right wing struck a light pole that he hadn't seen from the air, but Swayze was unharmed. He locked up the cockpit, left it parked in the subdivision, and obtained a ride (with his dogs) from a passing vehicle, allegedly in order to telephone the authorities. According to the police report, witnesses said that Swayze appeared to be extremely intoxicated and asked for help to remove evidence (including an open bottle of wine and a 30-pack of beer) from the crash site.
He also made himself unavailable to police for several hours. It was later determined that the alcohol in question was not in the cabin but stored in external storage compartments inaccessible in flight and that the alleged "intoxication" was due to the effects of hypoxia during descent. He has followed several spiritual traditions. Brought up a Roman Catholic, he has also studied the Bahá'í Faith, Buddhism and Scientology.