Late American actor Patrick Swayze's widow, Lisa Niemi Swayze, shared a heartfelt tribute to the star ahead of Dirty Dancing's 35th anniversary.
In an interview published by ET Now on August 18, Lisa Niemi, 66, reflected on Swayze's iconic role in the film, which was released in August 1987.
Speaking about the "incredible" response that the film has garnered over the years, Niemi said:
"When Patrick was still alive, he would always say, 'I’m on my second generation of fans'... He'd get approached by young ladies who weren't even born when the movie came out. Any artist for their work to live on like that and make such an impact in such a positive way, what more could you ask for?"
Swayze played the role of Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing, which became one of the most iconic roles of his acting career. However, Lisa revealed that had Patrick been alive, he would not have acted in a sequel because he "had a high standard and he wasn't gonna do it just for the money."
Lisa Niemi and Patrick Swayze were married from 1975 to 2009 until the star passed away after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Patrick Swayze always wanted to be a father
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.
"Both of us loved kids and always intended to have kids. I did become pregnant but I had a miscarriage. Who knew that miscarriages were as painful as they are, emotionally painful. It was very heartbreaking."
In the same documentary, via Closer Weekly, the Forever Lulu star's manager, Kate Edwards, also knew his desire to father a child.
“Patrick very much wanted to be a father because I think he wanted to be as good a father to his child as his dad had been to him.”
Talking about what an "amazing dad he would be," Patrick's brother, Don, also shed some light on Patrick's nature.
"He would have never wanted Lisa feeling bad for having miscarriages, but it crushed him, so they tried.”
However, according to news website Legit, Patrick was a father but was never able to meet his son, named Jason Whittle.
The site reports that Whittle was born on March 7, 1975, in Missouri and is a former NFL star.
Whittle, 47, was reportedly born after 20-year-old Swayze had a one-night stand with 15-year-old Bonnie Kay in the early 1970s. The duo crossed each other's paths in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, as per a 2017 interview with Kay's mother with Globe Magazine.
As per the website, Lebetta (Luvin) Whittle said:
"She told me he wanted her to run away with him. But she was way too young and told him he could get in trouble for doing that. It was a short relationship, and she said she stayed there all night."
She also added that her grandchild looked just like Swayze.
Patrick Swayze's widow described him "one of a kind"
In the same interview with ET Now, Lisa recalled how the duo used to work together and help each other with dialogs and scenes.
"I go back and see some of his movies, there’s some of his work that I’m like, 'Wow, that was great. You really nailed that.' He did a great job. He’s very talented."
She revealed that her "one of a kind" former husband will always be close to her heart.
"It's very strange for me, because he's been gone 13 years now. It's strange. That’s quite a bit of time, and it's very strange to have someone so far away and yet have them still so incredibly close in your heart. I feel like he's with me every day, but of course it'd be nice to have him physically in the room. But, I tell you what, we had a great ride and there’s so much to be grateful for."
After Patrick passed away in 2009, Lisa went on to marry jeweler Albert DePrisco in May 2014, whom she met through mutual friends.