Patrick Swayze's widow unveils his 'Dirty Dancing' wax double
Patrick Swayze's "Dirty Dancing" character was further immortalized this week, with Swayze's widow, Lisa Niemi, on hand as the wax figure was unveiled in Hollywood.
Swayze, who died of pancreatic cancer in September 2009 with his family at his side, famously partnered with Jennifer Grey in "Dirty Dancing," playing Johnny Castle to her Baby. The figure at Madame Tussauds Hollywood re-creates part of a scene in which Johnny takes Baby away from the dance floor and teaches her dance moves on a log over a stream.
"It's gonna be so fun to have this figure in the museum here, and at the same time it's bittersweet," Niemi told "Access Hollywood" at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood on Tuesday. "I wish he were here, really here."
Swayze costar Grey celebrated his memory on her way to winning "Dancing With the Stars" last November, drawing inspiration for one of her most memorable dances from their work together. She also in August tweeted her support for a "Dirty Dancing" remake, currently in development with Kenny Ortega on board as director and producer.
"We're going to teach Baby to dance again but we're going to find a cast that can stand tall in their own shoes," Ortega told OnTheRedCarpet.com at the unveiling. "We're not going to try to be replacing this man, because that's impossible."
Talking to the L.A. Times in 1997, Swayze said he thought the coming-of-age film worked because people relived "those wonderfully painful moments ... when you just need to love somebody with all your heart, and to be loved back.... Plus, it was a pretty sexy movie."
Niemi, now a spokeswoman for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, likely relived a few moments this week in Hollywood. "When the curtain actually dropped, I was grateful for all the confetti," Niemi told OnTheRedCarpet. "I was kind of bracing myself because I wasn't sure how I'd react. ... I loved him so much. I am so happy that it came out as beautifully as it did."
Photo: Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze's widow, helps unveil a wax figure of her late husband as his "Dirty Dancing" character Johnny Castle at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood on Tuesday. Credit: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press