Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in "Dirty Dancing"

The "Dirty Dancing" star's struggle with alcohol...

Patrick Swayze's Tragic Family History

Patrick Swayze (†57) became one of Hollywood's most in-demand actors in the eighties and nineties when he starred in the box office hits Dirty Dancing, Ghost and the cult TV series North and South.

READ MORE: The cast of North and South then and now

His role as charming dance teacher "Johnny Castle" in the dance film Dirty Dancing, in which he starred alongside Jennifer Grey, made him go down in film history. Swayze made headlines countless times, but there are still some little-known facts about the actor that even his most loyal fans might not know...

1. Patrick Swayze was a professionally trained dancer

Swayze was not only a talented actor but also a trained dancer. His mother Patsy Swayze (†86) was also a trained dancer and a highly successful choreographer. However, when Swayze injured his knee, his plan to take the dancing world by storm was no longer an option.

2. Patrick Swayze's nickname

Patrick's nickname was "Little Buddy" when he was growing up. His father Jesse (†57), who died when the actor was still young was known as "Big Buddy".

3. He met Lisa Niemi while he was still in high school

Swayze was married to his first love Lisa Niemi from June 12th, 1975 until his death. The power couple first met when they were just 15 and 19. 

4. Patrick Swayze and the Golden Globes

Patrick Swayze was nominated for a Golden Globe three times for his roles in Dirty Dancing, Ghost and To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. He was also nominated at the MTV Movie Awards and the Kids Choice Awards.

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5. Patrick Swayze was named Sexiest Man Alive

Swayze was not only a talented actor, but also an incredibly attractive man. His sex appeal and sultry dance moves made many a female (and male) fan weak in the knees! Which makes it hardly surprising that the Ghost star was voted sexiest man alive by People magazine in 1991.

6. Patrick Swayze's brother is also an actor

Acting talent seems to run in the family when it comes to the Swayzes. His brother Don is also an actor and has appeared in various series, including Hawaii Five-0 and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

7. Patrick Swayze was a fighter

Filming for Dirty Dancing pushed Swayze to his physical limits. The hours of dance training caused his old knee injury to flare up, but, going against his doctor's advice, he carried on giving those famous dance scenes his all - at least it was worth it, who can forget THAT lift!