Patrick Swayze was one of the most beloved actors of his generation. He began his acting career in 1979, but his career-defining role came in 1987, when he played the lead in the classic flick Dirty Dancing. After the coming-of-age film was a hit, he went on to star in more beloved movies like Road House, Ghost, and Point Break. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007, and he died from the disease in January 2009. By his side throughout his whole career was his wife, Lisa Niemi who he was married to from 1975 until his death. Find out more about Patrick and Lisa’s marriage here.
Patrick and Lisa met when they were teens
Patrick and Lisa’s relationship began when they were very young. They met when Lisa started taking dance lessons from Patrick’s mom Patsy, via Rare. The pair wed a few years later in 1975. Lisa shared a throwback photo of the pair’s wedding on their anniversary in June 2019. “Remembering a wonderful man today, and what would have been our 44th anniversary. Use to be these events laid-me-out for weeks. But this afternoon I’m feeling melancholy, but full of love and celebration for what we had and what still lies in our hearts. Love doesn’t die. He still makes me smile,” she wrote in the Instagram caption.
Lisa is an actress
While her career isn’t as prolific as her husband’s, Lisa has also appeared in a number of movies and TV shows over the years. Her earliest role was in two episodes of the sci-fi comedy Max Headroom. Some of her most notable roles included playing Carla Frost on the TV show Super Force and co-starring alongside Patrick in the movie One Last Dance, which she also wrote and directed, per IMDb.
She’s written two memoirs
Before Patrick passed in 2009, the couple penned a memoir about their life together, aptly named The Time of My Life, after the song from Dirty Dancing. The book was released in September 2009, months after Patrick’s death. “An entertaining and inspiring behind-the-scenes look at a Hollywood life and a remarkable love, told in the words of beloved actor Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi, shortly before he passed away,” the book’s description on Amazon said. Years after his passing, Lisa wrote a followup memoir Worth Fighting For, which reflected on her feelings after Patrick’s death as well as their marriage.
The memoir isn’t the only way that Lisa has honored her husband’s legacy. She’s also spoken about how special he was to her in a number of different interviews. She looked back on his cancer battle in a 2019 ET interview. “You spend every day fighting for that person’s life. I know that he spent every day fighting for his own…He survived 22 months, which was miraculous with the diagnosis that he received,” she said at the time.
The couple had no children together
Throughout their 34 year marriage, Patrick and Lisa never had kids, even though the pair wanted to be parents, as was revealed in the 2019 documentary I Am Patrick Swayze. Lisa opened up about suffering from a miscarriage when the two were together in the documentary. “Both of us loved kids and always intended to have kids. I did become pregnant but I had a miscarriage,” she said, per Closer Weekly. “Who knew that miscarriages were as painful as they are, emotionally painful. It was very heartbreaking.”
She remarried in 2014
Lisa announced that she was engaged to jeweler Albert DePrisco in December 2013 on Christmas Eve, according to People. The couple had met through shared friends a few years after the late Dirty Dancing star’s death. The couple tied the knot in May 2014, and Lisa seemed over the moon with her new husband. “How often does lighting strike twice? Albert, & I just married today,” she tweeted at the time, per ABC News. “An incredible, wonderful, joyous day for both of us.”
She’s helped raise money for cancer charities after Patrick’s death
Since Patrick’s passing, Lisa has helped fundraise for the fight against pancreatic cancer. She shares facts about the disease on her website and has educated fans about pancreatic cancer. “For me, just because he’s gone, doesn’t mean the fight is over! People are out there waiting, and praying, and doing their best to fight this disease just like he did. My heartfelt hope is that others receive the hope and support that Patrick fought so hard for,” her website says. Her Instagram bio also provides a link for the “Team Swayze” page for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, where fans can donate to help raise money to fund research to fight pancreatic cancer.