Birthplace: Houston, Texas
The son of a choreographer, Swayze is trained in ballet and performed as a dancer for Disney on Parade. He acted in the Broadway production of Grease (1978) and was choreographer for the film Grandview, U.S.A. (1984). He became a popular box office draw in the role of dance teacher in Dirty Dancing (1987) and as the romantic ghost/lover in Ghost (1990), but has since moved on to films such as Road House (1989), Point Break (1991), Donnie Darko (2001), and Without a Word (2001). He transitioned to the small screen in 2008, starring as an FBI agent in A & E's The Beast. Shortly after the series premiered, Swayze announced he had pancreatic cancer.