This footage, taped by Dallas-based director Jim Ruddy for "Entertainment Tonight", covers a party hosted by Houston native Patrick Swayze in celebration of the opening of a Planet Hollywood restaurant in San Antonio. In this clip, guests of the party participate in armadillo racing, an amusement first popularized in the 1970s.
Best known for his tough-guy roles and dancing abilities, actor Patrick Swayze was born in Houston on August 18, 1952. His mother, Patsy Swayze, owned the dance school where young Swayze attended dance lessons and met his future wife Lisa Niemi.The couple married in 1975. Throughout High school, Swayze showed interests in acting, dancing, and football. He studied gymnastics at San Jacinto College before moving to New York in 1972 to complete his dance training with the Harkness and Joffrey ballet schools. Swayze first danced professionally as Prince Charming in Disney on Parade and went on to briefly play Danny Zuko as a replacement in the original Broadway production of Grease.
After many supporting roles in film and television, such as Ace in Skatetown U.S.A., Swayze began to gain notoriety for his parts in The Outsiders, Red Dawn, and North and South. His breakthrough film role came with his performance as bad-boy dance instructor Johnny Castle, in the surprise hit Dirty Dancing, for which Swayze received a Golden Globe nomination in 1987. He received another nomination for his portrayal of Sam Wheat alongside Demi Moore in the 1990 blockbuster film Ghost. Swayze's selected filmography includes Point Break, Donnie Darko, To Wong Foo, and Road House, where he plays the mysterious professional "Cooler" James Dalton. The performer returned to Broadway in 2003 as Billy Flynn in the acclaimed revival of Chicago and in the West End staging of Guys and Dolls.
Swayze was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in 2008. He was able to continue acting while receiving treatment and fighting the illness. In early 2009, despite media claims of Swayze's failing health, he told Barbara Walters that he was "kicking it." Patrick Swayze died on September 14, 2009, survived by his wife, mother, and three siblings.