Upon his passing, many fans mourned Patrick Swayze, none more intensely than his wife. The pair were married for 34 years. Although they never had children, theirs was a story straight out of a movie. It’s very fitting for the pair, as both are well-known celebrities. However, the pair met long before their fame and fortune kicked in. Years after his tragic passing, Lisa remarried, not first without a blessing from her late husband.
Finding His Passion
Patrick Swayze was born and grew up in Houston, Texas. When he was young, he attended the Houston Jazz Ballet where his mom, Patsy, was Director. Due to his deep-seated love of dance and performing, he enrolled in drama classes in high school. Despite also being part of the football team, he was often ridiculed in school for his ‘wide range’ of interests. In 1971, he graduated high school and went on to become a famous performer with a diverse repertoire.
After his high school graduation, he attended, both, Harkness Ballet School and Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Patrick Swayze made his debut in 1979, appearing in Skatetown U.S.A. From there, his career took off. In 1987, he landed his role in Dirty Dancing, and in 1990, his memorable role was in Ghost.
Patrick Swayze Meets His True Love
Not only would the Houston Jazz Ballet Company help him find his passion, but it was also the setting where he would meet the love of his life. When Patrick Swayze was 18, he first laid eyes on 15-year-old Lisa Niemi. Early in the 1970’s Lisa began taking classes from Swayze’s mom, Patsy.
Regardless of whether Lisa was shy or unimpressed, their first moments together were awkward and a little shaky. “If I started putting on a pose or doing my Casanova routine, Lisa would turn away and not say anything. We had a lot of dates in silence.” Patrick Swayze told PEOPLE. They eventually found their rhythm and the pair were married in 1975. They remained so for 34 years. “I knew she was the smartest chick I’d ever met. [Before Lisa] I had been meeting girls with names like “Mimi” and “Angel”. And for a long time, I didn’t feel like I deserved her.” He said of his wife.
The late and notable TV Host, Barbara Walters once described the marriage as “extraordinary” and said, “The way he looked at her, the way he held on to her, the way she smiled., I can’t really imagine one without the other,” Lisa has since written a memoir in which she comically reveals, the pair came close to divorce and sought out a psychic for guidance. Nevertheless, the pair remained married until his passing.
Late in 2007, Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. “For the first few weeks, it was like being in a nightmare you couldn’t wake up from,” Lisa told Access Online in January of 2009. He fought long and hard but after a 2-year battle, sadly he passed away. Patrick Swayze was 57 and had spent years overworking, heavily smoking, and occasionally going through bouts of heavy drinking. Despite neglecting his body’s needs, his death had a severe impact on his fans worldwide.
Unexpectedly Finding Love
Although Patrick Swayze is incredibly famous, his wife has an impressive career in her own right. Lisa Niemi is an actress, director, producer, and writer. Despite the immense love she felt for, and from, her first love, there was another part of her heart that needed to be fulfilled. More than 4 years after the death of her first husband she married Albert DePrisco. Also, well off in his own right, DePrisco is a renowned jeweler and owner of AM DePrisco Wellesly. The pair met through mutual friends and although she battled her own emotions, Lisa ultimately decided to marry Albert was the best thing for her.
“I have to say, that the love I have for Patrick was never in conflict or competition with my feelings for Albert,” she told PEOPLE. “That is until Albert asked me to marry him!” She continued, “I found myself grappling with my feelings of having been married to Patrick for 34 years! Privately, I flipped, I flopped. Yes, get married, no, don’t get married,” Luckily her new husband showed her the utmost support. “Albert knew I still loved Patrick and would always love him, and told me, ‘And I know you love me, and I love you.’ How could I not marry this man? As I had time to process the change my life was going to take, my doubts became less and less, and I became more and more sure.“
A Blessing from Patrick Swayze
Lisa revealed that prior to her wedding, her late husband Patrick Swayze visited her in a dream. “About a month and a half ago, I had a dream about Patrick,” she told PEOPLE. “It was like he was giving me his blessing and letting me know it was okay. Again, it can be hard sometimes to take those steps forward, but it doesn’t change the way we feel about someone. He was letting me know that.” She then credited her dream for her final decision to marry Albert. “It’s probably the number one reason I married him. How could that be? But I’m willing to step into that future.”
Not without its tragedy, Patrick Swayze and his wife had a beautiful love story. Through that love and support Lisa has gone on to find, yet another happy ending!
- “Patrick Swayze’s widow remarried after late husband of 34 years visited her in her dreams to bless her union.” Newsner English. Rasmus Senator. October 15, 2020.