'I Am Patrick Swayze' documentary draws emotional reaction from fans: 'I'm a blubbering mess'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

A lot of tears were shed during the making of the I Am Patrick Swayze documentary, which debuted Sunday, but even more flowed at home as viewers watched the Swayze tribute.

As the late Dirty Dancing and Ghost star was remembered by friends and family — including his widow Lisa Niemi and brother Don Swayze — people shared reactions to the doc on Twitter — and there were emotional ones, for sure. The timing played a part — it aired on what would have been Swayze’s 67th birthday, and next month marks 10 years since his death from pancreatic cancer.

Photo: I Am Patrick Swayze

“Buddy,” Swayze’s nickname, was discussed onscreen by Demi Moore, Jennifer Grey and Rob Lowe, while Twitter was flooded with comments like this — from someone who said she was a “blubbering mess.”

This one was a “teary mess” during the “beautiful tribute.”

This commenter wrote that it made her “heart hurt.”

More of the emotional reactions:

Here were some more general reactions to the star, who had many talents beyond acting as a dancer, cowboy and gymnast:

Those who appeared in it also posted about it:

In addition to his famous roles, the film focused Swayze’s real-life romance with Niemi. She talked about how they fell in love — after meeting at his mother’s dance school in Texas. “He could charm a bird out a tree,” she said wistfully. They moved in together in New York as roommates with some other people, who quickly moved out. Swayze proposed and they were married a month later in 1975.

Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi's wedding. (Screenshot: I Am Patrick Swayze)

There were definitely ups and downs in the marriage. Don says he and his brother discussed their similar mental health woes, saying they agreed they exhibited symptoms similar to bipolar II disorder. Niemi also talked about Swayze's struggle drinking, revealing that it led to them living apart for a year — though she said, "I was still there every day. I still loved him."

“We had some bumps along the way, but we were definitely stronger together. That became clear very quickly,” said Niemi, who also spoke about Swayze’s mother being abusive toward him as a child.

While the couple wanted to have children, Niemi suffered a miscarriage — and at that point her age also became a factor. She suggested adopting, but said Swayze wasn’t interested, saying he had only really wanted to have children with her. She said he was dad to all the animals on their ranch.

After his cancer diagnosis, Niemi said he was “a hero” as he fought. And he worked while being treated — shooting 14 hour days making The Beast in Chicago while getting chemo treatments on the weekend. He dropped 50 pounds as a his body deteriorated.

Niemi also opened up about his death, sharing that she put a beautiful perfect white rose on his chest after he took in his last breath and hung a crystal necklace over his bed. Then their ranch foreman brought over stunning white stallion and bowed to the actor, which Don described as a “beautiful” tribute.

I Am Patrick Swayze documentary is now streaming.

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