Friday, September 18, 2009

Patrick Swayze

Recently, Patrick Swayze passed away after a prolonged fight with cancer. We're all sorry to see him go and wish his lovely wife Lisa out best wishes. I did two pictures with Patrick. Uncommon Valor and Red Dawn. I have an amusing tale to tell about Red Dawn. One of the other actors - his breakout movie was C. Tommy Howell. Now, Tommy's father is a stuntman and a rodeo champion. Tommy had been riding horses from the age of, oh probably five or six. By the time he came to make Red Dawn, he was an expert horseman. He even brought his own horse to the picture. Patrick, not to be outdone by an upstart, went out and bought a horse for himself. What he bought was a plug mare that couldn't even get out of his own way. In the scene where the Russian helicopters ambush the kids, Tommy jumped on his horse and entirely unrehearsed, he pulled the horse back on his hind legs - ala the Lone Ranger if you can remember him - and galloped away. Well....Patrick, not to be outdone asked John Milius the director if he could also have a special. John agreed, we set up the cameras..John called action...Patrick leaped tot he back of his mighty steed, pulled back on the reins...the horse reared up...and up...and up....and finally, over! We all did our best to hide the chuckles and laughter. John simply said, okay, next shots over here. End of story. Now I don't tell this to ridicule Patrick...he was a very nice guy, very considerate of is fellow actors, usually on time and always knew his lines. He shall be missed.

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