Patrick Swayze's dancing career almost ended after he suffered severe leg injury during football game
The 'Dirty Dancing' star sustained a major injury to his left leg during a football game in his senior year
It has emerged that Patrick Swayze suffered a freak injury during his senior year that had nearly ended his dancing career.
The late Hollywood heartthrob had joined his mother Patsy's famous dance studio to take lessons from her but her perfectionism and high expectations many a time veered into physical abuse, the Hollywood legend's widowed wife Lisa Niemi Swayze revealed.
"She could be very violent," Lisa told producers of 'I Am Patrick Swayze', a new documentary about the actor's roller-coaster life.
Swayze's wife also told People magazine how he often told her a story about the day the physical abuse finally ended.
"Patrick privately recounted the story of his 18th birthday when Patsy was 'laying into him' before his father [Jesse] told his wife [Patsy] that he would divorce her if she touched their son again," she said, adding "She never hit him after that."
The same year, Swayze sustained a major injury to his left leg during a football game in his senior year.
At the time, he was leaning towards sports over the arts, but the injury led him to divert his energy to gymnastics and to use dance as a form of therapy to strengthen his body.
Following his success in the world of dance, he trained with Harkness and Joffrey Ballet companies in New York City and went on to become a principal dancer with the Eliot Feld Ballet Company.
However, another health setback struck the future star in 1976, when a tooth abscess led to a severe staph infection in his bloodstream and settled in his bad leg.
Doctors treating Swayze at the time said there was only one week for them to take action before it needed to be amputated. Fortunately, he was saved.
“That was a miraculous one to make it through,” the Ghost star later commented on the ordeal.
In 2017, Swayze's 'Dirty Dancing' co-star Jennifer Grey told UK tabloid The Mirror he was hiding unbearable pain while filming the movie's famous lake-lift scene.
By then, Swayze had turned down several dance roles due to the problems with his left knee.
According to reports, his leg was in such bad shape that it threatened to end his Broadway career altogether.
Grey said Swayze's injured leg caused him severe pain while filming the iconic lift, as well as the scene where the pair dance on a log.
Swayze died from pancreatic cancer in September 2009.