Patrick appeared on The Oprah Show a total of six times, including a visit in 2007 when he surprised two unsuspecting fans. Julia and James had encountered some unexpected fame when a video of their wedding dance, a reenactment of the iconic last dance from Dirty Dancing, was posted on YouTube.
Twenty years after he first danced that show-stopping number, Patrick said he loved that it stood the test of time. "It's a miracle. I think when something touches people's hearts, it sticks with you. Sometimes you do something that just kind of hits a resonant note," Patrick said. "And I've been really fortunate having a lot of movies like that."
In January 2008, Patrick had just finished shooting a TV pilot when he received a devastating pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Refusing to give in to the disease, Patrick continued working while undergoing grueling chemotherapy treatments. While he was sick, Patrick and his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi, co-wrote the memoir The Time of My Life.
Read an excerpt from The Time of My Life
Patrick lost his battle with cancer on September 14, 2009.
In his final days, Patrick was peaceful and free from pain, Lisa said when she appeared on The Oprah Show. "There's a strange, difficult transition from trying to treat and make better to trying to make comfortable," she said. "His heart [was] so strong—metaphorically and literally. But it was only so long that his heart was going to keep going."
Lisa's first interview since Patrick's death