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Patrick Swayze: Actor 37

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His nativity was attended by an ethereal, almost otherworldly atmosphere—appropriate for someone who would later star in a movie called Ghost. On the day of his birth, his mother, Patsy, recalls, “the nuns [brought] him in to m e. One of them put him in my arms and said, ‘I think this child was born with a star on his head.” But it’s the soul he wears on his sleeve that makes him more than a muscle-flexing action hero. In his breakthrough hit, he proved that tough guys do dance. In his latest release, Point Break, he plays a surfer with a heart as turbulent as the sea. Therein lies his appeal. Says his wife, Lisa: “I think it’s some kind of aliveness, something in the spirit that comes through.” In fact, Swayze, who was raised a Catholic and has investigated Buddhism as an adult, undergoes a spiritual transformation in his next movie. In City of Joy, he plays a doctor who goes off to work among the wretched poor of Calcutta. The experience has produced an epiphany. Says he: “How dare we bitch about our little problems…when these people have lived with this [misery] for centuries and still find a way for radiance to come from their faces…It blows the Western mind away.”