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Patrick Swayze's career included local acting job

September 15, 2009 - Andy Gray
Obituaries for Patrick Swayze are sure to include “Dirty Dancing,” “Road House,” “Point Break,” “Ghost” and some of the 57-year-old actor’s other memorable movies.

Few probably will mention the one that gives Swayze a local connection. The actor spent the months in 1987 before he catapulted to fame in “Dirty Dancing” in western Pennsylvania and Trumbull County filming “Tiger Warsaw,” the first feature film produced by the Sharon, Pa.,-based company Continental Film Group.

Swayze already had filmed “Dirty Dancing,” but it hadn’t been released yet (that’s probably why CFG chief and “Tiger Warsaw” director Amin Q. Chaudhri could afford the actor for the low-budget film that also featured Academy Award nominees Piper Laurie and Mary McDonnell). Swayze played the title character, a rebellious son who becomes estranged from his family and involved in the drug subculture.

It wasn’t a very good movie. And despite being the first Swayze movie released after “Dirty Dancing,” it couldn’t capitalize on his popularity to sell many tickets at the box office either.

I didn’t meet Swayze when he was here. I still was on the police and courts beat back when “Tiger Warsaw” was in production. I did cover the premiere in Sharon, Pa., in 1988, but Swayze wasn’t in attendance. But I also don’t remember hearing any negative comments from those who did have dealings with the actor when he was working here.


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Blog Photos

The poster for the Continental Film Group release "Tiger Warsaw."