Then and Now

'Dirty Dancing' actress Jennifer Grey recalls working with Patrick Swayze: 'It was like a marriage'

It’s been 30 years since the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” premiered in theaters, and actress Jennifer Grey reflected on what it was like working with her co-star Patrick Swayze.

“I had the time of my life,” the 57-year-old told Closer Weekly. “And Patrick really had his heart in it.”

The pair portrayed sheltered Baby and dance instructor Johnny in the blockbuster. And while Grey said they were opposites in real life, the on-screen chemistry was undeniable.

Off to salsa lesson... #nobodyputswookieinacorner p.s.ok I blew it it's an EWOK #wookieemistake

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Swayze passed away at age 57 in 2009 from pancreatic cancer.

“His fearlessness with my fearfulness — it was like a marriage where you have two opposites,” said Grey. “He would do anything and I would be scared to do anything. [But] he was really strong and very protective of me.”

Back in 2015, Grey told The Guardian she doesn’t mind when fans still bring up the beloved classic.

“I’m so thrilled with any reference to anything I ever did that gave anyone an ounce of pleasure,” she said. “…We’re so lucky to have worked on material with brilliant people and created characters with lasting value.”

And it must have been the duo’s connection on set that made the famous “lift” scene appear effortless.

“I only did it on the day I shot it,” she explained. “Never rehearsed it, never done it since. I don’t know how all these people who re-enact it have the guts to throw themselves into the arms of anyone other than Patrick Swayze. It’s insane!”

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