Patrick Swayze’s widow Lisa Niemi opens up about life with the actor

Patrick Swayze and wife Lisa Niemi, pose at the premiere of MGM's 'Rocky Balboa' after party held at the Hollywood and Highland Ballroom, on December 13, 2006 in Hollywood, California. The real Swayze will soon be seen in "I Am Patrick Swayze," a new documentary about his life made by the late actor's wife, Lisa Niemi.

Who doesn’t love Patrick Swayze in “Dirty Dancing,” or “Ghost” or “Road House?” Those movies made him a huge star.

But the real Swayze will soon be seen in “I Am Patrick Swayze,” a new documentary about his life made by the late actor’s wife, Lisa Niemi.

The actor’s widow spoke with Entertainment Tonight ahead of the movie’s release. Niemi discussed Swayze’s career and his 2009 death at the age of 57 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

“It’s the worst thing in the world to go through,” Niemi said of Swayze’s cancer fight. “You spend every day fighting for that person’s life. I know that he spent every day fighting for his own … He survived 22 months, which was miraculous with the diagnosis that he received.”

She describes how the two met as teenagers when Niemi was taking dance lessons from Swayze’s mother. They married in 1975 and remained together until he died.

“The first time Buddy (her nickname for Swayze) and I danced together was at a school exhibition,” Niemi said. “We walked out on stage. I looked in his eyes, it was like everything came alive.”

Demi Moore, Rob Lowe and Jennifer Grey, friends and costars of Swayze’s appear in the documentary to talk about working with him and loving him.

Neimi also takes a look at Swayze’s struggles with alcohol and their separation for a time before he was diagnosed with cancer.

She says she still talks to him “every day.”

“When you lose someone, you never stop loving them and it’s — I feel like I have a different relationship with him now,” she says. “It’s just, he’s not physically present, you know what I mean?”

The documentary debuts at 9 p.m. ET/PT on August 18 on the Paramount Network. The day would have been the actor’s 67th birthday.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.