Gray Invites Swayze’s Widow To Cheer Her On

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September 13, 2010 | 9:05pm EST

Patrick Swayze’s Dirty Dancing partner Jennifer Gray has officially invited the star’s widow to watch her perform on TV show Dancing With The Stars – because her bid to win the contest is partially inspired by the actor.
Speaking on the eve of the first anniversary of Swayze’s death, actress Gray admits she’d be honored if Lisa Niemi would agree to cheer her on from the studio audience.

She tells news show Access Hollywood, “I would be so grateful if she did, and if she didn’t, I feel her support. She emailed me. She just said that she is rooting for me and proud of me.”

And Gray is sure Swayze, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on 14 September, 2009, will be with her in spirit when she steps out on the dancefloor next week with new partner Derek Hough.

She adds, “Patrick was one of the most fearless people I’ve ever met. He really embraced life and was all about going for it.”

The actress, who is a cancer survivor herself, insists it’s time for her to stop living in the shadows: “I have been living my life very differently (to the way Patrick lived his), and right now, especially since his passing, and my surgeries and having had cancer myself, and turning 50, and seeing so many of my friends with cancer who are my age… it’s given me a sense of, ‘If not now, when? When are you supposed to reclaim the joy that you had as a young person.'”