Dirty Dancing cast now - Two co-stars fight cancer and little known Disney role

Ashley Bautista August 21, 2022
Dirty Dancing cast now - Two co-stars fight cancer and little known Disney role
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images


Today marks 35 years since Johnny and Baby’s summer love hit the big screen. The cast of Dirty Dancing set the bar high once the film was released, and still does now. But what happened to the iconic characters from the scenes?

Ever since its release on August 21, 1987, the cast of Dirty Dancing turned heads and captured hearts. A lot of passion, dance, drama, and love, helped Jennifer and Patrick reach Hollywood fame.

A fact that many might know was that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray had already met in the past for their movie ‘Red Dawn’. But now we know, drama from set led to Swayze’s teary-eyed apology to his co-star before he was cast in Dirty Dancing.

From heartbreaking deaths to Hollywood stardom, The Focus looks into the “time of their lives” and where the Dirty Dancing cast is now.

Where is the cast of Dirty Dancing now?

Patrick Swayze

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As an actor, dancer, singer, and songwriter, most famously known for his interpretation of Johnny Castle, the actor joined many ventures and successful projects after Dirty Dancing.

Now, just like his cast mate, Jennifer, Dirty Dancing propelled him into becoming an overnight Hollywood sensation. In 1990, the actor joined Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg for the hit movie Ghost.

During his active career, Patrick became a movie icon. However, the actor entered rehab for alcoholism, which forced him to take a break from acting and return to California.

The world mourned the star after the news of Patrick’s passing was announced 20 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On September 14, 2009, Patrick died at the age of 57 with his family at his side.

According to CNN, the cause of his death was related to his cancer diagnosis and the tough year that the actor had gone through. The actor was cremated and Patrick’s ashes were said to be scattered over his New Mexico ranch, a special place for him.

His last project titled Powder Blue was released a month before his death, although it was filmed in 2007.

Jennifer Grey

No matter how many years go by, Jennifer Grey will always be known as the sweet and talented ‘Baby’. Since Dirty Dancing, the actress has appeared in various film projects, although she has been seen more on television.

On the heels of her success as Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, the actress spent the 90s appearing in other projects. Her most notable works include Bloodhounds of Broadway, If the Shoe Fits, Wind, and Red Meat.

She has now made most of her appearances through movies, television, sitcoms, and even dance competitions such as Dancing With The Stars where she has become the winner.

Throughout her years on TV, she appeared on episodes of Friends, Gallen Angels, John from Cincinnati, Red Oaks, and even as various voices of Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb. Yes, Grey featured on Friends as Rachel’s pal Mindy who marries her ex Barry. Although her role was recast due to scheduling issues and as a supporting part it’s easy to forget.

Earlier this year, the 62-year-old actress released her memoir titled Out Of The Corner. She talks about her life since her acting career changed during the Dirty Dancing hit. Including the time her nose job reportedly ruined her career.

Although she talks about her professional life, she also mentions key moments such as romances with Johnny Depp. Also, her ex-fiancé, Matthew Broderick, with whom the actress was involved in a car accident in. Two passengers tragically died in the crash and Jennifer was seriously injured days before the release of Dirty Dancing.

Kelly Bishop

Known as Marjorie Houseman, Baby’s mother. Bishop found later success in the seven-year run of the popular and beloved series of Gilmore Girls as Emily. She interpreted the role as the mother of Lorelai and grandmother of Rory for a total of 110 episodes.

She later reprised her role in the 2016 reboot Gilmore Girls: A year in the Life. Like her co-star Jerry Orbach, the actress has also appeared on various episodes of Law & Order as various characters.

The actress has appeared on several projects in the filming industry, but has been more inclined toward the television world. Most recently, the 78-year-old actress appeared in the American biographical drama Halston as Eleanor Lambert. Also, she joined the period-comedy drama series The Marvelous Mrs Maisel for its fourth season in the role of Benedetta.

Jerry Orbach

Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Now, following the success of being in the Dirty Dancing cast, Orbach continued to appear on both the big screen and television. The actor was known to the younger generation as an NYPD detective on the crime drama series Law & Order.

The year 1991 became the most successful year for the star. A total of eight films were released in the same year. Most noticeably, by becoming the voice of Lumière in the original animated musical film, Beauty and the Beast.

Three years later, Orbach was sadly diagnosed with prostate cancer, and despite treatment, the cancer had metastasized. He spent nearly five decades in the film, television, and theater industry. The Los Angeles Times tragically announced Orbach passed away on December 28, 2004, at the age of 69.

If you’ve been affected by this story you can contact American Addiction Centers on (877) 686-7688 or Talk To Frank on 0300 123 6600 in the UK.

In the US, contact Cancer Care at 800‑813‑HOPE (4673) or visit this link. You can also call the American Cancer Society on 1-800-227-234 or visit their website.

In the UK you can call Breast Cancer Now free on 0808 800 6000 or visit Cancer Research UK, or Macmillan Cancer Support.

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Ashley Bautista is an Audience Content Writer at GRV Media writing across different sites such as Reality Titbit, HITC, and The Focus. Always keen to learn about celebrity news and the entertainment world, she loves turning these into stories to share with the readers. Graduating from Kingston University with a BA (Hons) in Journalism in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, she found herself Keeping Up With The Kardashians more than anything else. Fun fact, it has turned into Ashley’s favourite topic to talk about these days - that and the members of BLACKPINK.