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The cast of “Dirty Dancing”: Where are they now?

Grab your watermelons and find out where Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, and other stars twirled off to after having the time of their lives.

<p>Vestron Pictures/Courtesy Everett</p> Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in

Vestron Pictures/Courtesy Everett

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 'Dirty Dancing'

In August 1987, Dirty Dancing swept moviegoers off their feet with the upstairs-downstairs romance between an earnest daddy’s girl (Jennifer Grey) and a macho dance instructor (Patrick Swayze) at the fictional Kellerman's resort in the Catskills.

Despite tensions on set — thanks to their experience working together in 1984's Red Dawn — the chemistry between Grey and Swayze propelled Emile Ardolino's romantic dance drama into a worldwide phenomenon. Along with its killer soundtrack selling more than 32 million units, the film earned $214 million at the global box office and became the first movie to sell over one million copies on home video.

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Despite two attempts to recapture the magic with a 2004 prequel and a 2017 TV remake, no one has successfully duplicated the feeling of that first triumphant lift. In April 2022, Grey announced she'd reprise the role that made her a star for a follow-up film to the original — but only if it properly paid tribute to the late Swayze.

With a trip back to the dance floor on the horizon, it’s a great time to find out where the original Dirty Dancing cast is now.

Jennifer Grey (Frances “Baby” Houseman)

<p>Artisan Entertainment/courtesy Everett; Neilson Barnard/Getty</p> Frances 'Baby' Houseman; Jennifer Grey

Artisan Entertainment/courtesy Everett; Neilson Barnard/Getty

Frances 'Baby' Houseman; Jennifer Grey

Before she played the shy, watermelon-carrying teenager who transforms into a confident lovestruck dancer, Jennifer Grey began performing thanks to her pedigree as the daughter of Broadway star Joel Grey (who won a Tony and an Oscar for his stage and screen work in Cabaret). After appearing in films like Red Dawn and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Grey took on the role of Frances "Baby" Houseman, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress — Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.

Regarding the iconic watermelon line, Grey shared with EW in 2022 why she believes it struck a chord with viewers. “I think that the specificity of the feeling of intense shame… That feeling, that human feeling, is so universal," she said. "The idea of just wanting to look good and just feeling like, 'Oh, now I've done it. Now he'll see I'm worse than he thought. I'm like a freaking idiot.'"

After she found her way out of a corner, she struggled to find continued success in Hollywood, in part due to a rhinoplasty that made her almost unrecognizable. In the '90s, she appeared on the first season of Friends as Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) former BFF Mindy, but undiagnosed anxiety led her to pass on an offer to return. She eventually starred on her own sitcom, It’s Like, You Know…, and continued with supporting roles on TV and in film. Returning to the world of dance in 2010, Grey won the Mirror Ball trophy in season 11 of ABC's Dancing With the Stars — and she will once more immerse herself in this realm when she reprises Baby in the upcoming Dirty Dancing sequel. She also released her 2022 memoir, Out of the Corner, in which she dished on her plastic surgery and, of course, the film that put her on the map.

Grey was married to Marvel star Clark Gregg for 20 years until their divorce in 2021. They share a daughter, Stella, whom the actress told EW did not enjoy watching her mother dirty dance with another man.

Patrick Swayze (Johnny Castle)

<p>Artisan Entertainment/ Courtesy: Everett; Barry Brecheisen/WireImage</p> Johnny Castle; Patrick Swayze

Artisan Entertainment/ Courtesy: Everett; Barry Brecheisen/WireImage

Johnny Castle; Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze — the son of accomplished choreographer and teacher Patsy Swayze, whose students included legends like Debbie Allen and Tommy Tune — did his own "kind of dancing" as rebellious lover boy Johnny Castle. Prior to his Dirty Dancing role, the actor played Danny Zuko in Grease on Broadway and another greaser in The Outsiders (1983) alongside future stars like Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, and Ralph Macchio. In addition to his dance training, Swayze was also a student of several martial arts and a singer. He recorded the ballad “She’s Like the Wind” for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, and the song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

He described the secret to the song’s success, as well as its inspiration, to PEOPLE as “a man is in love with a woman and he knows he’s not good enough… That’s kind of how Johnny felt with Baby: She so outclasses me, how dare [I think] she might love me? I think I accidentally keyed into something that so many guys feel.”

After Dirty Dancing, Swayze was lifted onto the A-list, and he continued on a hot streak with films like Road House (1989), Point Break (1991), and Ghost (1990), which brought him his second Golden Globe nomination. He would receive a third nom in 1996 for the drag comedy To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything!, Julie Newmar. Although his box office heat cooled down by the late-'90s, the actor continued to appear in projects like Donnie Darko (2001) and even made a small appearance as a dance instructor in the less-beloved Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.

In 2007, while filming the pilot for the A&E series The Beast, Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died in 2009 and is survived by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi. The couple co-wrote the memoir The Time of My Life, which was published posthumously in 2010. In 2019, Niemi participated in the documentary that chronicled the star’s life and career, I Am Patrick Swayze.

Jerry Orbach (Jake Houseman)

<p>Vestron Pictures; Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage</p> Jake Houseman; Jerry Orbach

Vestron Pictures; Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Jake Houseman; Jerry Orbach

Ahead of playing Baby’s disapproving father, Dr. Jake Houseman, Tony-winning actor Jerry Orbach was already a fixture on Broadway, originating the role of Billy Flynn in the musical Chicago. By the time Dirty Dancing premiered in 1987, viewers outside New York were most familiar with his recurring stint as private eye Harry McGraw on Murder, She Wrote and its brief spinoff The Law and Harry McGraw, as well as the crime thrillers Prince of the City (1981) and F/X (1986).

The star received more than just a career boost from the 1987 blockbuster. Orbach was also given profit participation as part of his deal, which turned out to be a bigger payday than anyone expected. He told EW in 1991, “Nobody knew how big that movie was going to be, or they wouldn’t have given us a little piece of it.”

Post–Dirty Dancing, Orbach further endeared himself to generations of TV and film fans with his long-running portrayal of Det. Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order — and for giving voice to the hospitality-minded candlestick Lumière in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991). He played the two characters across several spinoff shows and direct-to-video sequels, and continued to appear on Murder, She Wrote until 1991.

The actor was married to Marta Curro from 1958 to 1979, with whom he had two sons. In 1979, he tied the knot with actress Elaine Cancilla. Following a private 10-year struggle with prostate cancer, the actor died at age 69 in December 2004. He delivered his final onscreen performance posthumously in Law & Order: Trial by Jury in 2005.

Kelly Bishop (Marjorie Houseman)

<p>Vestron Pictures; JUSTINE YEUNG/Freeform via Getty</p> Marjorie Houseman; Kelly Bishop

Vestron Pictures; JUSTINE YEUNG/Freeform via Getty

Marjorie Houseman; Kelly Bishop

Baby’s mother, Marjorie, is played by Broadway vet Kelly Bishop. However, Bishop was originally cast in the role of seductress Vivian Pressman before being recast on location. She told Canada’s National Post, “What was good about the role was that I’d always played the other woman, that character I was cast for originally, and this changed me into more of a mom, which broadened my outlook a little bit… Although I have to admit I found being a nice mom not nearly as much fun as being a bad girl.”

The actress ironically didn’t get to show off her dance moves in the film despite winning a Tony Award for them in the original cast of A Chorus Line in 1976. She made her onscreen debut the same year in an episode of Hawaii Five-0, and after a few supporting roles in TV and film, landed the role in Dirty Dancing. While Bishop didn’t get to do any choreographed high kicks during the finale, she did hit the floor with Neil Kellerman (Lonny Price) for a little dirty dancing of her own to show where Baby “gets it” from.

In the time since, Bishop has become most famous for playing sharp-tongued matriarch Emily Gilmore for seven seasons on the popular WB/CW drama Gilmore Girls. She returned for the Netflix limited series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life in 2016. Although she hasn’t reunited with the cast of Dirty Dancing, she did work with Baby’s real-life father, Joel Grey, in a 2011 Broadway revival of Anything Goes. Her most frequent collaborations over the last few decades have been with Gilmore creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, with whom she reteamed for the ballet-centric series Bunheads and Amazon Prime Video's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also appeared in the films Wonder Boys (2000) and Friends With Kids (2011).

Bishop was married to TV personality Lee Leonard for nearly 40 years until his death in 2018.

Cynthia Rhodes (Penny Johnson)

<p>Vestron Pictures; Vince Bucci/Getty </p> Penny Johnson; Cynthia Rhodes

Vestron Pictures; Vince Bucci/Getty

Penny Johnson; Cynthia Rhodes

Cynthia Rhodes, a professional singer-dancer in real life, was no stranger to hoofing it on screen prior to Dirty Dancing — thanks to supporting roles in Xanadu (1980), Staying Alive (1983), Flashdance (1983), and Runaway (1984). She also showcased her skills in the music videos for Toto, the Bee Gees, and her future husband, Richard Marx. Before Dirty Dancing, she worked with the film's choreographer, Kenny Ortega, in a long-form video for the band the Tubes (as well as in Xanadu) before taking on the role of Johnny’s original dance partner, Penny Johnson, whose botched abortion sets the plot in motion.

In 1989, Rhodes described the grueling process of preparing for the movie’s dance sequences while on the USA Network’s late-night show, Camp Midnite. “We started rehearsals about two weeks before we started the film and we rehearsed every day for about 10 hours a day to make it look, like, that Patrick and I had been dancing together all of our lives… it was really hard… and that’s why I keep saying I’m never going to dance again.”

Post–Dirty Dancing, Rhodes focused on music, taking over as lead singer for the group Animotion’s third album. However, the band broke up soon after, and Rhodes went on to star in only one more film, 1991’s Curse of the Crystal Eye, before retiring from show business to focus on raising her children.

Rhodes was married to singer Richard Marx for 25 years. The couple divorced in 2014, and they have three children together: sons Lucas, Jesse, and Brandon.

Jane Brucker (Lisa Houseman)

<p>Vestron Pictures</p> Jane Brucker as Lisa Houseman

Vestron Pictures

Jane Brucker as Lisa Houseman

Lisa, Baby’s self-centered sister who warbles off-key during the Kellerman’s talent show, is played by Jane Brucker. The actress — who previously appeared in episodes of Miami Vice and One Life to Live — made her film debut in Dirty Dancing, where she not only awkwardly shimmied her way through the performance of “Hula Hana,” but she also co-wrote the song on set with Ortega.

She told EW, “I wrote the story of the spoiled brat on an island, just during breaks.… [At some point] Kenny said, "Put 'wacka wacka' in it." I thought you couldn't put "wacka" in the song because it sounded like "whack off." I thought he was nuts.… But then I thought, "Wait a minute, the movie's called Dirty Dancing. Maybe I'm just square."

After hanging up her grass skirt, Brucker reunited with onscreen sister Grey in 1989’s ensemble comedy Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) and worked sporadically over the next two decades primarily on television. She also appeared in the films Stealing Home (1988) and Dishdogz (2005). While she initially didn’t fight for songwriting credit out of fear of making waves, she later pursued publishing rights for "Hula Hana" and found the statute of limitations had passed. But when a stage musical was launched and featured the song, the actress, along with Ortega, was able to retroactively receive the credit she deserved. She made somewhat of a return to the world of Dirty Dancing as a guest judge on the short-lived Fox reality competition series, The Real Dirty Dancing, in 2022.

Brucker was married to actor Brian O’Connor until 1993. She then married photographer Raul Vega in 2001. She has one daughter from each marriage.

Jack Weston (Max Kellerman)

<p>Vestron Pictures; Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Max Kellerman; Jack Weston

Vestron Pictures; Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Max Kellerman; Jack Weston

Jack Weston played the conservative Max Kellerman, the owner of the resort where everyone had the time of their lives. By the time cameras rolled on Dirty Dancing, Weston had been acting professionally since the 1950s and had accumulated more than 100 credits. His most well-known films include Wait Until Dark (1967), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), and Cactus Flower (1969). In 1976, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for The Ritz, and he received a Tony nomination in 1981 for his work in the Woody Allen play The Floating Light Bulb.

After the Housemans left Kellerman’s, Weston only appeared on screen one more time in the 1988 robot comedy Short Circuit 2. He returned to the stage in 1991 for a one-night production of The Odd Couple on Broadway before exiting the spotlight.

His first marriage was to actress Marge Redmond of The Flying Nun fame, and after they divorced, he was remarried to Laurie Gilkes until his death from lymphoma in 1996. He and Gilkes had one child together.

Wayne Knight (Stan)

<p>Vestron Pictures; Monica Schipper/Getty </p> Stan; Wayne Knight

Vestron Pictures; Monica Schipper/Getty

Stan; Wayne Knight

Kellerman’s would-be comedian and resort announcer is played by character actor Wayne Knight. Knight only had a small handful of theater and onscreen roles before arriving on the set of Dirty Dancing, including a stint on Broadway in the play Gemini. In fact, the dance floor romance was only his third film.

After leaving the remote Virginia set, the actor went on to have a long career since the movie’s breakout success. His most famous roles to date are the sleazy Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park (1993), and Jerry’s nemesis, Newman, on Seinfeld. He followed up with another long-running sitcom role on 3rd Rock From the Sun, and now boasts a résumé with more than 120 credits and counting — including Space Jam (1996), Rat Race (2001), as well as voice work for dozens of animated projects.

He was married to make-up artist Paula Sutor from 1996 to 2003. He and his second wife, Clare de Chenu, have been married since 2006 and have a son named Liam.

Lonny Price (Neil Kellerman)

<p>Artisan Entertainment/courtesy Everett; Bruce Glikas/WireImage</p> Neil Kellerman; Lonny Price

Artisan Entertainment/courtesy Everett; Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Neil Kellerman; Lonny Price

Before playing Neil Kellerman — Baby’s entitled would-be paramour who "wouldn't know a new idea if it hit him in the Pachanga" — Lonny Price worked steadily in theater, including as part of the 1981 original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. However, he was best known to filmgoers as aspiring producer Ronnie Crawford in the hit Jim Henson comedy The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984).

Following Dirty Dancing, his onscreen appearances have mostly been guest-star turns on TV series like Law & Order with castmate Jerry Orbach. Beginning in the mid-’90s, he switched tracks to directing and worked on several television shows such as Desperate Housewives and Great Performances. He also brought his talents back to theater and won two Emmys for directing the broadcasts of PBS Great Performances: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Sondheim! The Birthday Concert. In 2017, he directed Glenn Close in the Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard, and in 2023, he helmed the touring production of Peter Pan.

Max Cantor (Robbie Gould)

<p>Vestron Pictures /Courtesy Everett</p> Max Cantor as Robbie Gould

Vestron Pictures /Courtesy Everett

Max Cantor as Robbie Gould

Max Cantor played Robbie, the philandering, Ayn Rand-espousing waiter who abandons the pregnant Penny.

The actor had a short-lived career, consisting of only five roles, of which Dirty Dancing was the most successful. Cantor also appeared in the 1983 TV pilot version of the movie Diner and an episode of the series Leg Work in 1987. His final performance was in Todd Solondz’s debut feature, the 1989 film Fear, Anxiety & Depression. In addition to being a performer, he was also a journalist who wrote for publications like The Village Voice.

Cantor died of a heroin overdose in 1991 at the age of 32.

Neal Jones (Billy Kostecki)

<p>Vestron Pictures</p> Neal Jones as Billy Kostecki

Vestron Pictures

Neal Jones as Billy Kostecki

Neal Jones makes his film debut as dancer Billy Kostecki, Johnny’s cousin who hands Baby the infamous watermelon. Before swaying and grinding to Otis Redding's "Love Man" after hours, the Kansas-born performer honed his skills in New York productions like Macbeth and the Tony-winning musical Big River.

He told the pop culture website HoboTrashcan in 2008: “I’d never been on a film set, so it was all really bright lights to me. I was just trying to stay afloat because…the difference between theater and film and television is a wide gorge.”

Post–Dirty Dancing, Jones crossed paths with Orbach in two more projects — in the Al Pacino-starring film Chinese Coffee (2000) and four episodes of Law & Order. He worked with Pacino and Keanu Reeves in the supernatural legal thriller The Devil’s Advocate (1997), and received acclaim for his work in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. Jones also has credits in the films Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) and In America (2002). His last credited role was for a film short in 2011, and he appears to have stepped away from Hollywood.

Miranda Garrison (Vivian Pressman)

<p>Vestron Pictures</p> Miranda Garrison as Vivian Pressman

Vestron Pictures

Miranda Garrison as Vivian Pressman

Miranda Garrison slinks her way around Kellerman’s as Johnny’s seductive sugar mama Vivian. The actress and dancer, who had previously worked with head choreographer Ortega on Xanadu, plays the role after Kelly Bishop was recast as Marjorie Houseman. However, when she wasn’t trying to hire Johnny for horizontal mambo lessons on screen, the performer was busy teaching steps off screen as the assistant choreographer.

In 2008, she talked to the website Female First about the experience of choreographing the film’s iconic lift. She explained: “Kenny Ortega, myself, and most likely Patrick Swayze presented many 'lifts' to the director Emile Ardolino and writer Elinor Bergstein. Emile and Elinor wanted a through-line metaphor for the ultimate triumph of both Baby and Johnny. Once this lift was found we all knew its narrative power.”

In the years since Dirty Dancing, she has primarily played dancers on screen in movies like Salsa (1988), The Forbidden Dance (1990), and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. The bulk of her work in Hollywood has been as the lead choreographer on several productions including Evita (1996) with Madonna, and Selena (1997) with Jennifer Lopez. Garrison also has “additional crew” credits for films like The Rocketeer (1991), The Skeleton Key (2005), and Poseidon (2006). She served as a judge for two seasons on the U.K. reality competition Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your Life from 2007 to 2008.

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.