The ‘Dirty Dancing’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

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It’s been 35 years since the iconic movie ‘Dirty Dancing’ first hit the big screen and became an instant hit. Even the stars of the film or the studio executives hadn’t predicted the resounding success of the film. In fact, they almost ditched the idea of ​​a theatrical release in favor of a straight-to-video release.

Luckily, that didn’t happen and after 44 days of filming, the classic movie hit theaters.

“It was lightning in a bottle, it’s like this thing happened, and it’s so beautiful, and I can’t explain it,” said ‘Dirty Dancing’ star Jennifer Gray to People in April.

“‘Dirty Dancing’ was a hit fairy tale, movie and formula, using dance as a metaphor to embody your energy and get out of your head and limiting belief systems.”

Here’s what the movie’s stars are up to 35 years later.


Jennifer Gray

The role of Frances “Baby” Houseman was Jennifer Grey’s breakthrough role, earning her a Golden Globe nomination and propelling her to stardom.
(Getty Images)

Jennifer Gray had her breakout role in 1986’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” but rose to worldwide fame when she starred as Frances “Baby” Houseman in the 1987 hit “Dirty Dancing.” earned Gray a Golden Globe nomination and propelled her to superstardom.

She returned to the big screen the following year alongside Matt Damon in “Bloodhounds of Broadway”, working steadily on films throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Throughout this time she also appeared in a number of TV shows, including “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010, where she eventually took No. 1.

In July 2001, Gray married actor/director Clark Gregg. After nearly 20 years together, they announce their separation in January 2020 and officially divorce in February 2021. They have a daughter.

patrick swayze

After playing in "dirty dance," Patrick Swayze starred in "Phantom" and "Breaking point" and a number of other films before dying of pancreatic cancer in 2009.

After starring in ‘Dirty Dancing’, Patrick Swayze starred in ‘Ghost’ and ‘Point Break’ and several other films before dying of pancreatic cancer in 2009.
(Getty Images/Vestron)

After several small roles on television, Patrick Swayze first came to public attention in “The Outsiders” in 1973. But his breakthrough role was as Johnny Castle in “Dirty Dancing”. Her performance in the film earned her her first of three Golden Globe nominations. He also penned a top 10 hit, “She’s Like the Wind”, which was featured on the film’s soundtrack.

Her next role was in the 1990 hit “Ghost” alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, a role that also earned her a Golden Globe nomination. This was followed by the 1991 hit “Point Break”. After many successful films, Swayze was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997.

Swayze had been married to his wife Lisa Niemi for 34 years. They met in 1970 when he was 18 and she was 14 and married in 1975. In January 2008, Swayze was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He died in September 2009.

Cynthia Rhodes

American actress, singer and dancer Cynthia Rhodes retired from the industry after getting married and having three sons.

American actress, singer and dancer Cynthia Rhodes retired from the industry after getting married and having three sons.
(Getty Images/Vestron)

Cynthia Rhodes began her career as a dancer, appearing in a number of dance-related films such as ‘Flashdance’ and ‘Staying Alive’, but her most notable role was as dance instructor Penny Johnson in “Dirty Dancing”.

His next film after “Dirty Dancing”, titled “Curse of the Crystal Eye”, was also his last. Rhodes mostly starred in music videos after that, and at one point was part of girl group Animotion.

Rhodes met her husband in 1983 while working on “Staying Alive” and married a few years later in January 1989. The couple had three sons together but eventually announced they would be divorcing in April 2014 after 25 years of marriage.

Kelly Bishop

Kelly Bishop is best known for playing Emily Gilmore on the show "Gilmore girls," which ran from 2000 to 2007.

Kelly Bishop is best known for playing Emily Gilmore on the show “Gilmore Girls,” which ran from 2000 to 2007.
(Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Kelly Bishop was already an established stage actress before appearing on “Dirty Dancing” as Marjorie Houseman. She originated the role of Sheila in “A Chorus Line” on Broadway and won a Tony Award for Best Supporting or Starring Actress in a Musical.

After her role in ‘Dirty Dancing’, Bishop appeared in a number of films, including ‘An Unmarried Woman’, ‘Queens Logic’ and ‘Miami Rhapsody’. Her most notable role was as Emily Gilmore in “Gilmore Girls,” which she starred in from 2000 to 2007, even returning for Netflix’s 2016 revival, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.”

She reunited with “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino in 2012 for her new show “Bunheads,” which was canceled after one season. Bishop was married to talk show host Lee Leonard from 1981 until his death in 2018.

Jerry Orbach

Jerry Orbach died in 2004 after a 10-year battle with prostate cancer.

Jerry Orbach died in 2004 after a 10-year battle with prostate cancer.
(Getty Images/Vestron)

Before landing his supporting role as Dr. Jake Houseman in “Dirty Dancing,” Jerry Orbach was an accomplished Broadway actor, transitioning to film and television in the 1980s.

After “Dirty Dancing,” Orbach lent his voice to the Oscar-winning Disney animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” acting as the Lumière candlestick. Orbach then joined the cast of “Law & Order” in its third season, staying for 11½ seasons.

Orbach was married to his first wife Marta Curro for 17 years and had two sons with her before divorcing in 1975. He married his second wife Elaine Cancilla in 1979 and remained with her until his death from cancer prostate cancer in 2004. He was first diagnosed in 1994 and battled the disease for 10 years before dying at the age of 69.


Jane Bruker

Jane Brucker’s most notable role is as Lisa Houseman, Baby’s older sister, in “Dirty Dancing.” She then made appearances in films such as “Stealing Home”, “Doctor Doctor” and “Bloodhounds of Broadway”.

Brucker helped co-write the song “Hula Hana” which his character sings during the film’s talent show.

She married her first husband Brian O’Connor in 1986 and had a daughter with him before divorcing in 1993. She then married wedding photographer Raul Vega and had another daughter with him.


Max Cantor

Max Cantor appeared in “Dirty Dancing” as Robbie, a waiter at the resort who dates Baby’s sister Lisa. Later in the film, we learn that Robbie got Penny pregnant and left her to fend for herself.

Cantor appeared in another movie in 1989, “Fear, Anxiety & Depression.” He also worked as a journalist, writing for The Village Voice about a potential cure for heroin addiction.

Cantor died in 1991 of a drug overdose. He was 32 years old.

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