of our generation has to be Patrick Swayze. His roles in Dirty Dancing and Ghost indelibly linked himself to the female psyche of our generation, while he won over the males with the acting/karate chops to pull off Road House, Point Break, and my personal favorite, Red Dawn. If that was ALL he had done, he would be in the "count on one hand" best thespians of our generation.
However, this versatile performer did more. Much more. He single handedly popularized the mullet hairstyle, which, although perhaps regrettable, did establish "The Swayz" as a trendmaker. He made homosexual hearts flutter with his courageous role in To Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, not to mention an early turn in as a 50's gang member in The Outsiders.
Eventually, one has to acknowledge that there seems nothing this versatile actor cannot do. Martial arts, monster trucks, fist fighting, parachuting, surfing, bank robbing, loving the ladies, dancing, and drag dressing... who better to define and represent our generation? Certainly not Sean Penn who has played, lets see, whiny bitch, whiny bitch, loathsome bitch, misunderstood bitch, and whiny bitch. OK, Jeff Spicoli was a star turn and really upped him in my mind, and he does direct, but we are talking actors here.
Clearly, "the Swayz" does not get the recognition or respect he so richly deserves. I say The Academy is long overdue in awarding this fine thespian its Lifetime Achievment Award, especially since he has been clearly snubbed for his particular roles. His body of work stands as a towering achievment that no other actor, American or otherwise, comes close to recreating. Brando? Superman's dad? Give me a break. Bogart? Where is his defining Drag moment? Newman or Redford? Show me where either one of those nancy boys ripped out an adams apple in a bar fight.
Let the Academy know... Swayze For Lifetime Achievment Award!