Swayze's reaction was completely different about another future smash, "Ghost." He immediately wanted to be in it and persuaded producer Jeff Zucker to cast him despite Zucker's skepticism that Swayze could play a sensitive leading man.
Details from the highly anticipated memoir are slipping out all over the Web. Here's a round-up of the juiciest tidbits:
Swayze did, of course, wind up taking the part in "Dirty Dancing," but some days his work with co-star Jennifer Grey made him wish he hadn't: "We did have a few moments of friction when we were tired or after a long day of shooting. [Grey] seemed particularly emotional, sometimes bursting into tears if someone criticized her. Other times, she slipped into silly moods, forcing us to do scenes over and over again when she'd start laughing. ... I was on overdrive for the whole shoot -- staying up all night to do rewrites, squeezing in dance rehearsals, shooting various scenes -- and was exhausted a lot of the time. I didn't have a whole lot of patience for doing multiple retakes."
Swayze also remembered working with a then-little known Tom Cruise in Francis Coppola's adaptation of the young adult classic "The Outsiders." Cruise, Swayze writes, was so "self-conscious about his teeth" that he resisted magazine photo shoots.
The memoir is co-written with his wife Lisa Niemi. When the couple married, they wrote their own vows. Here's what Swayze said to her: "Together, we've created journeys that were beyond anything we could imagine. We have ridden into the sunset on a white stallion, countless times. We've tasted the dust in the birthplaces of religions. Yet you still take my breath away. I'm still not complete until I look in your eyes. You are my woman, my lover, my mate and my lady. I've loved you forever, I love you now and I will love you forevermore."
Swayze speaks of a life well lived, but he says his one regret was not becoming a father. He and Niemi tried, but after she miscarried the devastated couple didn't conceive again. "I couldn't wait to become a dad, to have a child with this woman I loved so dearly. And I wanted to be the best father I could be -- the kind of father my dad had been to me. I felt completely crushed with grief. We wanted to try again, but the loss had been so devastating that we just couldn't do it right away. We figured we had plenty more years ahead of us. Eventually, we did start trying again hoping Lisa would get pregnant. But she never did."
The couple's bond, however, remained strong. He reflects: "The one thing I realized as Lisa and I retraced the arc of our lives is that no matter what happened, we never, ever gave up -- on each other, or on our dreams. I'm far from perfect, and I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. But that's one thing we both got right, and it's the one thing that's keeping me going today."
Swayze writes about how he first got the news about his cancer late in 2007: "I had been having some digestive trouble, mostly acid reflux and a kind of bloated feeling, for a few weeks. I've had a sensitive stomach my whole life, so I hadn't thought much of it, but lately I just couldn't shake the constant discomfort." He knew right away what he was facing. "My doctor told me my chances of surviving for more than a few months weren't high, and I had no reason to doubt him."
Swayze filmed his last TV series, "The Beast," in Chicago -- while he was undergoing treatment. "I continued with chemotherapy all the way through the shoot," he writes. "But I never took any painkillers since they dull not only your pain but also your sharpness."
In the end, he sums up his life this way: "I began thinking to myself, I've had more lifetimes than any 10 people put together, and it's been an amazing ride. So this is okay."
A rep for the actor confirms that, before he died last week, Swayze recorded a reading of his autobiography. That audio-book CD will be available on Tuesday, as well.
A memoir by George Obama, the president's half brother and a resident of Huruma, Kenya, will be published by Simon & Schuster in January 2010. George Obama, 27, shares the same father with his famous, older half sibling, although George and Barack Obama -- 20 years apart in age -- did not grow up together and did not meet as children.
George is the youngest of the senior Obama's seven children and was born six months before his father died.
Little is known about George Obama. The book, tentatively titled Homeland and to be written with author-journalist Damien Lewis, will tell of George Obama's fall into crime and poverty as a teenager and his eventual embrace of community organizing -- a passion shared by the president -- and of advocacy for the poor, an identification so strong that he chooses to live among them.
"Even had George Obama not been our President's half brother, his story is moving and inspirational," said David Rosenthal, Simon & Schuster publisher and executive vice president. "It is an object lesson in survival, selflessness and courage."
Financial terms were not disclosed, but an official with knowledge of the negotiations said the deal was worth six figures. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the contract, spoke on condition of anonymity.
Other Obama relatives are working on books, including a half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng; and the brother of first lady Michelle Obama, Craig Robinson. Duke University Press is releasing the doctoral dissertation of the president's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who died in 1995.
Barack Obama has written a pair of million-selling books, The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father, in which he describes George Obama as "a handsome, roundheaded boy with a wary gaze."
Rubina Ali (center) is flanked by her "Slumdog
Millionaire" co-stars Ayush Mahesh Khedekar
(left) and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail.
(Mike Clarke/Getty Images)
OK, I know those "Slumdog" kids have been through a lot, but a book deal? Really?
Transworld Publishers is planning on publishing the life story of 9-year-old Rubina Ali -- one of the child stars of the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire." The book will tell the story of her life in the shantytown where she grew up. (One might argue that she's not exactly "grown up" yet, but hey, who am I to know what's going to sell?)
Slumgirl Dreaming: My Journey to the Stars is scheduled to be released in Britain in mid-July. A Transworld rep says some of the royalties will go to the French medical aid organization Medecins du Monde.
I'm not opposed to telling a 9-year-old's story, but I hope the editors allow her own voice to come through so that kids her own age can read it and relate to it.
The New York Observer reports that comedian Kathy Griffin is being paid $2 million to write a memoir. That's right. Random House apparently put up the winning bid for the Oak Park native to tell all.
Kathy Griffin at the Grammy
Awards earlier this month.
Readers will be the judge as to whether her life is as funny as her stand-up comedy act or her TV Show, "My Life on the D-List," in which she regularly skewers A-List celebrities. But seriously, what will she care once the book is out? She'll have the last laugh either way, and $2 million in her pocket.
Elizabeth Edwards' memoir, Resilience, to be published May 12, will likely address her husband's affair. Former presidential hopeful John Edwards publicly admitted his affair with video producer Rielle Hunter, though he denies fathering her 6-month-old child.
Broadway Books publicist David Drake declined to discuss details of the book but said it would serve as a sort of sequel to her previous memoir, Saving Graces (2006), which mostly focused on the death of her son Wade in 1996 and her battle with breast cancer.
"She has always been a kind of candid and honest writer," he said. "And people can expect that of her in her new book."
First lady Laura Bush confirmed to The Associated Press that she is planning a memoir and has met with publishers.
''I've been talking to some publishers, but nothing has happened yet -- just a few visits,'' she said in a telephone interview Tuesday to discuss her upcoming special about the White House on cable's History channel.
Earlier this month, the AP reported on Bush's proposed book, citing three publishing executives with knowledge of the discussions who asked not to be identified because talks were in the early stages and highly confidential. The executives said that Bush is being represented by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose many clients include former President Clinton, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Barnett, who worked with Bush when she and daughter Jenna collaborated on a children's book, declined comment Tuesday when contacted by the AP.
A memoir from Laura Bush could be the political version of ''Garbo Speaks.'' The public has long been fascinated by the first lady, if only because she has said so little about herself, and her life is already a best seller in fictional form, in Curtis Sittenfeld's novel, American Wife.
While Nancy Reagan famously settled scores with old foes like former White House chief of staff Donald Regan in My Turn, one publishing executive with knowledge of the meetings with Laura Bush said the current first lady has vowed to write a positive book, with a minimum of criticism. The executive asked not to be identified, also citing the confidentiality of the discussions.
Publishers have a much higher regard for the first lady, a former schoolteacher known as a passionate reader, than for President Bush, and a book deal -- even during a dire economy -- would likely be worth at least as much as Hillary Clinton's $8 million for the memoir Living History. Books by recent first ladies, including Laura Bush's mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, have had more dependable commercial appeal than those by former presidents.
President Bush said recently that he, too, wants to write a book, but has yet to shop a proposal. Publishers, noting his poor approval ratings, have urged him to wait.
Publishers are betting that the market for a memoir by Laura Bush is much greater than for her children's book, Read All About It! -- published last spring by HarperCollins with an announced first printing of 500,000. Although the book was launched by a mother-daughter appearance on the "Today" show, only 77,000 copies have sold so far, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of industry sales. American Wife, released in September with an announced 100,000 printing, has sold 66,000 copies, according to Nielsen.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Read All About It! ranked 19,975 on Amazon.com; ''American Wife'' was 586.
In yesterday morning's entry I lamented not having received a copy of Maureen McCormick's memoir, Here's the Story. Like magic, as if some "Brady Bunch" fairy were looking down on me, my very own copy appeared in the Book Room by afternoon. I spent a good part of rest of the day paging through it and jotted down some of the highlights.
Marcia Brady never would have dated Michael Jackson (remember, Davy Jones was her type), gone on cocaine binges or partied at the Playboy mansion (the pizza parlor was where it was at for her), but Maureen McCormick, who played the eldest daughter on the '70s sitcom "The Brady Bunch" did all of the the above -- and more.
You can learn all the salacious details in McCormick's memoir, Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (HarperCollins, 288 pages, $25.95), which goes on sale tomorrow.
That's McCormick, upper left, as Marcia on "The Brady Bunch."
Regrettably I did not receive an advance copy -- Do the publisher's not know what a "Brady Bunch" aficionado I am? -- but the Associated Press got their hands on one and culled this quote out of it.
''As a teenager, I had no idea that few people are everything they present to the outside world. Yet there I was, hiding the reality of my life behind the unreal perfection of Marcia Brady. No one suspected the fear that gnawed at me even as I lent my voice to the chorus of Bradys singing, 'It's a Sunshine Day.'''
Ain't no sunshine in interventions, rehab, depression and therapy, which is what followed her "Brady" years. But in 1985 McCormick married actor Michael Cummings, and her life started to turn around. She credits his love and support, plus that of her "Brady Bunch" family, with helping her get sober.
During her troubled times, McCormick got an occasional acting role but nothing substantial. Post-recovery she became the winner on VH1's own version of dysfunction, "Celebrity Fit Club." More recently she starred on two other reality series, "Gone Country" and the bizarre "Outsider's Inn."
Meet Marcia in person! McCormick will sign copies of Here's the Story, 7 p.m. Thursday at Borders, 830 N. Michigan.
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, is working on a memoir about his triumphs in space and the hard times back on Earth.
Magnificent Desolation: The Long Road Home from the Moon will be published next year by Harmony Books, in time for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.
Buzz Aldrin (AP photo)
''From the pinnacle of Apollo, my greatest challenge became the human one -- overcoming alcoholism and living beyond depression -- a challenge that required more courage and determination than going to the moon,'' Aldrin, 78, said in a statement issued Thursday by Harmony.
''I was 39 years of age, had achieved my grandest goal, and should have been on top of the world, but there were no roadmaps, and few signposts if any along the way that could lead me out of the quagmire into which I had tumbled. For 10 years, I floundered.''
Neil Armstrong and Aldrin were on Apollo 11's lunar module, which landed on the moon on July 20, 1969.