Cast members of Dirty Dancing in stills from the film

Where the cast of Dirty Dancing are now: Death, heroin overdose and surgery that made star unrecognisable

A lot has changed in the space of almost four decades…

Dirty Dancing blew audiences away back in 1987 when it hit cinemas – and became an instant hit, catapulting the cast into super stardom.

Now, 37 years on from the film, and with ITV putting it on at prime-time tonight (June 15), here’s a look at where the cast of the hit movie are now…

Jennifer Grey smiling on a red carpet
Jennifer played Baby (Credit:

Cast of Dirty Dancing now: Jennifer Gray played Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman

Playing the role of Baby in the movie saw Jennifer catapulted into stardom. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, however, she lost out to Cher.

She continued to act in movies and TV, landing roles in Bloodhounds of Broadway, Red Meat and Wind. However, her Hollywood career never really took off after she underwent rhinoplasty that left her almost unrecognisable.

In 1995, she appeared in an episode of Friends. In 2010, she won Dancing With the Stars, and was a guest judge on Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Her most recent role came in the 2024 Jesse Eisenberg comedy, A Real Pain.

She was romantically involved with actors such as Michael J. Fox, Johnny Depp and President Clinton’s aide, William Baldwin. She tied the knot with Marvel actor Clark Gregg in 2001. They had a daughter together before divorcing in 2021.

Patrick Swayze
Patrick died in 2009 (Credit:

Patrick Swayze – Johnny Castle

Another star catapulted into stardom, Patrick had a much more successful career in Hollywood than his co-star Jennifer.

Following his role as Johnny in Dirty Dancing, Patrick went on to star in films such as Next of Kin, Roadhouse, Ghost and Point Break.

In 1991, People magazine named him the Sexiest Man Alive. In 2004, a prequel to Dirty Dancing, titled Havana Nights, was released. Patrick played a dance instructor in it. The movie was a box-office flop and slammed by critics.

He married American actor and dancer, Lisa Niemi in 1975 and was entirely devoted to her.

In 2009, at the age of 57, Patrick sadly died following a battle with pancreatic cancer. His ashes were scattered over his ranch in New Mexico.

Jerry orbach smiling
Jerry played Baby’s dad (Credit:

Jerry Orbach – Jake Houseman

A well-established stage actor, Jerry was known to non-theatre audiences for his roles in Murder She Wrote and its spinoff, The Law and Larry McGraw.

Following his role in Dirty Dancing, Jerry went on to voice Lumiere the candelabra in Beauty and the Beast. He also landed a long-running role in Law & Order as Lennie Briscoe.

He was married twice. Between 1958 and 1975, he was married to Marta Curro, with whom he had two sons. Following their divorce, he tied the knot with Broadway actor Elaine Cancilla.

Jerry died in 2004 following a private 10-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 69 years old.

Kelly Bishop smiling at a red carpet event
Kelly is best known for her role in the Gilmore Girls (Credit:

Cast of Dirty Dancing now: Kelly Bishop played Marjorie Houseman

Kelly, now 80, played Baby’s mother in the movie. However, despite winning a Tony Award for her dancing in A Chorus Line back in the 1970s, she didn’t actually do any dancing in the hit movie.

Kelly is perhaps best known for her role as Emily Gilmore in the Gilmore Girls. She played the role between 2000 and 2007, returning in 2016 for a Netflix sequel series.

She was married to talk show host Lee Leonard until his death in 2018.

Cynthia Rhodes speaking to camera
Cynthia gave up the showbiz life in the 1990s (Credit: YouTube)

Cynthia Rhodes – Penny Johnson

Dancer Cynthia played the role of Penny, Johnny’s original dance partner. Prior to Dirty Dancing, Cynthia had appeared in Flashdance, Staying Alive and Runaway.

Dirty Dancing proved to be her penultimate acting role, with the now 67-year-old str appearing in just one movie afterwards – that being Curse of the Crystal Eye in 1991.

She focused on music after Dirty Dancing, acting as lead singer of Animotion between 1988 and 1990. She retired from acting in the 1990s to raise her family alongside her husband, Richard Marx. Together, they had three children. However, in 2014, they divorced after 25 years of marriage.

Jane Brucker smiling
Jane played Baby’s sister (Credit:

Jane Brucker – Lisa Houseman

Actress Jane – now 66 – played Baby’s sister in what was actually her film debut. She also co-wrote the song, Hula Hana, on the movie.

Following the success of Dirty Dancing, Jane reunited with her on-screen sister, Jennifer Gray, in the 1989 movie Bloodhounds of Broadway. The film was a flop, bringing in less than £500,000 on a £4m budget.

After that, Jane appeared in four episodes of Doctor Doctor, the movie Dishdogz and Bright Day. She was a guest judge on The Real Dirty Dancing in 2022.

She was married to actor Brian O’Connor between 1986 and 1993. Together they had one son. After their split, Jane married photographer Raul Vega in 2001. They have a daughter together.

Jack Weston – Max Kellerman

Jack played the role of Max Kellerman, who owned the resort in which the movie is set.

Prior to Dirty Dancing, Jack had been acting since the 1950s, and had been nominated for a Golden Globe in 1976 for his performance in The Ritz.

After Dirty Dancing, more award nominations awaited Jack. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 1981 for his role in the Woody Allen play, The Floating Light Bulb.

He was married twice. Between 1950 and sometime in the 1980s, he was wed to Marge Redmond. In 1993, he tied the knot with Laurie Gilkes, with whom he had a child.

He died in 1996 at the age of 71 after a long struggle with lymphoma.

Wayne Knight
Wayne is a familiar face (Credit: Broadwaycom/YouTube)

Wayne Knight – Stan

Actor Wayne, now 68, has gone on to have a long career in showbiz and has appeared in several well-known TV shows and movies.

Following the success of Dirty Dancing, he went on to appear in Jurassic Park, Space Jam, Toy Story 2 and Seinfeld. In recent years, he has appeared in the likes of Torchwood, Law & Order, and Amazon Prime series, Them.

In 1996, he married make-up artist Paula Sutor, however they divorced in 2003. He married his second wife, Clare de Chenu in 2006. They have a son together.

Lonny Price smiling
Lonny moved into directing after Dirty Dancing (Credit: Splash News)

Cast of Dirty Dancing now: Lonny Price – Neil Kellerman

Before playing the spoilt grandson of Max Kellerman, Lonny had been in The Muppets Take Manhattan and numerous stage productions. His career soared after Dirty Dancing, with roles in Law & Order and The Golden Girls, before turning his hand to directing – for which he’s won two Emmys.

In 2017, he directed Glenn Close in the Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard, and in 2023, he helmed the touring production of Peter Pan.

He also reprised the role of Neil Kellerman in 2017’s made-for-TV Dirty Dancing movie.

Now 65, it’s thought Lonny is single.

Dirty Dancing cast now: Max Cantor – Robbie Gould

Ladies’ man Robbie got Penny pregnant then left her as she screamed her way through a backstreet abortion.

After romancing Baby’s sister and getting found out by Dr Houseman, Robbie’s career at Kellerman’s was over. And his career off-screen didn’t last much longer, either.

Max appeared in just five roles, of which Dirty Dancing was the most successful.

Sadly, in 1991, his death from a heroin overdose was announced. He was aged just 32. His body was found in bed at his home after neighbours complained about the smell.

Max died from acute intoxication due to heroin, cocaine and Prozac as a result of starting to abuse drugs while researching the 1989 murder of Swedish dancer Monika Beerle.

Dirty Dancing is on ITV1 Saturday (June 15) at 7.50pm.

Read more: Patrick Swayze’s haunting last words to his beloved wife

YouTube video player

So what do you think? Tell us on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Robert Emlyn Slater
Senior Writer

Related Topics