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Veteran on-screen star who lost famous brother to cancer



Coming from a family with an inclination to entertainment, Don Swayze is one of those actors whose on-screen presence hardly goes unnoticed. With his immense talent and a career spanning numerous years, he has carved a notable niche for himself by starring in various movies and television series, which include well-known titles like True Blood, Hawaii Five-0 and Sons of Anarchy.

This article explores more details about the actor’s life and career, and what he has been up to in recent times.

Don Swayze biography

Don Swayze

American actor, Donald Carl Swayze, better known by his stage name, Don Swayze, was born on August 10, 1958. He is best known for his roles in dramatic television shows, soap operas, feature films and theatrical productions. Swayze was raised in Houston, Texas, and comes from a family respected for their artistic inclinations.

His mother, Yvonne Patsy Swayze (née Karnes; 1927–2013), was a dance instructor, and his father, Jesse Wayne Swayze (1925–1982), was an engineering draughtsman. He had an elder brother, Patrick (1952–2009), and a sister, Vickie Lynn (1949–1994). In addition, Swayze has a younger brother named Sean Kyle (born in 1962) and a younger sister named Bora Song (often known as “Bambi”) who was adopted.

Following their attendance and graduation from Frank Black Junior High School in northwest Houston, Patrick and Donald Swayze attended and graduated from Waltrip High School.

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Don Swayze career

Film career

Swayze has had a diverse career in the world of cinema, taking on various roles in different films. In the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy, he showcased his dancing skills. He played the character “Ruben” in Father for Charlie and took on the role of “Mark” in Shy People. Notably, he starred alongside Corey Feldman in a movie called Edge of Honor, where he portrayed a character known as a “homicidal lumberjack”.

Swayze portrayed “Col. Sherman Rutherford” in the 2012 western-noir hybrid, Heathens and Thieves. He has also acted in films, including Death Ring. He played “James Bonham”, the Alamo courier, in the IMAX film, Alamo: The Price of Freedom.

Television career

Aside from appearing in typical films, Swayze’s versatility also shone through in his television career. He portrayed “James (Jim) Mackey” in the seventh episode of the fifth season of the Netflix series, Longmire. Moreover, he made appearances in two soap operas, The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives.

In 2010, Swayze had a recurring role as “Gus”, a werewolf, in the HBO vampire series, True Blood, where he made guest appearances in six episodes.

His resume in television dramas includes several appearances in shows like Murder She Wrote, The X Files, NYPD Blue, NCIS and Carnivàle. Notably, Swayze appeared in an episode of the TV series Matlock as an intellectually handicapped guy who is suspected of murder. He also played a part in the Western drama, Paradise, in 1989 as a member of a gang that took hostages at the hotel. In a 2005 episode of Charmed, he played the demon “Lucius”, and assumed the role of “Jesse James” in a season two episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

In the episodes “The Big Game” and “Revelations”, he played a recurrent role on Criminal Minds, where he played the character “Charles Hankel”, the serial murderer Tobias Hankel’s father.

He also played the “adult Grant Hall” in an episode of Cold Case, and as a boat captain in an episode of  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Other television shows that he appeared in were Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, The Bridge, and Sons of Anarchy.

Don Swayze talking

Swayze became a member of the General Hospital cast in 2017 and played “Buzz”. He also featured a silent cameo on LA Law as the rapist “William Dollar”.

He also had another cameo in the ninth episode of the FX horror anthology television series, American Horror Story: 1984, whose premiere occurred in 2019. He played the role of “Dennis Seacrest” in this series, a homicidal goon for a character named George Hearst.

The following year, he appeared in Deadwood: The Movie.

Stage career

Don Swayze acting

Swayze’s stage career also showcased his acting talents. In 2001, he took on the role of “Pedro” in Man of La Mancha at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. In 2005, he portrayed “Roy” in the comedy Lone Star at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.

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In the fall of 2011, Swayze had the opportunity to co-star with Anne Archer in an original stage play, titled: Jane Fonda: In the Court of Public Opinion, at the Edgemar Theater in Santa Monica, California. In this production, he played the character of the U.S. Army “Sgt. Don Simpson (retired)”, a wounded veteran of the Vietnam War.

Don Swayze movies

Don Swayze in a movie

Swayze has appeared in a wide range of films and television series throughout his career. However, we have highlighted a number of the actor’s notable works over the years, according to IMDb.

  • Driving Force (1989) – Swayze played the character “Nelson” in this film.
  • Trapper County War (1989) – Swayze portrayed the character “Walt Luddigger” in this production.
  • Edge of Honour (1991) – Swayze’s role is the intriguing character of a “Homicidal Lumberjack”.
  • Lizzie (2012) – In Lizzie, he took on the character of “Daniel Allen”.
  • Heathens and Thieves (2012) – Swayze portrayed “Sherman” in this Western-noir hybrid.
  • Hawaii Five-0 (2013) – He guest-starred in an episode, titled: “Ho’opio”, as “Lloyd Grimes”.
  • The Bridge (2013) – Swayze played the character “Tampa Tim” in four episodes of The Bridge.
  • Blood Type (2014) – His role in this TV series was “James Ryder” in the episode “A Rare and Precious Commodity”.
  • Sons of Anarchy (2014) – In the episode “The Separation of Crows”, Swayze took on the character “Carl Egan”.

Don Swayze’s net worth

Swayze has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million, according to Yahoo. The actor earns a living from appearing on screen.

Don Swayze family

Don Swayze with his wife
Photo Source: (Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)

Swayze is married to Charlene Swayze (nee Lindstrom). The couple got married in 2014 and have a daughter named Danielle Swayze. Aside from being known as Swayze’s spouse, Charlene is also known for her diverse interests and charitable endeavours.

One of Charlene and Swayze’s most well-known joint endeavours is the establishment of Swayze Ranch, an animal therapy facility situated in California’s Los Angeles County. They are passionate about helping people and about animals, and their worthwhile project is a reflection of that.

Additionally, Charlene Swayze is a professional dancer with a background in gymnastics. Her skills extend to playing soccer and she is also involved in arts for both children and adults, making her a well-rounded enthusiast in various physical and creative pursuits.

She is the founder of Recreation USA Now, an initiative that focuses on promoting recreational activities and opportunities for people of all ages. Beyond her pursuits, she also has a philanthropic side to her as she is the founder of the Swayze Foundation.

Don Swayze with his brother, Patrick Swayze

Swayze was not the only actor in his family. His brother Patrick Swayze was an American actor, dancer and singer who gained worldwide fame for his remarkable talent and charismatic presence in both film and television. Born on August 18, 1952, in Houston, Texas, Patrick Wayne Swayze was the younger brother of Don Swayze and a member of the renowned Swayze family.

He excelled in action films like Point Break (1991) and emotionally charged dramas such as Road House (1989). Besides acting, he was a talented singer who released an album in 2003. He, however, battled pancreatic cancer and ultimately passed away on September 14, 2009.

Don Swayze age

Swayze was born on August 10, 1958. He is 65 years old as of 2023.

Don Swayze now

While there has been limited recent information about Don Swayze, the actor has continued to pursue his career on the screen. One of his most recent works is in the television series, Perry Mason (2020-2023). In this series set in booming 1932 Los Angeles, he plays the role of “Man at Business Meeting”. The show is a crime drama that follows a down-and-out defence attorney taking on the case of a lifetime.

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