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THE HUNK FLUNKS

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*Falling Star: Patrick Swayze *Career Pinnacle: A double box office whammy-1987’s Dirty Dancing and 1990’s $218 million-grossing Ghost-made Swayze a huge star. Mobbed by female fans, he turned down offers to sell his own cologne, exercise videos, and posters. In 1991 he was named People magazine’s ”Sexiest Man Alive.” *Latest misstep: Father Hood, a movie unceremoniously dumped by Disney into a mere 20 markets, not including New York City. The studio had test-marketed Father Hood with a healthy ad campaign in two Midwestern cities, where the film was roundly rejected by audiences. One Disney exec described it as ”a dog.” *Perceived Problem: Swayze has been fighting his true persona-as a ladies’ man-in order to pursue macho roles and increase his acting range (see 1992’s City of Joy) because Hollywood’s male executives don’t appreciate his female appeal. *Next Move: To cushion the Father Hood blow, Disney and producer Joe Roth have cast him in Tall Tales, a family adventure set in the mythic American West in which he plays Pecos Bill. Shooting begins this month. *Advice: ”He should be in steamy romances,” says Heart and Souls producer Sean Daniel. ”This is a shirt-open kind of guy.”