Lesley Anne Down, who co-starred with Patrick Swayze in the 1985 mini-series North and South, spoke to EW following his death. She shared some personal memories of their time spent together down in Charleston, S.C. for the almost year-long period the two were on the set of the project Swayze once said “blew the lid off” his career.

“Patrick was new to the business when I met him,” says Down. “It was before Dirty Dancing and all the fame stuff, so North and South was a huge break and was really exciting for him. We had a really great time working together. We were young. He was 31 and I was 30 and it was 1985 so we behaved accordingly. We had enormous fun. It was a huge time of discovery, both of our talent as much as through our party selves. We were a very close-knit group of people and we spent all of our time together for almost a year. We used to go to a club, I think it was called BBT in Charleston, South Carolina. We lived there. He was an amazing dancer, of course. And we all went out dancing, all the time. We’d finish work, get ready, and off we went. It’s kinda weird how the years just drop away and disappear and then something like this happens and you can just go back 25 years and it’s like nothing else existed.”

She continues, “From the moment I met him I knew he was going to be a star, and I told him so. He was such a humble guy. But it was what he wanted and he got it.”

“Honestly and truly, he had a fuller and more rewarding life than most people ever get to live,” she adds. “I don’t know that life is always about the longevity of it. What good is longevity if you’re miserable, you don’t make anything of yourself and you’re in a bad marriage and you have no passion? For Patrick, he had passion, for his life, for his animals. He certainly had love with his wife. I just remember when we were doing North and South, he was just so in love with her then. And that never changed. He certainly accomplished more than most people I can think of in his work and his art. And he was a happy human being. If life is about the quality, and not the quantity, then he lived a perfect life.”

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