How old was baby and johnny in dirty dancing

How Old Baby & Johnny Are In Dirty Dancing

By Quinn Hough


Dirty Dancing features an iconic pairing in Patrick Swayze's Johnny and Jennifer Grey's Baby, but their characters are far from the same age.

Dirty Dancing features an iconic pairing in Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, but how big is their age gap, and does it make the movie problematic? Dirty Dancing is somewhat autobiographical for screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, as it's based on her own teenage experiences. This fact only brings the question of Baby and Johnny's age difference further into the light. While the movie doesn't explicitly state the two protagonists' ages, there's enough evidence to suggest that the years between them borders on creepy.

Now streaming on HBO and HBO Max, the 1987 film explores the romance between a teenage girl and her much older dance partner, who meet at a New York resort.  Dirty Dancing became a pop culture phenomenon due to its soundtrack and central performances, and was Directed by Emile Ardolino. Set in the early '60s, Dirty Dancing stars Grey as Frances “Baby” Houseman and Swayze as Johnny Castle. The storyline takes place at a Catskills resort called Kellerman's (actually the Mountain Lake Lodge in Mountain, Lake Virginia), where Jake Houseman (Jerry Orbach) and wife Marjorie (Kelly Bishop) spend time with their daughters, Baby and Lisa (Jane Brucker). Meanwhile, Patrick Swayze's Johnny teaches classes and performs with his long-time friend Penny Johnson (Cynthia Rhodes). When Penny becomes pregnant and contemplates an abortion, Baby accepts an offer to train and perform with Johnny so that he can keep his job. In the process, the partners bond through the power of dance.

Related: All HBO Max Original Shows & Movies Releasing In 2022

Johnny and Baby's ages in Dirty Dancing come into question simply by looking at Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray. The two don't even look like they're in the same age group, and the movie takes no strides to explain any part of it. While this could be a product of the time it was made, Dirty Dancing might not hold up well under today's magnifying glass in terms of its more problematic areas. Here's exactly how old Baby and Johnny are in Dirty Dancing, and whether or not their age is far too wide.

How Old Are Baby And Johnny

Clues in Dirty Dancing place Johnny's age at 25 years old and Baby’s age at 17. At the beginning of Dirty Dancing on HBO, Baby's narration references the "summer of '63." Early dialogue reveals that she's planning to attend Mount Holyoke (an all-female private college in Massachusetts) to study the economics of underdeveloped countries. In Dirty Dancing, Baby also states that she plans to join the Peace Corps shortly before laying eyes on Johnny for the first time. Some reports have suggested that Baby is supposed to be 18 or even 19 years old. However, based on iMDB's trivia notes and a 2017 interview with Grey (via Closer Weekly), it seems that Baby was presumably born in 1946 and is supposed to be 17 years old. The character doesn't actually reveal her age in Dirty Dancing, nor does Johnny ask on-camera. If Baby is indeed a minor, that would explain her father's confrontational attitude with Mr. Castle throughout most of the film.

In Dirty Dancing, Johnny's 1938 birth date makes him 25 years old. The character initially questions why Baby gained access to a private dancing area, but then invites her to boogie and subsequently teaches her some moves. Johnny and Baby slowly become friends while dealing with Penny's medical procedures (Jake Houseman provides the appropriate assistance), and they eventually become romantic partners. Dirty Dancing on HBO never addresses the eight-year age difference between the two characters, which makes the film somewhat controversial – both then and now – because Baby is indeed a minor.  In 1963 America, though, it wasn't uncommon for men and women to commit at a young age. The focal Dirty Dancing relationship may not be appropriate, but the age gap isn't enough to make Baby's father concerned during the climactic performance. In fact, Jake Houseman essentially apologizes to Johnny.

How Old Were Patrick Swayze And Jennifer Grey During Dirty Dancing?

The late Swayze was approximately seven years older than Grey in real life. When Dirty Dancing premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1987, Patrick Swayze was 34 years old and was best known for portraying Darrel "Darry" Curtis in The Outsiders and Jed Eckert in Red Dawn. As for Grey, she had just turned 27 and had previously portrayed Jeanie Bueller in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. She also appeared alongside Swayze in Red Dawn as Toni Mason. In 2010, Grey won Dancing with the Stars season 11, just over a year after her Dirty Dancing co-star, Swayze, passed away at age 57 from pancreatic cancer.

Related: Why Road House Is Patrick Swayze's Most Misunderstood Movie

Johnny And Baby’s Age Gap In Dirty Dancing Is Questionable At Best

Johnny and Baby's ages in Dirty Dancing are certainly problematic. And worse still, if she was 17 years old and he was 25, then New York state law would deem nothing wrong with their relationship. This is a problem, as the age gap is discomforting to think about, technically legal, and would definitely raise concerned discussions were a movie to feature it today. Despite this, age gaps like in Dirty Dancing are unfortunately too common. Movies like Licorice Pizza can get away with extensive lovers' age differences, and people seem to be forgiving of its inclusion. After all, Dirty Dancing is still a beloved and critically acclaimed movie when it comes down to it. The film is so prolific that it got a (pretty terrible) TV remake in 2017. Dirty Dancing remains popular, but when put up to today's standards, the age gap between Johnny and Baby wouldn't fly unquestioned were a script to include it today.

Next: What Happened To Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey

5 misconceptions about Dirty Dancing: Is Johnny Castle a pedophile?

Having revisited Dirty Dancing I realised I was harbouring misconceptions about Johnny Castle being a pedophile. 

A film that I held in high regard during my childhood; Dirty Dancing was the ultimate coming-of-age holiday romance. The unforgettable Hungry Eyes ‘gu-gung’ heart tapping and iconic lake scenes filled my heart with a sense of young love.

The narrative follows Baby (Jennifer Grey) and her family on holiday at Kellermans resort, where the elite come to relax. While there she meets dancer Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and falls madly in love with him while gyrating on his crotch.

She gets herself into this precarious position when she fills in for Johnny’s pregnant dance partner Penny, while she endures a back-street abortion.

Baby’s doctor father swoops in and saves Penny when the abortion goes awry, and presuming Johnny is the father, forbids his daughter from ever seeing him again.

Despite my feelings of love towards the film as a child as I got older and viewed it through the cynical eyes of maturity, I poured over the message it delivered and found it to be seedy.

Was Baby groomed by a dance troupe? 

Baby gives a voice of God narration over the opening scenes, illustrating how naive she was when she arrived at Kellermans holiday resort.

“That was the summer of 1963, when everybody called me ‘Baby’, and it didn’t occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles, when I couldn’t wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I’d never find a guy as great as my dad.”

Upon meeting the convention-defying dancer Johnny Castle, she finds herself caught in the turbulent whirlwind of first love, removing the magical sheen that clouds childhood forever.

As my pessimistic adult brain processed this information, I came the realisation that Johnny Castle is a pedophile, and the film descended into a tragic tale of innocence lost against a backdrop of romance and mambo.

This step-ball-change in perception put me off. I shied away from the film I once held close, and cast it off as yet another damaging Hollywood love story.

I was wrong.  

Articles like 11 Dirty Dancing plot holes previously solidified my beliefs, alongside the countless Google results slandering Johnny as a predator. I have decided to set the record straight by rectifying the 5 (technically 4) misconceptions I had about Dirty Dancing.

1. Johnny Castle is a Pedophile

Misconception numero uno has to be calling this film ‘Dirty Pedo’ on account of Baby being underage.

As her father said: “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong,” and I am going to follow suit. Baby is 17 years old and due to start college, while Johnny is supposed to be 25. Despite there being a large age-gap, there is no law breaking here.

Sorry Johnny!

2. The film condones disrespect for authority and trust

I really couldn’t understand why Baby got away with disrespecting her father. It seemed as though her dad was clued in to what Johnny was doing, and this leather-clad cherub was leading her down a bad path of lies and rebellion.

What it actually does, is show that Baby has an extremely strong sense of morals and is fearless enough to stand up to wealthy white men’s discrimination.

Having the courage to respectfully disagree with your nearest and dearest  is a real testament to her strength of self and determination.

3. Baby is weak 

I figured Baby was a bit too naive and that her very name was there to drill in the dangers of teenage girls led astray by older guys…Baby is actually a feminist powerhouse.

She stands up for the oppressed and tries to put her best foot forward. She might be spoilt and entitled, but Baby is no coward.

Given that her awakening to ‘how the other half live’ happened in her first two days of staying at Kellermans, she is able to point out stereotyping and prejudice from a mile away.

Baby calls out her dad, stands up for her beliefs and refuses to let social status bother her – while dreaming of joining the Peace Corps and learning a whole dance routine.

She puts herself out to help someone else, fights her fear of dance and performance and rumbles a couple of petty wallet thieves because of it! That’s pretty good going.

4. Johnny is just as bad as Robbie

When Johnny first swaggers in and knocks Robbie’s napkins on the floor, you figure he is the bad apple. He seems to be ruthless with Baby by constantly undermining her abilities and making her appear to be less than what she is – perhaps Swayze played this role so believably because of their famous disagreements in real life.

Robbie is utterly awful as far as characters go. He sexually assaults Lisa and refuses any help to Penny despite being ‘well-off’ and sleeps with the adulteress.

If anyone is a villain it is Baby’s father, whose prejudice and judgement causes a disequilibrium of disastrous consequences.

5. Lisa is the most unlikable character in the whole movie 

Lisa’s character is fuelled by a lack of attention, something which is explicitly dealt with when she finds out Baby slept with Johnny.

Starved of fatherly-attention and clearly pitted against her sister, Lisa is struggling under the societal pressures to be like her conforming and mostly-silent mother. With her focus firmly on fashion and coral shoes, Lisa has been conditioned to accept the world as it comes.

Baby, who is favoured by her father, has been raised with the belief that she can directly affect the world from a position of privilege. Lisa happily participates in the pageant of Kellerman’s wealthy guests, encouraging all to “join hands, hearts and voices” – while Baby gatecrashes it with an influx of cuban dance rhythms and diversity (well, as much diversity as they would allow).

Lisa is admittedly very annoying, but the hatred I had for her is rapidly ebbing away…





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Film Dirty Dancing: photo, video, list of actors

American romantic melodrama about dancing and love. Directed by Emile Ardolino , the film starred Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach (Jerry Orbach), Kelly Bishop (Kelly Bishop), Jane Brooker (Jane Brucker) and Cynthia Rhodes (Cynthia Rhodes).

The plot of the film "Dirty Dancing"

In the summer of 1963, seventeen-year-old Francis Houseman (Jennifer Grey) , nicknamed Baby, a naive girl from a well-to-do family, spends her holidays with her parents and older sister Lisa (Jane Brooker) at a resort family hotel. Everything seems rather boring to her: family breakfasts, lunches and dinners, endless bingo games, classes with the elderly. But in the evening, a couple of dancers perform in the common room. Baby can't take his eyes off them, they are so graceful and beautiful. Baby does not know how to dance at all, so he watches the couple with great interest.

One evening the girl decides to take a walk around the boarding house. She hears music in the distance and follows its sounds. So she accidentally enters the staff area and sees a waiter serving their table. He asks her to help her carry the watermelons, and together they go inside the servants' house. Everyone is dancing "dirty dances" there, the movements of young people are quite frank and sexy. Among the dancers, Baby also recognizes the couple she saw at the evening in the boarding house. She is very attracted to a young and handsome dancer Johnny (Patrick Swayze) . Noticing her gaze, he invites Baby to dance. Johnny shows her some fairly simple moves and completely fascinates her.

Johnny's dance partner Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) got pregnant by waiter Robbie, who refuses to help her in any way. Abortion is banned in the USA, but Penny has no other choice, because next week they will be performing at another hotel, the only way they earn their living. Baby asks his father Jake (Jerry Orbach) to lend her a large sum of money. Baby gives everything to Penny so she can have an illegal abortion. After the operation, Penny becomes ill, and Baby has to turn to her father for help. After learning where his money went, he forbids Baby from dating Johnny.

Johnny is already in trouble: he needs to perform at another hotel, otherwise he and Penny will lose money this year and will not be offered a job next year. None of the dancers can replace Penny, then Baby proposes her candidacy. Johnny only has a few days to teach Baby how to dance professionally.

Interesting facts about the film "Dirty Dancing"

Patrick Swayze both dances and sings in this film.

Jennifer Gray, 30, convinced casting producers to cast her in a film by transforming herself into a naive 15-year-old in just 10 minutes.

Cynthia Rhodes , who played the partner of Johnny Penny, the wife of American singer Richard Marks a, known for his romantic songs.

The book that Robbie recommended to Baby - "Source" Ayn Rand .

Abortion was only legal in the USA in 1973. Thousands of women die or become ill every year as a result of illegal abortions in America. Many people who performed clandestine abortions were often not doctors at all.

Max Cantor , who played Robbie, shared an apartment with John Lennon for a while. Max entered Harvard University but died of a heroin overdose at the age of 32.

Billy Zane and Sarah Jessica Parker auditioned for Dirty Dancing .

In December 2008, screenwriter Eleanor Bergsten admitted that the characters of Baby and Johnny are based on her own biography. Like Baby Houseman, Eleanor comes from a liberal Jewish family. Throughout the 1960s, she, her father, mother, and older sister visited the Catskills Family Resort. Her father was a doctor, and until the age of 22 everyone called her Baby. She got her name in honor of a woman with a strong character.0003 Eleanor Roosevelt . Michael Terrace , a dance teacher from CatsKills, became Johnny's inspiration.

The film premiered on August 17, 1987. He immediately won the recognition of viewers and critics with his simple but extremely romantic story, beautiful music, beautiful dances and songs. The picture exceeded the budget by almost 36 times and still occupies leading positions in various ratings and charts (for example, in the list of "Hollywood's Top 100 Melodramas").

Worldwide grossing $213,954,274, US grossing $63,954,274, US DVD grossing $9,037,337, on a budget of just $6 million.

Academy Award for Best Song ("(I've Had) The Time of My Life"). Golden Globe Award for Best Song ("(I've Had) The Time of My Life"). Three Golden Globe nominations: Best Picture (Comedy or Musical), Best Actor (Patrick Swayze) and Best Actress (Jennifer Grey).

Who died from Dirty Dancing? – celebrity.


Patrick Swayze with Barbara Walters. LOS ANGELES - Patrick Swayze, the classically trained actor and dancer whose role in the enduringly popular "Dirty Dancing" propelled him into a movie star, a man who struggled with alienating fame and being a typical leading man, died Monday, Sept. . January 14, 2009. He was 57 years old.

So how old is Johnny Dirty Dancing?

In Dirty Dancing, Johnny was born in 1938. 25 years old . The character first asks why Baby got access to the private dance area, but then invites her to boogie and then teaches her some moves.

Moreover, was Patrick Swayze the wife in Dirty Dancing?

Given the couple's love and talent for dancing, it would make sense for Lisa to appear in Dirty Dancing. But as it turns out, Lisa Niemi's wasn't in the movie, not even in a small cameo as .

Also how did Robbie from Dirty Dancing die?

Max Kantor as Robbie Gould. Kantor died in 1991. drug overdose at age 32.

Why did Jennifer Gray hate Patrick?

Why didn't Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray love each other? ... That's where the tension between Gray and Swayze started: reportedly ordered everyone around and she obviously couldn't stand him . A few years later, Gray was offered a role in Dirty Dancing and had several screen tests with various actors.


How old is Baby in Dirty Dancing?

The film takes place in 1963. is 18 , while Johnny is 24. In real life, Jennifer Gray was 26 when she landed the role of Baby, a character who was supposed to be a fresh out of high school.

Who turned down the role of dirty dancing?

Who were considered for dirty dancing? Jeff Fahey turned down the role of Johnny Castle. Heather Graham turned down the lead role. Val Kilmer turned down the lead role.

Is Jason Whittle really Patrick Swayze's son?

Jason Whittle is the only son of the late American celebrity Patrick Swayze.

Did Baby and Johnny stay together?

Johnny flies out into the night and Baby goes to the Peace Corps. End of story. But it is obvious that this is not the case. Stay together guys!

What's wrong with Penny in Dirty Dancing?

The child of wealthy conservative Jewish parents, Baby lies to his father to get the $250 he needs for surgery to ingratiate himself with the "cool crowd". Penny's abortion goes terribly wrong because it was done by a dude who used a "dirty knife and folding table". Penny's left bleeding and...

Did Patrick Swayze get along with Jennifer Grey?

Patrick Swayze hated working with Jennifer Gray - "He kind of played a joke on her" Dirty Dancing is one of the most popular films of all time. … But viewers may not realize that Swayze and Gray didn't get along on the set of . The tension you see between Johnny and Baby doesn't work - it's a real annoyance.

How old were Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray in Dirty Dancing?

The film is set in 1963 and Baby is 18 and her love interest, Johnny, is 24. Grey, 27 at was eight years older than the character Baby at the time.

Why did they drain the Dirty Dancing Lake?

"When the lake drains - when it actually pours out - it cleans up by moving the sediment that has accumulated at the bottom of the lake through this rather complicated plumbing system to actually make the lake bigger, deeper and keep it clean," said Coley.

What happened to Patrick Swayze's wife Lisa?

At the age of 14, Niemi met the son of owner and director Patrick Swayze in the dance company of the Houston Ballet; they eventually started dating when she was 19years. Niemi and Swayze married on June 12, 1975 and remained married until Swayze's death from pancreatic cancer on September 14, 2009. .

Did Johnny and the baby stay together?

Johnny flies out into the night and Baby goes to the Peace Corps. End of story. But it is obvious that this is not the case. Stay together guys!

Why did they call her Dirty Dancing Baby?

Through voice-over, Gray's character remembers the summer of 1963 years old, describing it as "a time when everyone called me 'Baby' and it didn't cross my mind." When the Housemans move in with Kellerman, it is implied that Frances' name is "Baby". because she is the child of the family.

How old are Johnny and Baby?

In the movie Johnny is 24 and Baby is 18 . Jennifer Gray was 26 when she landed the role of Baby, a character who was supposed to be fresh out of high school. When Patrick Swayze was cast as Johnny in the film, he was 34 years old - a full ten years older than his character in the film.

Why does he say "No one corners a child"?

The meaning of the phrase “no one corners a child” is that no one with talent should be prevented from expressing it or showing off . It's about self-expression - about giving everyone the opportunity to show their best side, and about a bright call against anyone who seeks to hold back the potential of people.

Why did the girl cry in Dirty Dancing?

She figured Robbie wouldn't give her the money - certainly not by next Thursday. But Robbie did not reconcile with Penny and married her. Penny tried to control her emotions but she started crying. She could not go to the gazebo to dance with the guests there.

Penny likes Johnny in Dirty Dancing?

Penny Johnson dancer and former love interest of Johnny . One night, when she had complications from an illegal abortion, Baby sent for her father, a doctor, to help Penny.

Why did Jennifer GRAY leave her friends?

Most likely Gray couldn't return in Season 2 for some reason. Friends decided to remake the role of . The sitcom has been known to recast minor roles from time to time. Because Mindy didn't have a prominent presence, this change went unnoticed by many viewers.

Who was the main star in Dirty Dancing?

Jennifer Gray is an American actress best known for her role as Frances "Baby" Houseman in the 1987 hit film Dirty Dancing. '

What happened to Penny in Dirty Dancing?

The child of wealthy conservative Jewish parents, Baby lies to his father to get the $250 needed for an operation to ingratiate himself with the "cool crowd". Penny's abortion goes terribly wrong because it was done by a dude who used "a dirty knife and a folding table". Penny's left bleeding and...

What happened to Dirty Dancing Lake?

In 2008 lake , made famous by the 1987 film Dirty Dancing , 'Dried up and stayed that way for over ten years. … The Lake The water level first dropped in 1999 but returned in 2003. It fell again in 2006, and by 2008 it was completely dry, according to The Roanoke Times.

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