It seems appropriate that the first page to go online in my salute to the works of Patrick Swayze is one featuring the ABC mini-series "North and South". It is this show which first brought Patrick to my consciousness, though it was many years after "falling" for his character of "Orry Main" that I actually jumped on the Swayze Fan Wagon.

"North and South" is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author John Jakes. The sequel ("North and South Book 2") was based on Jake's followup book, "Love and War". Some biographers and/or credits gatherers sometimes make the mistake of listing the movie "Love and War" as a credit of Patrick's because of this.

"North and South" examines the the events leading up to the Civil War by focusing on two families, the Hazards of Pennsylvania and the Mains of South Carolina. Though their backgrounds and goals are very different, when George Hazard meets Orry Main at West Point, the two form a friendship which would change their lives forever.

ABC aired "North and South Book 1" in six parts in November 1985. The twelve hour drama featured Lesley-Anne Down as "Madeline Fabray", the lucky gal who won "Orry's" heart, but before the two could wed, they would have to battle the villainous "Justin LaMotte" (David Carradine) who was obsessed with "Madeline" himself.

Some Facts and Figures To Ponder

Book 1 aired on ABC November 3-10, 1985
The series cost $25 million
Filming took place in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina
David L. Wolper was the executive producer and also produced the 1984 opening and closing ceremonies for the Los Angeles Olympics as well as the "Liberty Weekend '86" extravaganza
Filming was not a piece of cake in Charleston, SC with one lady parking her Mercedes in the street (Wolper put trees around it)
While the mini-series holds the essence of the John Jakes novels, there are numerous differences, the most obvious of which is that in the book, "Orry" loses an arm, while in the mini-series it is his leg that is crippled though not amputated
Noteable guest stars in Book 1 include Hal Holbrook as "Abe Lincoln", Elizabeth Taylor as "Madame Conti", Johnny Cash as "John Brown", Robert Mitchum as "Col. Flynn", Gene Kelly as "Senator Edwards", and Robert Guillaume as "Frederick Douglass"
"North and South" spawned true love for several couples including Lesley-Anne Down and Don FauntLeRoy (a cameraman at the time); Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis ("Stanley Hazard" and "Brett Main"); and James Read and Wendy Kilborne ("George and Constance Hazard")

"The only thing that'll make my career last is if I always deliver 100 percent. If I don't, I'll have no one to blame but myself if my career peters out."
-- told to Ray Bennett of TV Guide 1985
"I've worked hard to build a feature was a big decision to pull myself out of the feature market even for six months....But I'm at a point of confidence now - things that used to go on with me - fear of failure, fear of the responsibility of success - don't go on with me any more."
-- from "TV Time and Channel" 1985

Book 2 aired on 6 six nights beginning May 4, 1986. James Stewart as "Miles Colbert", Wayne Newton as "Major Thomas Turner", Linda Evans as "Rose Sinclair" and Lee Horsley as "Rafe Beaudeen" were just four of the many guest stars to enhance the sequel. For the record, there was a "so-called" Book 3, but it's not even worth the time it is taking the owner of this website to type this line.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, "Orry Main" will always be the character most closely associated with Patrick. His honor, compassion, and yes, for the ladies, those wonderful good looks, and even his charm are strong pulls to the heart. "Orry" was a man of strong conviction, and yet he was never afraid to strive for change, even when that change meant going against his heritage. No, I don't mean to imply it was easy, nor was "Orry" without imperfection, but when all was said and done, he did look to the future and did what was right for his family.

"Orry Main" will forever be my sentimental favorite role of Patrick's. To further commemorate this fine portrayal and mini-series, coming soon to this site will be a second "North and South" page which will concentrate on more behind the scenes information and photos. Until then, check out the super links below!

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  • The Unofficial "North and South" Website"

  • "North and South" - David Noffsinger's page

  • "Erica Gimpel in North and South"

  • "The John Jakes Web Site"

  • "North and South Discussion List"

  • Pasi Kallio's Page

  • Book 3 Page for those who feel so inclined

  • Ashton's N&S Page

  • An incompleted N&S Page

  • The Ultimate Lesley-Anne Down Site

    Your were visitor to visit "North and South"

    Page Last Updated 11/25/00