Johnny and Baby kissing in a scene from Dirty Dancing.


Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey's Dirty Dancing Age Gap Is A Problem

The choreography in "Dirty Dancing" has aged very well, but the considerable age gap between Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) has not.

As discussions of age-appropriate relationships and grooming have increased, modern audiences see issues with the duo. In the script, Johnny was born in 1938, making him about 24.

Baby just graduated from high school, meaning she may be a minor. The New York Times thought so: In 1987, they described her as a "17-year-old innocent and serious daddy's girl."

While Grey and Swayze were 26 and 34, respectively, when they shot the film, the significant age disparity has some viewers feeling squeamish.

In 2022, Jennifer Grey spoke with the Los Angeles Times about her plans to reprise her role as Baby and executive produce a sequel targeted for a Valentine's Day 2024 release.

Grey explained the sequel will focus on "What happened to her and what is now relevant about the original story at a different moment, looking at it through a different lens."

It will be interesting to see if Baby — now all grown up — will address the effect her formative relationship with Johnny had on her life.