LOS ANGELES, July 28 (Reuters) – U.S. screen actor Bob Odenkirk remained hospitalized in New Mexico on Wednesday with an unspecified heart ailment after falling ill during production of his television show “Better Call Saul,” according to publicists and his former “Breaking Bad” co-star, Bryan Cranston.
Odenkirk, 58, collapsed on the New Mexico set of the darkly humorous AMC crime drama, which was shooting its sixth and final 13-episode season, and was taken to a nearby hospital, two sources close to the actor confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday night, on condition of anonymity.
Representatives for the actor issued a brief statement on Wednesday saying the performer was listed in stable condition “after experiencing a heart-related incident.”
“He and his family would like to express gratitude for the incredible doctors and nurses looking after him, as well as his cast, crew and producers who have stayed by his side,” the statement said.
“Better Call Saul” is a prequel spinoff of the hit AMC crime drama “Breaking Bad,” which introduced Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, the shrewd, sharp-witted criminal defense lawyer for that show’s protagonist, high school teacher-turned-methamphetamine chemist Walter White, played by Cranston.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Cranston said he was “anxious all morning” after waking up to news of Odenkirk’s collapse.
“He is in the hospital in Albuquerque and receiving the medical attention he needs,” Cranston wrote. “Please take a moment in your day today to think about him and send positive thoughts and prayers his way.”
Another friend and former co-star, David Cross, who appeared with Odenkirk in the 1990s HBO sketch comedy series “Mr. Show with Bob and David,” tweeted, “Bob is one of the strongest people I know both physically and spiritually.”
Cross added: “He WILL get through this.”
Odenkirk’s publicists and management team declined to comment on the situation. AMC and Sony Pictures Television, which produces “Better Call Saul,” did not immediately respond to requests for a statement.
“Better Call Saul” traces the transformation of Odenkirk’s character from a onetime two-bit scam artist and struggling public defender named Jimmy McGill into the morally conflicted attorney Saul Goodman, who ultimately makes a career representing drug traffickers and underworld figures.
The show has earned Odenkirk four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. His motion picture credits include supporting roles in such films as “Nebraska,” “The Post” and “Little Women.” More recently he starred in the big-screen action thriller “Nobody.”
Reporting by Steve Gorman; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Aurora Ellis
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