Last summer, Bob Odenkirk suffered a heart attack while filming Better Call Saul. But thanks to the quick-thinking cast and crew—and three shocks from an automated defibrillator—he survived to tell the story.
“The third time, it got me that rhythm back,” Odenkirk told The New York Times.
On July 27th, the 59-year-old actor suddenly collapsed while filming a season six episode. As the actor shared, he’d been shooting all day. And when the heart attack hit, he was relaxing with costars Rhea Seehorn and Patrick Fabian.
“Luckily, I didn’t go back to my trailer,” he said.
After chatting for a while, Odenkirk decided to go listen to a Cubs game and ride his workout bike. But as he started to leave, he dropped to the ground. Later, Seehorn told him that he “started turning bluish-gray right away.”
Bob Odenkirk knew that he had a dangerous heart problem, and he had been trying to deal with it in the healthiest way. But after seeing some of the country’s top doctors, none of them could agree on a treatment plan.
“I’d known since 2018 that I had this plaque buildup in my heart. I went to two heart doctors at Cedars-Sinai, and I had dye and an M.R.I. and all that stuff. And the doctors disagreed,” he said.
Some MDs thought that Odenkirk needed to start taking medication immediately, while others urged him to wait. The actor decided to do the latter.
So Odenkirk dedicated himself to a healthier lifestyle. But unfortunately, that did not save him from complications. Over the years “one of those pieces of plaque broke up,” and that caused his heart attack.
When Bob Odenkirk Suffered His Heart Attack, His Co-Workers Sprung into Action
The moment that Seehorn and Fabian saw Bob Odenkirk drop, they called for help. And the Better Call Saul health safety supervisor, Rosa Estrada, and an assistant director, Angie Meyer, were nearby.
The two teamed up to save Odenkirk’s life. One gave the actor CPR while the other shocked him with an automated defibrillator.
Once the ambulance arrived, the actor was taken to an Albuquerque hospital where doctors “knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places.”
What makes the ordeal even more surreal for Odenkirk is that he doesn’t remember anything. He had to learn all the details from the people who witnessed the heart attack.
“That’s its own weirdness,” Seehorn continued. “You didn’t have a near-death experience — you’re told you had one.”
The actor spent a week recovering in the hospital. And not long after being released, he was back to living his life unrestricted. Within months he was even back to climbing mountains, which was something he enjoyed doing between filming Better Call Saul.