June 2, 2008 / 8:05 PM / in 10 years

Kelsey Grammer has heart attack in Hawaii

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kelsey Grammer, best known from his long-running sitcom “Frasier,” suffered a mild heart attack during the weekend in Hawaii, three weeks after his latest show was canceled, his publicist said on Monday.

Kelsey Grammer arrives at Radio City Music Hall for a presentation of new and returning NBC shows, in New York, May 16, 2005. REUTERS/Bill Davila

Grammer, 53, experienced chest pains on Saturday morning while paddle-boarding with his wife, Camille, off the Kona coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, where they have a second home, spokesman Stan Rosenfield told Reuters.

The actor was immediately taken to an area hospital, where “it was determined that he had a mild heart attack,” Rosenfield added in a statement.

Rosenfield said the actor was now resting and will be released from the hospital early this week. He declined to give further details of Grammer’s condition or his medical treatment other than to say the actor had otherwise been in good health.

Grammer’s heart attack came three weeks after he learned that the Fox network was canceling his new show, “Back to You,” in which he starred as a pompous, womanizing TV news anchor named Chuck Darling. The series only made it for one season.

But Grammer could be headed for a quick return to prime time after having been cast recently in a new comedy pilot for ABC titled “Roman’s Empire,” as the overbearing head of a wealthy family.

Rosenfield said Grammer’s recovery from his heart attack “shouldn’t have any effect on (the pilot) whatsoever.”

Grammer gained fame portraying the snooty but lovable psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane for 20 years on NBC, first as a supporting player on the NBC comedy hit “Cheers” and for 11 more seasons as the star of his own Emmy-winning spinoff series, “Frasier.”

That character, which once made Grammer the highest-paid U.S. TV actor, tied the record for the longest-running role portrayed by a single actor in prime time, first set in 1975 for James Arness as Matt Dillon on the CBS western “Gunsmoke.”

Grammer also supplies the voice of the recurring character Sideshow Bob on the cartoon series “The Simpsons” and is due to appear later this summer with Kevin Costner in the big-screen political comedy “Swing Vote.”

Earlier in his career, Grammer’s success was overshadowed by substance abuse problems that led him to check himself into the Betty Ford Center following an alcohol-related car accident in 1996. He previously had been convicted of drunken driving and cocaine possession.


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