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Better Call Saul' Star Bob Odenkirk Almost Lost His Life on Set — How Did Rhea Seehorn React?

Edduin Carvajal
Apr 13, 2022
01:15 P.M.
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"Better Call Saul" star Bob Odenkirk has a second chance at life after suffering a heart attack on set. His co-stars, especially Rhea Seehorn, were traumatized.

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Although Bob Odenkirk has been active in the entertainment industry since the late 1980s, the role that skyrocketed his career was as the attorney Saul Goodman in "Breaking Bad."

Odenkirk's portrayal of Goodman was so outstanding that he got a spin-off, "Better Call Saul." The sixth (and final) season of the TV series premiered already, but it almost became Odenkirk's last role.

Bob Odenkirk in a scene of "Better Call Saul." | Source: Facebook/BetterCallSaulAMC

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On July 28, 2021, Odenkirk gave the "Better Call Saul" cast and crew the fright of their lives. After a long day working on the show's sixth season, most actors would have returned to their trailer to rest, but Odenkirk didn't. That small decision saved his life

Instead, he went to one of the show's soundstages to hang out with co-stars Patrick Fabian (Howard Hamlin) and Rhea Seehorn (Kim Wexler), play the Chicago Cubs game, and ride his workout bike.

Naomi Odenkirk and Bob Odenkirk on February 2, 2016, in Culver City, California. | Source: Getty Images

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All Odenkirk remembers after that is falling. Then it is "a complete blank" for about a week and a half. Seehorn and Fabian eventually told him what happened, and Odenkirk noticed they were traumatized.

The actor's heart stopped, and Seehorn and Fabian immediately screamed for help. Fortunately, the show's health safety supervisor, Rosa Estrada, and assistant director, Angie Meyer, heard the screams and ran to assist Odenkirk.

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Estrada and Meyer first administered CPR to no avail. They then used an automated defibrillator, but after two tries they failed to get a steady heartbeat going. 

Peter Gould revealed he worried that Odenkirk would return too soon.

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The third time they used the defibrillator, Odenkirk came back to life. He was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque and underwent a medical procedure to relieve the plaque buildup in his arteries. 

It is essential to point out that Odenkirk knew he had a plaque buildup in his heart since 2018. After getting some tests done, he got conflicting advice from two doctors, so he listened to the one who said he didn't need to start medication right away. 

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Seehorn said the outcome would have been different had Odenkirk gone to his trailer. After explaining that she was very close to him and his family and describing the ordeal as "traumatic," Seehorn added

"If you've ever lost someone, and most of us have, to come back the next day and go, 'Never mind, you can have a whole second chance,' is one of the most amazing things you could ever experience."

Odenkirk's good friend Brian Cranston confessed most people knew he was in trouble but were unaware of how bad it was. Cranston contacted friends in common to check if they knew anything about Odenkirk.

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"Better Call Saul" co-creator Peter Gould revealed he worried that Odenkirk would return too soon. He returned to work in September 2021 to finish shooting part of the season's second half. 

Bob Odenkirk said that after near-death experiences, some people believe they have to change their lives or "stop whatever." In his case, he couldn't stop thinking he had to keep going because "life is great." 

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