Veteran comic Jerry Lewis was resting comfortably Monday after collapsing backstage at a charity show at London’s Palladium theater, and he’s due to fly home Tuesday, a spokeswoman tells Reuters.
As a precaution, medical personnel were summoned to examine him, “and everything checked out okay,” Candi Cazau said. “He didn’t even go to the hospital. He’s absolutely fine.”
She blamed Lewis’s rigorous schedule for his collapse.
Stephen Allen Green, the emcee and producer of Sunday’s “High on Laughter” fund-raiser for Turning Point Scotland, a drug and alcohol treatment group, told the Associated Press that “I saw him collapse backstage out of the corner of my eye.”
“He was watching the screen clips of an earlier show of his behind the stage when he just sat back,” said Green, who was forced to tell the audience that Lewis would not be able to participate because he wasn’t well.
Early news reports said Lewis, 76, had been treated at the theater and then taken by ambulance to an unidentified hospital. But Green and Lewis’s wife said the entertainer had not been hospitalized.
“We are grateful it was not necessary for him to go to hospital and he is currently resting comfortably at his London residence,” Green and co-producer Tamsin Hollo said in a statement Monday.
Lewis’s wife SanDee (known as Sam), reached by the Associated Press, confirmed the producers’ statement. “He has not taken ill,” she said “There is no change in his condition.”
Lewis has been in failing health of late, some of his symptoms related to pulmonary fibrosis, a lung ailment. He has been treated with steroids, which accounts for his severely bloated condition.
He also reportedly suffers from back pain, diabetes and is still recovering from spinal meningitis, which struck him two years ago.