Actress Teri Garr, 62, is “recovering nicely” after undergoing surgery to treat a brain aneurysm, her rep tells PEOPLE.
“She’s alert. She’s sitting up. She’s talking,” says her rep. “The prognosis is very, very good.”
Things didn’t look so positive on the morning of Dec. 21 when Garr’s daughter Molly, 13, and a woman who works for the actress couldn’t wake Garr up and called 911.
Garr – who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late ’90s – was immediately brought to the hospital where doctors performed a coil embolism, according to her rep.
Since the surgery, Garr – whose movies include Unaccompanied Minors and Tootsie for which received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination – spent the holidays in the hospital, with her two brothers at her bedside and “her humor seems to be intact,” says her rep.
So is her passion for puzzles. On New Year’s Day, Garr chose to ring in 2007 by requesting a copy of the New York Times crossword.
The biggest puzzle in Garr’s life, however, took over 20 years to be solved as she suffered intermittent symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a chronic, degenerative disease of the nervous system.
After receiving various diagnoses from doctors for years in the late ’90s she went to see the chairman of the neurology department at USC’s School of Medicine. “He was the first to say, ‘This is probably MS. Let’s get you on some drug therapy ASAP,” she wrote in her memoir, Speedbumps (originally titled Does This Wheelchair Make Me Look Fat?), which PEOPLE excerpted in November 2005.
“People always ask, ‘What was it like when you got the diagnosis?’ It was anything but traumatic. After 20 years it was a relief to finally have someone say, ‘This is what it is, let’s deal with it.'”
Friends who know Garr say she is always upbeat. “She can’t possibly be having an easy time with the MS,” Garr’s former boyfriend, Spyglass Entertainment co-CEO and co-chairman Roger Birnbaum, told PEOPLE Tuesday, “but it does not dampen her spirits. She’s still the funniest person I know.”