Bob Odenkirk opens up about heart attack on Better Call Saul set, says his heart stopped

Bob Odenkirk
Bob Odenkirk posing at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Pic credit: ©

Actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk shared details from his frightening, nearly fatal heart attack while filming Better Call Saul.

As Monsters & Critic previously reported, Bob collapsed on set in July 2021 while filming scenes in New Mexico for Season 6 of the Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul.

At the time of the incident, it was reported that “crew members immediately called an ambulance. Odenkirk is still receiving medical care, though the cause of the collapse has not been disclosed.”

Shortly after the frightening ordeal, Bob’s son, Nate Odenkirk, updated his fans, letting them know that his dad was “going to be okay.”

Bob Odenkirk knew of plaque buildup in his heart for years before heart attack

Now, Bob is speaking about the incident and providing harrowing details about his heart attack.

The 59-year-old actor and comedian told The New York Times in a new interview, “I’d known since 2018 that I had this plaque buildup in my heart,” Bob shared. “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 [on treatment].”

One doctor suggested Bob began taking medication, while the other said he could wait it out. Bob took the advice of the latter doctor. It turns out some of the plaque broke loose, causing a heart attack.

Bob collapsed in front of his Better Call Saul co-stars, Patrick Fabian (Howard Hamlin) and Rhea Seehorn (Kim Wexler), whose screams alerted a nearby medic.

Bob Odenkirk collapsed when his heart stopped, turned ‘bluish-gray’

“We were shooting a scene, we’d been shooting all day, and luckily I didn’t go back to my trailer,” Bob told the outlet. Instead, Bob headed to an area where he, Patrick, and Rhea liked to hang out in between takes.

“I went to play the Cubs game and ride my workout bike, and I just went down,” Bob added. “Rhea said I started turning bluish-gray right away.”

Luckily, within minutes, Better Call Saul’s health safety supervisor, Rosa Estrada, and an assistant director, Angie Meyer, administered CPR and hooked him up to an automated defibrillator. It took several attempts to restart his heart.

Bob shared, “The third time, it got me that rhythm back.”

While at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, where he was transported via ambulance, doctors placed stents via his wrist and effectively “knocked out” the plaque build-up. Bob has no memory of the scary ordeal.

Bob’s wife and two children were able to be by his side shortly after arriving at the hospital, where he remained for one week while he recovered.

The actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer is best known for his role as Saul Goodman (real name Jimmy McGill) in Breaking Bad and its prequel spinoff show, Better Call Saul, for which he has received plenty of Emmy nominations, but has yet to receive an award.

Bob also is credited as the co-creator of the HBO sketch comedy series, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and has also written for Saturday Night Live and The Ben Stiller Show.

Season 6 of Better Call Saul returns to AMC on April 18.

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