George Wendt, the beloved TV star known for playing Norm on “Cheers,” underwent successful coronary bypass surgery at a Chicago-area hospital Thursday.
According to Wendt’s Los Angeles-based manager, Geoff Cheddy, tests had revealed that an artery leading to Wendt’s heart was severaly constricted. He had been admitted Sunday after feeling chest pains after working on the Northlight Theatre Company’s production of “The Odd Couple” in Skokie.
Cheddy said that Wendt is expected to make a full recovery. “George and his family send heart-felt thanks to all the well-wishers,” Cheddy said, in a statement to the Tribune. “And they ask for privacy and consideration as he recovers.” Cheddy declined to reveal the hospital where Wendt was being treated.
Wendt responded to personal e-mails Wednesday with light-hearted banter. “I did in fact have a piece of Polish sausage lodged in my artery,” he wrote. “The doc said it was a coronary kielbosis.”
The 64-year-old Wendt was to perform in the show from Nov. 2 through Dec. 9 in the Chicago suburb of Skokie. He will be replaced by actor Marc Grapey, who previously performed in “The Odd Couple” on Broadway with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.
Wendt suffered chest pains before checking into a hospital Sunday.