Arts & Culture

Filmmaker Kevin Smith tweets that he survived suffered a 'massive heart attack' over weekend

FILE PHOTO - Director Kevin Smith speaks at a ceremony for Marvel co-creator Stan Lee to place his handprints, footprints and signature in cement in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 18, 2017.   REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
FILE PHOTO - Director Kevin Smith speaks at a ceremony for Marvel co-creator Stan Lee to place his handprints, footprints and signature in cement in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Kevin Smith tweeted fans early Monday that he had suffered a “massive heart attack” after shooting a comedy special in the Los Angeles area.

“If I hadn’t canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight,” Smith tweeted from the hospital. “But for now, I’m still above ground!”

Smith, the 47-year-old filmmaker (“Clerks,” “Mallrats,” “Chasing Amy”), writer and star of the AMC reality series “Comic Book Men”, was reportedly shooting “Kevin Smith Live!”, his new standup special, in Glendale, California.

Smith, whose feature directing career has spanned his breakthrough 1994 hit “Clerks” to 2016’s “Yoga Hosers,” had posted on Facebook hours earlier about his show taping.

I was trying to do a killer standup special this evening but I might’ve gone too far. After the first show, I felt kinda nauseous. I threw up a little but it didn’t seem to help. Then I started sweating buckets and my chest felt heavy. Turns out I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life at the #glendale hospital told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (also known as “the Widow-Maker” because when it goes, you’re a goner). If I hadn’t canceled the second show to go to the hospital, the Doc said I would’ve died tonight. For now, I’m still above ground! But this is what I learned about myself during this crisis: death was always the thing I was most terrified of in life. When the time came, I never imagined I’d ever be able to die with dignity - I assumed I’d die screaming, like my Dad (who lost his life to a massive heart attack). But even as they cut into my groin to slip a stent into the lethal Widow-Maker, I was filled with a sense of calm. I’ve had a great life: loved by parents who raised me to become the individual I am. I’ve had a weird, wonderful career in all sorts of media, amazing friends, the best wife in the world and an incredible daughter who made me a Dad. But as I stared into the infinite, I realized I was relatively content. Yes, I’d miss life as it moved on without me - and I was bummed we weren’t gonna get to make #jayandsilentbobreboot before I shuffled loose the mortal coil. But generally speaking, I was okay with the end, if this was gonna be it. I’ve gotten to do so many cool things and I’ve had so many adventures - how could I be shitty about finally paying the tab. But the good folks at the Glendale hospital had other plans and the expertise to mend me. Total strangers saved my life tonight (as well as my friends @jordanmonsanto & @iamemilydawn, who called the ambulance). This is all a part of my mythology now and I’m sure I’ll be facing some lifestyle changes (maybe it’s time to go Vegan). But the point of this post is to tell you that I faced my greatest fear tonight... and it wasn’t as bad as I’ve always imagined it’d be. I don’t want my life to end but if it ends, I can’t complain. It was such a gift. #KevinSmith

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Smith, who shoots “Comic Book Men” in his native Red Bank, N.J., recently appeared in the 2017 film “Disaster Artist,” and had directed recent episodes of CW’s “The Flash” and “Supergirl.”

Smith’s screenplay for his 1997 film “Chasing Amy,” starring Ben Affleck and Jason Lee as comic-book creators, received a Spirit Award. Smith himself has written comics for such characters as Daredevil, Green Hornet and Batman, and he famously financed his indie Sundance hit “Clerks” partly by selling his cherished comics collection.

As a performer, Smith debuted his Silent Bob character in “Clerks” as a mute comic foil to fellow slacker Jay, played by Jason Mewes. In 2013, Smith staged a reunion tour with Mewes, anchored by their podcast and a new “Jay and Silent Bob Super Groovy Cartoon Movie.”

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Smith told The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs in 2013 that the film was “a benchmark of his sobriety” in referring to his longtime friend Mewes, who had battled addictions to heroin and OxyContin.

Fans and fellow celebrities, including Chris Pratt, tweeted their concern and wishes to Smith early Monday:

“Praying for you. I will continue to. You inspired me with Clerks when I was a senior HS. I’m tagging my Lb/rb football coach who showed me the movie cause he believed in me and knew I’d be inspired,” Pratt wrote on Twitter.

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