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George Wendt hospitalized

Cheers actor George Wendt has been hospitalized with chest pains and forced to drop out of a Chicago stage production of The Odd Couple. The 64-year-old actor, best known for playing the beer-loving Norm on the long-running NBC sitcom, checked into the hospital Sunday evening, the Northlight Theatre in Skokie reported yesterday. “George is family to us at Northlight and we wish him well for a complete and speedy recovery,” Odd Couple director B.J. Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He will be missed in the rehearsal room and on stage.”

Wendt “is getting medical attention and will eventually make a full recovery,” theater executive director Timothy Evans said in a statement.

Wendt had planned to play Oscar opposite Tim Kazurinsky’s Felix. The show will begin previews on Friday, as planned, and officially open Nov. 9, with Marc Grapey subbing for Wendt.

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