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Actor George Wendt hospitalized; out of Northlight’s ‘Odd Couple’

George Wendt was forced leave Northlight Theater producti“The Odd Couple” due health reasons. | RICH HEIN ~ SUN-TIMES

George Wendt was forced to leave the Northlight Theater production of “The Odd Couple” due to health reasons. | RICH HEIN ~ SUN-TIMES

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Updated: October 30, 2012 7:45PM

Actor George Wendt was hospitalized Sunday night, and as a result will be leaving his role as Oscar Madison in the Northlight Theatre production of “The Odd Couple” opposite Tim Kazurkinsky, who is starring as Felix Unger. The 64-year-old actor, best known for his role as Norm on the television series “Cheers,” had complained of chest pains and checked into a local hospital late Sunday. He is now receiving medical care and is expceted to make a full recovery, according to a prepared statement released by the theater. Mark Grapey (who was playing Murray the cop) is stepping into the role of Oscar.

“George is family to us at Northlight and we wish him well for a complete and speedy recovery. He will be missed in the rehearsal room and on stage,” said “Odd Couple” director BJ Jones. “We are so fortunate to have the brilliant Chicago actor Marc Grapey on our team, who was in the Broadway company of ‘The Odd Couple,’ covering for both Nathan Lane and going on for Matthew Broderick. Marc will step in to the role and we couldn’t be more pleased to have his talent and energy in the cast.”

The play begins previews on Nov. 2 and runs through Dec. 9 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

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