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'Succession' star Alan Ruck recalls how he nearly died from 'ferocious' blood infection

"I was a mess," the veteran actor said.
/ Source: TODAY

Alan Ruck is lucky to be alive.

In a new interview, the “Succession” star recalled a frightening episode where he contracted a blood infection that nearly killed him back in 2001.

Ruck, 65, fell ill while on a flight to New York with Barry Bostwick, his co-star at the time on “Spin City.”

Ruck, left, returns to the small screen this weekend when the third season of "Succession" premieres Sunday on HBO.Alamy Stock Photo

“They still don’t know how it happened, but I got blood poisoning,” Ruck said this week on the “WTF Podcast with Marc Maron.” “I got a streptococcal type g infection in my blood. And all I knew is we were filming like the last show before Christmas and I felt like I was going to die. I just had the worst headache of my life. My whole body hurt. I didn’t know what was going on.”

“I had fever. I had chills. I was a mess,” he added.

Ruck said he was “delirious” and the driver who was dropping him off at the apartment where he was staying took him to the building next door.


Ruck, second from left, was one of the many popular cast members of "Spin City" from 1996 until 2002. Alamy Stock Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

“I just felt like hell, so I just laid down in the lobby,” he said. “And people were walking over me, just like, ‘Oh, drunk.’”

He somehow woke up and went outside and went into his building. His ex-wife thought he may have been drinking.

“I just collapsed and she called 911,” he said. “The next thing I know, I hear — that was like three days before Christmas — the next thing I know, people are going, ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Happy New Year!’

"I was out for like nine days. I had lost 35 pounds," he said. "My kidneys had stopped working. I got this ferocious infection in my bloodstream.”

Ruck is best remembered by legions of fans for his portrayal of Cameron in the hit film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."Alamy Stock Photo

The “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” star says it’s a mystery how he became infected, but it did serious damage to his body.

“To this day they don’t know how I got it. But, anyway, I got this horrible infection in my bloodstream, shut down my kidneys, shot little pieces of crap up into my brain,” he said.

“My liver, for like a minute, was like, ‘Is the liver going to go?’ because it would’ve been curtains. So, for two days, they were like, ‘He’s not going to make it’ and then, after two days, I was hanging in there and they were like, ‘OK, it looks like he’s going to pull through, but he’s not going to be right upstairs.’ And then I started to regain some clarity and I wasn’t any dumber than I was before when I got sick.”

Doctors also thought he might remain on dialysis for the rest of his life, but his kidney function improved.

“I’m lucky. I don’t know why.”

Ruck portrays oldest son Connor Roy on the HBO hit, which returns for its third season on Sunday.

Last year, the actor revisited his most famous character, Ferris Bueller's buddy Cameron Frye, for a clever ad that played on a bit of '80s nostalgia.