Kevin Spacey was rushed to hospital from a film festival in Uzbekistan after he felt his entire left arm ‘go numb for about eight seconds’, it has emerged.
The House of Cards star, 64, was feared to have suffered a heart attack but after undergoing a series of tests, including an MRI, was given the all-clear by doctors.
He fell ill in the ancient city of Samarkand on Monday while on a tour of the Afrasiyab Museum and was rushed to the Innova Diagnostic Clinic where he was ‘treated professionally by doctors and staff’.
Mr Spacey later returned to the Tashkent International Film Festival, appeared on stage and told the audience his health was ‘normal’.
The Oscar-winning actor added that the incident ‘made me really take a moment and think about how fragile life is’.
Kevin Spacey (pictured at the festival) was rushed to hospital fearing a ‘heart attack’ after ‘going numb in one arm’ at the Tashkent International Film Festival
The House of Cards star, 64, was feared to have suffered a heart attack but after undergoing a series of tests, including an MRI, was given the all-clear by doctors. Mr Spacey is pictured at the Tashkent International Film Festival before he became unwell
Mr Spacey talked about his ‘unexpected’ health scare during his speech at the festival’s closing ceremony on Monday, festival organisers revealed.
‘I was looking at these extraordinary murals on the walls and I suddenly felt my entire left arm go numb for about eight seconds,’ he told the crowd.
‘I shook it off, but I immediately told the people I was with and we went immediately to the medical centre.’
He shared how he spent the afternoon undergoing a ‘variety of tests’, adding that ultimately ‘everything turned out to be completely normal’.
The actor said he is ‘grateful’ that it was not ‘anything more serious’, adding that he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ that Samarkand had ‘such qualified doctors’.
‘Human life is very fragile and short, so everyone should live together and support each other,’ he told the audience.
Mr Spacey also applauded the festival for being a place of ‘peace, progress, and enlightenment’. The actor, who hosted a master class at the event the day before, emphasised the importance of creating an environment to foster new ideas.
He told the crowd: ‘The workshops that have taken place have allowed professionals to help young aspiring filmmakers learn and grow. I know how incredibly important this is because I myself grew up in programs like this when I first discovered film.
‘It’s extraordinary that the Central Asian region is coming together, working together, and giving this opportunity to so many people. You should be proud of the work that you’re doing, and I’m honoured to stand here with you today and support you.’
The actor also teased a self-described ‘comeback’ and said his ‘best roles were ahead of him’, The Sun reported.
He fell ill in the ancient city of Samarkand while on a tour of the Afrasiyab Museum and was rushed to the Innova Diagnostic Clinic where he was ‘treated professionally by doctors and staff’. Mr Spacey is pictured at the Tashkent International Film Festival
Ahead of his closing ceremony speech, Mr Spacey held a master class in which he answered questions from festival attendees.
Most aspiring filmmakers and actors asked the Oscar-winner for advice on how to succeed in the entertainment industry.
One attendee asked: ‘What does a girl from Uzbekistan need to do to be noticed by big American producers?’
Mr Spacey, according to the festival, responded: ‘I am a person who grew up in a simple family and worked my way up.
‘I just really believed that I would be a professional actor and studied a lot to become one. So, you also need to believe in it and work hard on yourself.’
He also encouraged aspiring filmmakers to study Uzbekistan’s ‘rich cinematic history’ and ‘watch as many movies as you can’.
The actor was also asked about his own journey to success, which he said involved facing ‘a lot of difficulties as a child’.
‘However, I learned from my mistakes and attended film classes and theatres,’ he told the master class. ‘After doing different roles in movies, I knew the happiness of being an actor and was inspired to play different characters.
‘It helped me a lot to overcome various problems in life.’
Mr Spacey’s appearance at the festival comes just months after he was cleared of a series of charges of sexual assault.
Three men had accused the actor of aggressively grabbing their crotches, describing him as ‘vile’ and a ‘slippery, snaky’ predator.
A fourth, an aspiring actor, said he awoke to the actor performing oral sex on him after falling asleep or passing out in Mr Spacey’s London apartment where he had gone for career advice and a beer.
Kevin Spacey’s appearance at the festival comes just months after he was cleared of a series of charges of sexual assault. He is pictured on July 26 this year leaving Southwark Crown Court in London after being found not guilty over sexual offence allegations
Actor Kevin Spacey leaves Southwark Crown Court in London, Wednesday, July 26, 2023. A Jury cleared Kevin Spacey of nine sex offences. The Hollywood star, 64, had been on trial at Southwark Crown Court accused of sexually assaulting four men in the period between 2001 and 2013
Mr Spacey said he was a ‘big flirt’ who had consensual flings with men and whose only misstep was touching a man’s groin while making a ‘clumsy pass.’
The accusations dated from 2001 to 2013 and included a period when Mr Spacey – after winning Academy Awards for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty – had returned to the theatre. He served as artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in London for most of that time.
The men came forward after an American actor accused the actor of sexual misconduct as the #MeToo movement heated up in 2017.
Mr Spacey had faced nine charges, including multiple counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
Jurors in London deliberated for 12.5 hours over three days in July this year before reaching their verdict to acquit him.