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HBO Star Says He Had These Symptoms Before Blood Infection Diagnosis

Succession actor Alan Ruck nearly died due to a blood infection.

Alan Ruck is best known for playing Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and for his current role as oldest son Connor Roy on the HBO series Succession. But, in the many years between those two parts, the actor went through a terrifying health situation. In a new interview on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Ruck shared that a blood infection nearly killed him in the early '00s.

Ruck explained that he doesn't know how he got the infection and wasn't aware he had it until he passed out and ended up in the hospital. The 65-year-old actor also shared how he was feeling before he was hospitalized, and how when he finally woke up, he realized that over a week had passed. Read on to see what else Ruck had to say about the scary experience and the symptoms that came before his diagnosis.

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He started feeling sick when he was filming a sitcom.

Alan Ruck at the FOX Summer TCA Party in 2016
DFree /

Ruck was starring on Spin City at the time that he fell ill. He had finished working on the last episodes before the end-of-year holidays and was heading back to New York, where he lived, from Los Angeles with cast-mate Barry Bostwick. "All I knew is we were filming like the last show before Christmas, and I felt like I was going to die," he told host Marc Maron. "I just had the worst headache of my life. My whole body hurt. I didn't know what was going on." On the flight, he said, he had a fever and chills. "I was a mess."

He had trouble making it back to his apartment.

Alan Ruck at the "Succession" season 3 premiere in October 2021
Arturo Holmes/WireImage via Getty Images

Ruck said that he was "delirious" in the taxi on the way back to this apartment after the flight and was accidentally dropped off at the building next door. He couldn't go on, so he just laid down in the lobby. "Something woke me up a little bit and said, 'Get outside,'" Ruck remembered. Once he made it outside, he saw his own building and his ex-wife found him. "I just collapsed, and she called 911," he said.

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He was unconscious for over a week.

Alan Ruck at the premiere of "Gangster Squad" in 2013
Christopher Halloran /

Ruck lost consciousness at that point and didn't wake up until nine days later. "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," he said. "I had lost 35 pounds. My kidneys had stopped working. I got this ferocious infection in my blood stream."

He then found out his diagnosis.

Alan Ruck at the Kodak Film Awards in January 2020
JC Olivera/Getty Images

Doctors told Ruck that he had a "streptococcal type g infection" in his blood. There are various types of streptococcal infections. For instance, strep throat and scarlet fever are both group a streptococcal infections, according to Cleveland Clinic.

"To this day they don't know how I got it," Ruck said. "But, anyway, I got this horrible infection in my bloodstream, shut down my kidneys, shot little pieces of crap up into my brain. 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 would have to continue to be on dialysis for his kidneys, but they got better as well. "I'm lucky. I don't know why," Ruck said.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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