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Movies

Martin Lawrence 'stable' after apparent heat stroke

Actor was 'doing what he saw fighters do'

Lawrence in his new film "Blue Streak"

Web posted on:
Thursday, August 26, 1999 11:02:23 AM EST

THOUSAND OAKS, California (CNN) -- Actor Martin Lawrence is reported in very critical but stable condition in a Los Angeles area hospital after collapsing Sunday from apparent heat stroke.

Lawrence, 34, best known for his starring role in the FOX television series "Martin," was jogging in the summer heat while wearing multiple layers of clothing. A hospital spokeswoman said the actor, who jogs for at least an hour every day, collapsed after he stepped up his regime to lose weight for an upcoming movie role.

"He was doing what he saw fighters do. He put on several layers of heavy clothing and was jogging in the intense heat we had here Sunday, and collapsed in front of his home," said Kris Carraway-Bowman, a spokeswoman for Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

He was found by his girlfriend on the front steps of his home with a temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Paramedics rushed the near-death Lawrence to the hospital, where he was treated with ice and fans by emergency doctors and nurses. He had slipped into a coma, but regained consciousness on Tuesday.

Condition slightly better

Lawrence is now breathing on a respirator and is responsive to commands such as "squeeze my hand," said Carraway-Bowman.

However, she said, Lawrence's condition has improved only slightly. His prognosis is guarded, and he is suffering from kidney distress. "He's not able to respond to you if you ask him a question. He's basically sleeping," she said.

"When you come in with a temperature of 107, that's not very compatible with life," said critical care nurse Susie Faz. "He's a very lucky man."

It was unknown for which film he was preparing, but it was recently reported that he would star in "See Spot Run," in which he was to play a postal worker who adopts a special dog.

Lawrence has starred in a number of movies, including Spike Lee's 1989 smash hit, "Do the Right Thing," and this year's "Life" with Eddie Murphy. His upcoming movie, "Blue Streak," is scheduled to premiere in theaters September 17.

Some brushes with law

Lawrence had some brushes with the law in the last year of "Martin," which ran from 1992 to 1997.

In May 1996, he ran into traffic on busy Ventura Boulevard and began yelling. He was led away by police, who found a loaded pistol in this pocket, then taken to Cedar-Sinai Hospital, where he was diagnosed as suffering from exhaustion and dehydration.

In 1997, he was sued by Tisha Campbell, his TV wife on "Martin," for alleged sexual harassment. The suit was eventually dropped. He was also arrested for carrying a loaded gun at the Burbank airport and for hitting a man in the face at a nightclub.

He was charged with battery in that case, sentenced to two years probation and ordered to perform community service and organize a charity fund-raiser.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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