Did a doctor see Bart Giamatti on television and warn him he was about to have a heart attack?
A. Bartlett Giamatti, baseball commissioner, Yale president, Pete Rose antagonist, Paul's dad, died of a heart attack in 1989.
Someone told me the following apocryphal-sounding, or at least embellished-sounding, anecdote: The day before Giamatti's death, he appeared in a television interview. A physician who happened to be watching could tell, "from the way he was holding his cigarette," that he was in the early stages of cardiac arrest. He tried to contact Giamatti, but either couldn't get in touch with him, or the warning wasn't heeded.
Is this true, or partly true? Here's what I've been able to find:
of a CBS News segment seems to indicate that a Sloan Kettering doctor had written a letter offering to help Giamatti quit smoking. Could this be the origin of the more dramatic story?
of the story: A doctor saw him on TV, smoking a cigar, and from his swollen fingers suggested he had heart problems. The doctor warned Giamatti to give up cigars and seek treatment, which he did, but he died of a heart attack shortly thereafter.
That's all I've got. Has anyone heard any version of this?