Jeremy Piven was advised by doctors to terminate his role in Broadway's Speed-the-Plow due to a condition caused by an elevated mercury count
Piven's spokeswoman said the diagnosis came from a team of doctors headed by Dr. Carlon Colker, an internist and attending physician at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut, and also CEO and medical director of Peak Wellness.
A spokeswoman for Piven said he wanted to continue in the role but that doctors advised him he should end his run immediately.
The show is one of a handful of star-driven play revivals to log strong sales this fall, with Plow generally averaging more than $500,000 per week since opening to strong reviews, according to Variety.
Although symptoms of mercury poisoning can be quiet severe and debilitating, depending on the varied degree of exposure, the condition is not usually recognized as a serious health impediment.
"I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury," Playwright David Mamet curtly told the entertainment trade magazine late Wednesday. "So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."
Making light of Piven's recent diagnosis, Mamet might have been a bit more hesitant to poke fun knowing that the condition has been proven to cause a laundry list of symptoms including muscle weakness, memory loss, mental disturbance, a compromised immune system, severe headaches and high fevers.
Mamet indicated that the show will go on despite Piven's exit.
The good news is that some really great actors will be helping out and stepping in, which to me is a sign of great heroism and friendship," said Mamet, who declined to name the replacements.
Causes commonly sited for exposure to mercury are amalgam dental fillings, the consumption of fish that have been compromised by high contents of mercury in the environment and industrial/work place exposures.
There are multiple types of therapies which assist in eliminating mercury toxicity from the system and have high success rates over time.
Here at SheKnows, we wish Jeremy a quick and speedy recovery!