Even though the Seattle-based sketch comedy show Almost Live! never went national, it was at least the Pacific Northwest’s answer to Saturday Night Live. The show ran from 1984 to 1999 on Seattle’s NBC affiliate KING-TV. Tracey Conway, giving a winning performance here in a 1992 late-night TV ad parody as a dispatcher for a bluntly-named escort service, was a member of the cast throughout the show’s 15-year run. Despite any of the recurring roles she played and memorable skits she was part of during that time, you can’t write a opening paragraph about her without mention of the heart attack she suffered after a January 1995 taping of the show.
Tracey went into full cardiac arrest and collapsed on the set, but fortunately there was an off-duty firefighter in the audience who administered CPR on her until paramedics arrived, who then used a defibrillator to eventually restore her heartbeat and, in essence, bring her back to life. Somewhat ironically, that night’s show included a spoof of the then-popular medical drama ER, in which Tracey played a chain-smoking doctor.
Tracey is alive an well today, with an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator), and has since been dedicated to speaking on the importance of cardiovascular health through way of her humorous presentations. Learn all about that at her website. She’s also on Twitter, but doesn’t frequent it.