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General News

Steven Spielberg Surgery Shocker!

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Major surgery for Steven Spielberg has left the Oscar-winning blockbuster director minus one kidney.

The procedure, performed at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, was ordered up after doctors discovered an unspecified "irregularity" on the kidney during a routine physical, a statement from the mogul's DreamWorks studio said today.

It was not specified when the surgery occurred -- just that it was declared a success (such as it was) and that a speedy recovery was expected, with no follow-up treatment required.

For those unaware of the basics of biology, humans, as a rule, come equipped with two kidneys. We can function just fine with one -- most of us just would really rather not.

Spielberg's kidney operation apparently occurred sometime after Jan. 23 -- when the 52-year-old director was seen handling presenter duties at the Golden Globes. The director also made the award-show rounds the day after the Globes when he was on hand for the Broadcast Film Critics awards luncheon, also in Los Angeles. In both cases, the filmmaker appeared in good health.

Today, Spielberg was said to be convalescing at home. And according to his spokesman, he'll be back on the award-show circuit as soon as Saturday, when he's scheduled to receive an honor at the NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, California. (Next month will bring yet another rubber chicken dinner occasion: the Directors Guild of America Awards on March 11, where Spielberg is scheduled to receive, yes, a lifetime achievement honor.)

As the most commercially successful filmmaker of the 20th century, Spielberg's is a name that needs no resume attached, but for the sake of completeness, his filmography includes the likes of "Jaws" (1975), "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982), "Schindler's List" (1993) and "Saving Private Ryan" (1998). The latter two films won him Oscars for Best Director.

Spielberg's next directing assignment reportedly will be "Minority Report," a sci-fi flick that would pair him for the first time with Tom Cruise.

Spielberg has been married to actress Kate Capshaw, his second wife, since 1991.

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