Larry King did not pick up the American Spirit Award Wednesday in Los Angeles in person, sparking concerns that he is not doing well after he was hospitalized last month.
King, 85, asked Los Angeles Dodgers announcer and radio personality Charlie Steiner to accept the award on his behalf at the 13th Annual American Spirit Awards. Steiner later told The Daily Mail that King's health has been a "struggle" in recent weeks, and his well-being is a "day to day concern."
"He's coming along. I saw him yesterday. I talk to him every day. It's been a struggle, but the hope and expectation is he'll be home early next week," Steiner said. "Each day he's getting a little bit better. You know the old saying, 'He's listed as day-to-day,' but then again aren't we all?"
Steiner did not give further details on his friend's health, but insisted he is getting better.
"The only thing I can tell you is I flunked high school biology and flunked biology in college as well," Steiner told The Daily Mail. "He was under the weather, he's getting better and he's in good spirits."
James S. Hirsch, the chairman of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, which presented the awards, said the group was also told King was still in the hospital.
"When we decided on who would receive these awards, we didn't question who was going to be able to be here. With Larry we found out shortly afterwards. The award is to honor his work and legacy, which for Larry King is unbelievable," Hirsch said. "From that standpoint it is shame he couldn't be here, and gives up a chance to honor him. And eventually we will all be able to meet with him personally and honor him in person."
In April, TMZ reported that King suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. However, King's spokesperson disputed that, saying the legendary television host was in the hospital for an angioplasty.
"On the morning of Thursday, April 23, Larry King was scheduled for an angioplasty. Before his scheduled procedure, he experienced angina and went to the hospital early to be examined," his representative said. “His doctor successfully performed the angioplasty and inserted stents to reopen the previous bypass from 1987. He has been recuperating in the hospital and is scheduled to be released soon. His doctors expect him to make a full recovery.”
His representative said King's doctors said he did not have a heart attack or go into cardiac arrest.
However, sources told The Daily Mail that King is still hospitalized.
"Because of his physical ailments, visitors are shocked by his appearance, he's in terrible shape, he's lost a lot of weight," a source told the Mail. "A tight circle of friends and people that work with him on his shows have been to visit and everyone is extremely concerned. Larry is fighting on though and trying to be upbeat, he's been watching the Dodgers on TV."
King suffered a major heart attack in 1987, which required quintuple-bypass surgery. He was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had surgery after doctors discovered he had lung cancer.
King's career dates to the late 1950s and has never retired. Before he was hospitalized, King was still hosting Larry King Now and PoliticKING with Larry King for RT America and Hulu.
Photo credit: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images