Morgan Freeman ‘in good spirits’ after car accident

Times Staff Writer

Oscar-winning “Million Dollar Baby” actor Morgan Freeman broke his arm and his elbow in a Mississippi car accident but “was in good spirits” in a Tennessee hospital Monday, his publicist said.

“He is having a little bit of surgery this afternoon or tomorrow to help correct the damage,” spokeswoman Donna Lee, the veteran actor’s sister-in-law, said in a statement. “He says he’ll be OK and is looking forward to a full recovery. He and we thank everyone who has sent them for the good wishes and prayers.”

The 71-year-old costar of the current box-office hit “The Dark Knight” crashed on a rural road late Sunday and was taken to the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center in Memphis. The Associated Press said the car Freeman was driving left the road and flipped several times. His hospital condition was initially listed as serious, the wire service said.


“They had to use the Jaws of Life to extract him from the vehicle,” Clay McFerrin, editor of the Sun-Sentinel in Charleston, Miss., told the AP. McFerrin arrived at the scene of the accident soon after it happened. “He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point.”

When a spectator tried to take a photo of Freeman, the actor joked, “no freebies, no freebies,” McFerrin said.

The authorities said Freeman was driving a car that belonged to Demaris Meyer of Memphis. “There’s no indication that either alcohol or drugs were involved,” Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Ben Williams told the AP. He said both Freeman and Meyer were wearing seat belts; her condition was not immediately available, the AP said.

Williams told Reuters it was “possible” that Freeman had fallen asleep at the wheel.

In addition to playing Lucius Fox in the blockbuster “Batman” sequel, Freeman has starred in nearly 100 feature films and television programs, including “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Bucket List,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Seven.” As a producer or executive producer, he has made “10 Items or Less” and “Levity,” among other movies.

Upcoming projects include the crime drama “The Code” and the comedy “The Lonely Maiden.”