The theatrical expression to “break a leg” is a frequently used backstage salute that means “good luck.” For Michael McKean, the “Spinal Tap” actor who was recently appearing in the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man,” the idiom became literal this week when he was struck by a vehicle in New York and ended up in the hospital with a broken leg and facial lacerations.
McKean’s accident took place Tuesday afternoon on the Upper West Side at the corner of West 86th Street and Broadway, according to the New York Post.
The actor was in good spirits following the accident. He was quoted in the Post saying: “We always tell each other to break a leg in this business. I never thought it would happen to me this way!”
McKean is being replaced by actor James Lecesne in “The Best Man.” The political satire is running at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. It remains unclear if and when McKean will return to the show, which is scheduled to run through September.
McKean is the second Broadway actor to be struck by a vehicle in recent memory. Jan Maxwell was hit by a minivan last October on 45th Street in New York. At the time, she was appearing in the revival of “Follies,” which is now playing at the Ahmanson Theatre.