Woody Allen performs Heimlich maneuver on his friend Andrew Srein to save him from choking on pork at a busy NYC restaurant

Woody Allen performs Heimlich maneuver on his friend Andrew Srein to save him from choking on pork at a busy NYC restaurant

By Owais Farooqi

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Woody Allen leapt from his seat and performed a Heimlich maneuver to save a life in a busy New York restaurant on May 16. Allen didn’t think twice before helping as his friend Andrew Srein began choking on a piece of pork during their dinner at Caravaggio, their favorite Upper East Side Italian eatery.

The 87-year-old Oscar-winning actor rushed at 76-year-old Stein, former New York City Council President from 1986 until 1994, as he turned red. Fellow diners, including known lawyer Alan Dershowitz and Allen’s wife, Soon-Yi Previn, stood frozen in shock, Page Six reported, citing witness accounts.

‘I owe him my life’

The ‘Annie Hall’ actor demonstrated unexpected strength while applying the life-saving technique. “I am embarrassed to say it, but Woody actually saved my life. I normally order fish, but this time I went for the pork, and soon after we started to eat, a piece of the meat became lodged in my throat and I was struggling to breathe,” Stein said adding, “I started to panic. I was terrified. And then Woody came to my rescue. It really was like a scene from one of his movies. If it wasn’t for his quick thinking, I fear I may have died. I owe him my life.”

Woody had also saved Jean Doumanian in 1992

Interestingly, this is not the first time Woody Allen has been involved in a life-saving incident. Back in 1992, he also came to the aid of Jean Doumanian, a former producer of “Saturday Night Live,” when she choked on a piece of bread at a restaurant called Primola. Even then Allen’s heroics were reported on the front page of the New York Post and Doumanian acknowledged that the experience solidified their lifelong friendship, despite later legal disputes.

Political inclination

Even though in a slightly spooky way, Allen attempted to visualize the genesis of the Heimlich technique in his book ‘Side Effects’, a compilation of articles written between 1975 and 1980. He humorously imagined a gorgeous woman being hugged and encircled in his arms, but she was choking on a bit of herring at the time. Stein has continued to be involved in the political and social life of New York despite a prior misdemeanor tax evasion charge. He just said in an opinion piece co-written with Alan Dershowitz that he intends to switch parties and vote Republican.


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