Actor James Woods underwent emergency heart surgery last month (NOV04) - and then learned he'd have died in less than two weeks if he didn't have the operation.

Woods, 57, had a stent inserted into one of his arteries following a routine angiogram just over two weeks ago in Rhode Island.

The tiny coil expanded inside the artery to open the blockedarea and has been left in place to keep blood flowing to the heart.

The relieved actor tells American tabloid the NATIONAL ENQUIRER, "Now I feel fantastic.

"This all just happened on November 17. Before that, I couldn't walk up the stairs to my mom's condo without running out of breath... and now I feel like I can go out and play touch football."

Woods is now using his experience to warn everybody else of the value of visiting the doctor.

He says, "I want to tell (everybody) to get a checkup and get tested for possible heart disease. As my doctors told me: You have only one heart so you don't want to take a chance with it!"

04/12/2004 02:59