Sir Patrick Stewart has spoken out about a terrifying health scare which saw him diagnosed with heart disease and forced to undergo an emergency operation.
The veteran British actor, 70, was admitted to hospital in 2005 after suffering chest pains while exercising. He underwent tests and made a speedy return to work, but kept quiet about his condition.
Stewart has now confirmed he was diagnosed with heart disease and was ordered to undergo emergency surgery to remove a blockage and insert a stent tube to keep the area clear.
The actor admits he found the experience terrifying and still gets nervous whenever he undergoes his regular check-ups.
He tells Britain's The Sunday Times, "I called my doctors in L.A. and they said come in. I got on the treadmill, did stress tests, the works. At the end of the day, the doctor said, 'You have coronary heart disease, 85 per cent blockage.' He then said, 'What are you doing this afternoon?' I said, 'I'm going to lunch at Paramount (movie studio).' He said, 'We'd rather you didn't.'
"Within 10 minutes I was (put) on a gurney with a woman walking alongside taking down details of next of kin. I was lying on a gurney thinking, 'You have coronary heart disease, you have coronary heart disease'.
"They put in a camera, did an angiogram and I got a stent. I see my doctors twice a year now, go through the whole test and it's always scary."