Vanessa Redgrave says her daughter's words inspired her to live.

The 80-year-old actress suffered a heart attack two years ago, but she's revealed that the encouragement of her second daughter, Joely Richardson, gave her the strength to fight her way back to full health.

Vanessa shared: ''My eldest daughter died skiing and in the middle of being in hospital my second daughter, Joely Richardson, was with me.

''I said to her at one point, 'I'm sorry. I really don't think I can struggle on anymore'. She said the most wonderful thing.

''She did not say, 'Go on. You can do it. Go on.' She gave me a lovely smile and said, 'Well, if you feel you must go, then you should go. That would be good.'

''Because she gave me the relief, I felt strong again and felt I could continue.''

As well as feeling grateful towards her daughter, Vanessa has also heaped praise on her surgeon, who she credits with saving her life.

During an appearance on Swedish TV, the 'Julia' actress - who was treated by Britain's NHS - explained: ''Because of wonderful surgery I am here.

''Heart attacks make you funny. It does change you in lots of ways but I prefer to keep on the humorous side. They do affect you very much. You realise life is very precious.''

Vanessa also opened up about her marriage to Italian actor Franco Nero, saying the duo have made a conscious effort to keep money issues out of their relationship.

The London-born star - who married Franco, her second husband, in 2006 - shared: ''Money ruins marriages completely in my view. We just arranged it so that we would not have anything to do with money at all.''