'I wanted to die!' Inside Vanessa Redgrave's former health battle as she joins Queen Camilla in public outing

Queen Camilla sitting next to Vanessa Redgrave

Vanessa Redgrave was all smiles on Wednesday night but her health took a horrific turn for the worse nine years ago

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Adam Chapman

By Adam Chapman

Published: 15/02/2024

- 15:53

Updated: 15/02/2024

- 16:17

Dame Vanessa Redgrave is still going strong at 87 but nine years ago her health took a terrifying turn for the worse

Dame Vanessa Redgrave was all smiles as she joined Queen Camilla for a rare public outing in London on Wednesday night.

The 87-year-old was spotted alongside the royal and a host of other acting legends at a glitzy event to celebrate William Shakespeare.

The octogenarian's peppiness is made all the more remarkable given the fact that she nearly died nine years ago.

The actress had a heart attack at 78 but thankfully it was caught in time.

“Because of wonderful surgery I am here," she said on Swedish TV.

The actress continued: “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 Redgrave  sitting next to Queen Camilla at an event honouring William Shakespeare

Vanessa Redgrave's heart attack was caught in time but her road to recovery was bumpy

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According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), an average of four women die of coronary heart disease every hour, many of them due to a heart attack.

If you notice any of the symptoms, such as chest pain, you should 999 immediately, the BHF says.

"This can reduce the amount of permanent damage to your heart and save your life," the health body explains.

Dame Vanessa caught her heart attack in time but the road to recovery was bumpy.

Speaking to The Guardian a few years back, the actress revealed her darkest moments.

She said: “At the time? When I was in hospital I wanted to die."

The acting legend added that it was her daughter that gave her the strength to continue.

In the UK women have roughly half the number of heart attacks as men, but it is still a major health problem for women.

Woman waking up distressed in bed

Each year more than 30,000 women are admitted to hospital in the UK due to a heart attack

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Coronary heart disease, the main cause of heart attacks, kills more than twice as many women as breast cancer in the UK every year, and it was the single biggest killer of women worldwide in 2019.

Despite this, it’s often considered a man’s disease. There are more than 800,000 women in the UK living with coronary heart disease. It’s estimated that around half of them have survived a heart attack.

Each year more than 30,000 women are admitted to hospital in the UK due to a heart attack. Research suggests that survival rates are lower for women than for men.

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