The process of healing. Jean Smart revealed that she underwent an unspecified heart procedure and encouraged her fans to stay on top of their own health.
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“February is American Heart Month — a time when the nation spotlights heart health, so it feels important to share with all of you that I am recovering from a recent, successful heart procedure,” the Hacks star, 71, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, February 23. “I am fortunate to have excellent professional care and support from family and friends while I continue to recuperate.”
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The Designing Women alum didn’t go into further detail about her issue or the procedure, but she went on to emphasize the importance of advocating for yourself when speaking to medical professionals. “Please listen to your body and talk to your doctor,” the Emmy winner continued. “I’m very glad I did!”
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After the Babylon actress revealed her recent health battle, messages of support from colleagues and followers poured in. “We love you ❤️,” commented Johnny Sibilly, who plays Wilson (a.k.a. the water cop) on Hacks. Jen Statsky, who cocreated the HBO Max comedy series, also left a string of heart emojis on the post.
Smart’s procedure isn’t the first time heart issues have affected her personal life. In March 2021, her husband, Richard Gilliland, died unexpectedly at age 71 from a heart condition. The couple, who tied the knot in 1987, share sons Connor, 33, and Forrest, 14.
Smart has previously been open about other health issues, including her experience with Type 1 diabetes. She once hinted that her diagnosis helped decide where she went to college, which in turn led to her studying theater.
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“My mother insisted that I stay in Seattle for college. I had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 13, and she still hadn’t gotten over that by the time I was getting ready to graduate high school,” the Washington native told The New Yorker in June 2021. “She was afraid, I think, for me to go out of state to school. My big sister went to Washington State, on the other side of the state, so I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll go there.’ But my mother discouraged that. I got into the University of Washington and thank God I did, because they had a phenomenal theater program. Washington State had almost no theater program. I don’t know what would have become of me if I had gone to school there. So, I have my mother and my diabetes to thank.”
In 2013, the Watchmen alum testified in front of the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging for a hearing about diabetes research. “Unfortunately, many of my generation who were diagnosed with diabetes as children have suffered high rates of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, nerve damage, complicated pregnancies and kidney failure,” she told the panel at the time. “What I really pray for is that the next generation of young, beautiful children like these will never know the uncertainty and fears of being diabetic.”
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