Actor Antonio Banderas recently revealed that he had a heart attack two months ago.
During an appearance at a film festival in his hometown of Malaga, Spain — where he was being honored with a lifetime achievement award for his film career — the "Zorro" actor shared details about his health scare in January.
At the beginning of the year, the 56-year-old actor was briefly hospitalized for severe chest pains near his home in Surrey, England, People initially confirmed. While he stayed mum on his health then, referring to his hospitalization only as a heart "episode," Banderas did allude to "a startle" in an Instagram post with his girlfriend Nicole Kimpel.
This past weekend, Banderas shed a little more light on the events, telling Spanish reporters, "I suffered a heart attack on January 26, but it wasn't serious and hasn't caused any damage," according to the Associated Press.
"It was a benign attack, it hasn't caused any permanent damage and now I'm in a recovery period," he said, according to The Sun. "It's something that happens every day to a lot of people. I didn't hide it, but I didn't want it to receive more importance than those suffered by other people."
It Is Serious, Though
While we love that Banderas doesn't want to use his celebrity status to sensationalize what is, unfortunately, an all-too-common event, we have to disagree with his approach here — a heart attack is a big deal, no matter the level of damage.
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, and leads to approximately 720,000 Americans having heart attacks each year, according to the Heart Foundation. The more we hear about seemingly-healthy people suffering from the disease, the more likely we are to analyze our own risk and have the ability to catch signs of heart disease earlier.
"The Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper is a great example: After having a heart attack earlier this year, he listened to the wake-up call and sought more information about his heart disease risk. Then he adjusted his lifestyle (read: embraced the Mediterranean Diet with open arms) to be even more heart healthy.
We're glad Harper and Banderas are both okay, but we're just as glad they've shared their struggles with the public. Because if more people see that even healthy studs can be caught off-guard by the silent killer, we might be able to take steps and conquer it once and for all.