Celebs with Heart Issues

5 Celebrities Who Had Heart Issues! And What you should know!

1. Star Jones

Heart disease is the number 1 killer in America but still a surprise to most.

Celebrity Star Jones is known for various roles and well known for being co-host on the ABC morning talk show “The View”.  In the fall of 2009,  Jones started feeling really tired, having trouble breathing, getting dizzy when standing up quickly, and experiencing frequent heart palpitations. Even though she had weight loss surgery in 2003, ate well, and stayed fit, something didn’t seem right. After talking to her heart doctor, she got an unexpected diagnosis of heart disease in 2010, and the doctor suggested open-heart surgery.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of all Americans, the number one killer of African-Americans and the number one killer of women, so I should’ve been put on notice since I’m three-for-three. But like a lot of women, I thought that heart disease was an old white guy’s disease,” – Star Jones

2. Toni Braxton

The diagnosis was a surprise.

In 2004, Tony Braxton learned she had pericarditis,  inflammation around the heart. She experienced fatigue, difficulty breathing, and chest tightness, initially thinking it could be her childhood asthma. The situation escalated during an intermission at “Aida,” leading her to the emergency room. This diagnosis was a surprise for Braxton, considering she was in her 30s, weighed 115 pounds, and was regularly exercising.

Later on, Braxton, who also has Lupus, underwent a procedure to place a coronary stent due to an 80% blockage in her coronary artery. Watch the video below to hear more about her experience.

“The doctors told me I could’ve had a massive hart attack, I would not have survived.”

-Toni Braxton

3. Rosie O’Donell


She didn't think it was a heart attack.

In 2012, Rosie O’Donnell, the comedian and talk show host, experienced a heart attack at the age of 50. The incident was triggered by exertion while assisting a woman stuck in her car. Feeling unwell, Rosie looked up symptoms of a women’s heart attack and recognized some, but she initially dismissed the possibility. Taking baby aspirin, she decided to sleep on it and visited the doctor the next day. The doctor, recognizing the seriousness, promptly sent her to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with a heart attack. Further examination revealed a blockage, leading her to undergo surgery.


“I should have died”
– Rosie O’Donnell

4. Darlene Love



She pressed on despite her body signaling problems.

Renowned singer Darlene Love faced a health scare with a heart attack just before a major performance. Despite symptoms, Love pressed on, not knowing that what she was experiencing was serious. The next day, her doctor revealed the news that she had a heart attack.  Love was in shock!

“I do whatever my doctor says. I want to do whatever I can to make sure I don’t have another heart attack.”

– Darlene Love

5. Bill Clinton


He thought it was something else until he was diagnosed.

In 2004, former President Bill Clinton underwent a quadruple bypass operation, revealing extensive signs of heart disease. The surgery addressed blockages exceeding 90 percent in some arteries. A few days before the operation, Clinton went to the hospital because he was having chest pains and trouble breathing. It turned out he’d been feeling this way for many months. At first, he thought it was because he didn’t exercise enough during the busy time when he was running for president, and he also blamed it on acid reflux.

“The number one thing I would say to people is if you’ve got a family history, you gotta be tested, tested, tested,” – Bill Clinton

Heart Take Aways

  1. Heart Disease Knows No Age: Whether young or old, anyone can be susceptible to heart issues. It’s essential to be aware of the signs and take them seriously.
  2. Immediate Action Matters: If you suspect a heart attack, don’t hesitate—go to the emergency room immediately. A quick response can make a significant difference in outcomes. Sometimes a heart attack can be experienced different, especially by women. During a heart attack, women can have:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Marked weakness
    • Unusual fatigue
    • Cold sweats
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
  1. Know Your Family’s Medical History: Knowing your family’s medical history is crucial in understanding your risk for heart disease. If a close family member, like a parent or sibling, has had a heart attack, stroke, or was diagnosed with heart disease before the age of 60, it may indicate a family history of premature heart disease. This increases the likelihood that you might face similar conditions. To assess this risk, identify the family member affected and take note of their age at the time of diagnosis. Being aware of these factors empowers you to take proactive steps towards managing and reducing potential risks to your heart health.
  2. Make the Right Lifestyle Choices:  While you may not have control over your family history or genetics, there are numerous actions you can take to minimize your risk of heart disease. 
    • Don’t smoke
    • Do regular exercise  
    • Eat a heart healthy diet 
    • Maintain a healthy body weight 
    • Lower your alcohol intake 
    • Look after your mental health 
    • Manage high blood pressure and cholesterol 
    • Manage diabetes.  

At Central North Alabama Health Services, Inc., we are dedicated to providing care and support for you. While there are numerous heart-healthy steps you can independently incorporate into your routine, having dependable healthcare professionals by your side can offer valuable assistance and guidance on your journey to a healthier heart.

Schedule your appointment here.

Discover additional heart healthy actions that make a big difference at https://hearthealthysteps.org.