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19th Oct 2023

Miriam Margolyes undergoes major heart surgery as she provides health update

Charlie Herbert

Miriam Margolyes undergoes major heart surgery

The actor revealed she is ‘aware of her vulnerability’

Miriam Margolyes has revealed she has undergone major heart surgery and now has a “cow’s heart.”

The legendary actress was appearing on the Table Manners podcast when she said that she’d had a procedure called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

The 82-year-old explained: “I’ve got a cow’s heart now. Well, not the whole heart. I’ve had an aortic valve replaced by a cow’s aortic valve.”

When host Jessie Ware asked if this was a common thing, Margolyes replied: “I think it’s rather refined, actually!”

She added: “I don’t know how common it is. I’d never heard of that operation. But it saves you from having open heart surgery, which would be infinitely more invasive.”

Revealing more about the intricate operation, she said: “They made two little holes in your groin. One in each groin and then they shoved this thing through.

“And I don’t know how they pull it up but they sort of pull it up with stereos. And then when it comes to the point, when it’s in your heart, they pull a little string and it goes pow! And lo and behold, your artery or your aortic valve is shoved unceremoniously to the side.”

The Call the Midwife star also spoke about some of her other concerns over growing old, admitting you are “obviously aware of your vulnerability.”

She continued: “I have a bad back. I’m probably going to be in a wheelchair soon. And you know, you have to come to terms with what life throws at you.”

Margolye’s age hasn’t held her back in recent months though. Earlier this year, she appeared on the front cover of Vogue magazine and she has recently released a new memoir.

Miriam is a star of the screen and stage and has been successful on both sides of the Atlantic. She won the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence, received Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her role in Little Dorrit (1987) and a Sony Radio Award for Best Actress in 1993. See her acting credits here.

For fans of a certain age though, she’s best known as Professor Sprout from the Harry Potter films.

Along with her impressive acting career, Margolyes has become almost as famous for her outspoken and hilarious comments, no matter where she is or what programme she’s on.

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