Malcolm Hebden who plays busybody Norris Cole - suffered a heart attack which caused him to have to take a significant amount of time off work.
After his GP listened to his heart, he was given the devastating news he needed emergency surgery and an ambulance was on its way.
Malcolm, 78, had suffered at least one heart attack without realising - which had torn a hole in the left ventricle.
It was unknown whether he’d survive and he spent almost a whole month in a medically induced coma.
Doctors said they had to effectively “wallpaper” his heart to fix the tear.
Malcolm, who was treated at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre in Blackpool as well as the Blackpool Royal Infirmary, said: “Fortunately I didn’t realise how bad it was. I was dying.
"The cardiac team simply saved my life.
“I was informed by my doctor I had had at least one heart attack.
“The heart attack tore a hole in my heart, they operated and took a chance.”
After visiting his GP, Malcolm was rushed to hospital and had the operation the following day.
He underwent “groundbreaking” treatment which used tissue from a cow to repair the damage to his heart.
He was in hospital for three months before being discharged.
He said: “From getting into that ambulance at home, I don't really remember much at all," he said.
Speaking at an event at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, he added: “Hospitals don’t get good press because the NHS just can’t do everything, but all praise to Blackpool hospital and the NHS.
“I want to thank these people who were strangers to me but to whom I owe my life.
"It's wonderful to meet them and a bit emotional to be reunited with the people who I never met, here today."