Alain Delon, perhaps France's best known movie actor, briefly underwent surgery for an irregular heartbeat in Paris on Wednesday, the 76-year-old told the daily Le Parisien.
"I was operated on two hours ago. It was planned. Two weeks ago I had dizzy spells and nausea," he said, according to an account on the paper's website, adding that he had been under anesthetic for only 10 minutes.
"They tried to get my heart back in place," he said.
"I had a scan. I was given the all clear on the neurological level, but they found an irregular heartbeat. It's the kind of thing that happened to guys like me when there's a build up of emotion. The s**t I've been through.
"These days, I've been well served, what with my son and all," he said, referring to a court case pending against his 17-year-old son accused of accidentally wounding a party guest in a firearm incident.
Born in 1935, Delon starred in around 100 films over five decades and worked with directors such as Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Pierre Melville, Joseph Losey and Jean-Luc Godard.
Often cast as a ruthless, steely-eyed bad boy -- typified by the 1970 gangster flick "Borsalino" -- Delon proved his versatility in other roles, such as a morally ambiguous wartime art dealer in "Monsieur Klein".
His personal life was closely intertwined with film, notably featuring relationships with Romy Schneider, Mireille Darc and Nathalie Delon, all prominent actresses in their own right.
Alain Delon was born in the Paris suburb of Sceaux. His father ran a local cinema and his mother worked in a pharmacy. They divorced when he was four.
After a turbulent childhood he served for four years in the military during France's war in Indochina and then tried a number of trades, notably working in the Paris wholesale food-market, Les Halles.
Noted for his good looks, he was invited to Hollywood by U.S. producer David Selznick, who offered him a contract on condition he learned English.
But Delon took up a rival offer from the French director Yves Allegret, and although he became a big name internationally -- notably in Japan, China and Russia -- he was to build his career as a French star.
His first role was as a hit-man in Yves Allegret's "Quand la femme s'en mele" (When the Wife Gets Involved, 1957), but it was Rene Clement's thriller "Plein Soleil" (Purple Noon, 1960) that would fully reveal his talent.
Fame was to follow quickly thanks to two major Visconti films: "Rocco and his brothers" in 1960 and perhaps Delon's best known film, "Il gattopardo" (The Leopard) in 1963.
After "Notre Histoire" (Our Story) directed by Bertrand Blier in 1984, which saw Delon play the role of an alcohol-sodden garage owner obsessed by a woman met on a train, he had fewer major cinematic hits.
Instead he branched out into theatre and television as an actor, director and producer.
He sponsored boxing matches, launched his own promotion company, notably marketing a fragrance for men, and built up a substantial collection of art, mostly from the 1950s. He was to sell the latter at auction in 2007.
Politically, Delon was on the right and in his later years he professed sympathy for the far-right French leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. The latter even suggested, in 2007, that Delon could play him in a film version of his life.
Alain Delon had three children. His son Anthony, by his first marriage with Nathalie Delon, has had a minor film-acting career.
With his last companion, Rosalie van Breemen, from whom he separated in 2002, he had two children, Annouchka and Alain-Fabien.