Sharon Stone's Near-Death Experience Explained

Actress Sharon Stone rose to fame in the early '90s, and roles in films like "Total Recall" and "Basic Instinct" helped turn her into a Hollywood star overnight. She is especially remembered for her nude leg-crossing scene in the latter film, which is also how she became a sex symbol. Earlier this year, however, Stone revealed in her book, "The Beauty of Living Twice," that she was tricked into doing the infamous scene. Per Yahoo! News, she even took legal action to stop it from being released. Nevertheless, she's had quite the acting career afterward, which has spanned some four decades (via IMDb). But as the title of her memoir suggests, she has lived twice.

In 2001, Stone experienced a health crisis that could've ended her career and life. Years later, in 2017, the actress discussed the life-changing near-death experience during a panel that raised awareness about neurological disorders in women, per The Hollywood Reporter.

How Sharon Stone almost died

Sharon Stone suffered from a stroke in 2001, but she didn't even realize what had happened to her. When she went to the hospital three days later, she learned she had suffered from a brain hemorrhage (via The Hollywood Reporter).

A stroke is when blood flow in the brain is interrupted and blocks oxygen from adequately circulating in the major organ, says Mayo Clinic. It's a life-threatening health issue that can also cause permanent disability. When it's coupled with bleeding inside the brain, it's called a brain hemorrhage (via Medicine Net). Stone says during the six days she spent in the hospital recovering, she saw a frequent white light and friends of hers who had long passed on, per Daily Mail. Despite the experience being very quick, Stone says she knew the exact moment when she was finally back in her body and felt like herself. According to the actress, she had reached the other side and came back.

Stone now takes neurological medication as a result, and the health emergency changed her forever. But she says the incident also killed any fear she had of dying. "It affected my life so profoundly that it will never be the same ... death — it's very near and very safe. It's not a far away or scary thing."