‘Buffy’ star Nicholas Brendon ‘doing fine’ after dealing with heart issue

A sitting man wearing a gray shirt and brown hat leans on a table with his arms folded.
Actor Nicholas Brendon in 2017.
(Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty Images)

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Nicholas Brendon, best known for playing the titular heroine’s pal Xander in the TV series, was hospitalized recently after suffering another cardiac incident and being diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.

The actor, 51, was rushed to a hospital about two weeks ago because of tachycardia, a condition that makes the heart beat abnormally fast, his sister wrote Tuesday on Brendon’s official Instagram account. She also shared images of the actor getting medical attention in an ambulance and what appears to be a hospital.

“Nicky sends his love and wanted me to apologize that he hasn’t been going live as much lately and to give everyone an update,” she wrote. “Nicky is doing fine now but he had to be rushed to emergency about two weeks ago because of a cardiac incident (tachycardia/arrhythmia).”

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ actor Nicholas Brendon has been charged in Indiana with obtaining drugs using a false name or address and false informing.

Aug. 24, 2021


The post also said that the “Criminal Minds” star had a similar health scare after he had a second spinal surgery last year to manage cauda equina syndrome, a rare condition in which the nerve bundles in the lumbar or sacral spine are compressed or not functioning properly.

“He is trying to get a little more rest and has been concentrating on medical appointments,” his sister said in the post.

The serious spinal injury was triggered by a fall the TV actor had in February 2021 and required immediate surgery to prevent complete paralysis, his manager Theresa Fortier said in a statement to The Times.

Brendon had that second spinal surgery in October 2021 during which his spinal cord was punctured and there was a cerebrospinal fluid leak, Fortier said, which also resulted in tachycardia.

“After a second cardiac incident two weeks ago, Brendon was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that is more common in twins,” Fortier said. “He is currently under the care of a cardiologist and has been focusing on painting and reducing stress.”

Brendon has an identical twin brother named Kelly Donovan. In the early 2000s, Donovan appeared as Brendon’s stand-in and double in “The Replacement” and “Intervention” episodes of “Buffy,” respectively.


Last year, Brendon underwent surgery after suffering paralysis in his genitals and legs, the Daily Mail reported, which his manager claimed at the time resulted from Brendon sleeping on the concrete floor of a jail cell last year after he was arrested in Indiana on suspicion of prescription fraud and falsely informing officers of his identity.

The jail stay aggravated Brendon’s spinal problems, and he struggled to walk amid “deep-seated medical problems and immense pain,” Fortier told Daily Mail in September. It also forced him to pull out of promoting the psychological thriller “Wanton Want,” which Brendon had hoped would redirect from the headline-grabbing legal woes associated with him over the last decade.

When Nicholas Brendon walks off a show, he apparently does it rather politely.

Aug. 27, 2015

Brendon was released from the Vigo County Jail on his own recognizance and reached a plea agreement in February, WLFI reported.

The actor was previously arrested for grand theft, resisting arrest, battery against a peace officer and criminal mischief, building up rap sheets in California, Idaho, Florida and New York. He famously walked off “Dr. Phil” in 2015 and said he had been battling depression and substance-abuse issues.

In 2020, Brendon struck a plea deal after allegedly attacking his girlfriend at a Palm Springs hotel in 2017. Brendon agreed to serve three years probation and complete a 52-week domestic-violence course, along with 20 hours of community service, as part of the deal, according to the Desert Sun. The felony charge of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse was reduced to misdemeanor domestic battery.